Yuri Lane was born on a small island in Holland, but his parents, a painter and a violinist, soon moved to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district to ride the 70's counter-culture current. Raised in the Haight, Yuri learned rhythm by osmosis and quickly learned to incorporate urban rhythms into his daily life.
In the 80's, Yuri started breakdancing and supporting himself by teaching moves at middle school parties. His true passion was discovered in a sixth grade math class where Yuri made sounds to compensate for his lack of skill in arithmetic. When his teacher ordered him to "turn off the radio," Yuri knew that he was on to something.
Yuri's acting career began at age twelve in a production of Floating Lightbulb in San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater. The rest of his teen years were spent on stage and screen. Theatrical productions include Marco's Millions and Diamond Lil at the American Conservatory Theater, LuLu at Berkeley Repertory Theater.
His closest brush with network fame occurred when he was selected by the New York producers to be Doogie Howser. While Yuri was a prodigy, teen stardom eluded him when the Los Angeles producers chose a blonde actor instead.
Yuri studied classical and musical theater in southern California at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts where he suffered through his tech requirements but flourished in the role of Louis in Tony Kushner's Millennium Approaches.
After completing his studies, Yuri returned to his native San Francisco to pursue mime, improvisation and alternative theatrical forms. During the dot-com boom, Yuri found himself as "the geek" in several local and national commercials as well as in episodes of Nash Bridges and Party of Five. He counts reading the part of Allen Ginsberg in Roman Copolla's adaptation of On the Road with Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon as Neal Cassidy and Jack Kerouac among the most exciting moments of this stage of his career.
As San Francisco's boom went bust, Yuri returned to theater and began developing his one-man human beatbox musical, "Soundtrack City". Yuri created "Soundtrack City" by performing one scene at a time at clubs, bars, coffee shops, and small theaters of San Francisco. The full-length production of "Soundtrack City" debuted at CELLspace in November 2001.
In February 2002, the show began a four-month run at Spanganga, a theater in San Francisco's Mission District. While performing at Spangana, Yuri appeared several times as the musical guest on Tech TV's talk show "Screensavers", at the Webby Awards, an internet awards event, and at Intersection for the Arts. During the summer of 2002, Yuri starred in "Compulsory Breathing", a short film featuring his beatboxing skills.
Currently Yuri lives in Chicago and tours "From Tel Aviv to Ramallah," a hip-hop play that tackles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while emphasizing the humanity, suffering and joy of both Israelis and Palestinians. "From Tel Aviv to Ramallah" debuted at Theater J in Washington D.C. and was nominated by the Helen Hayes Awards for the Charles MacArthur award for best new play of 2003-04. Since the fall of 03, "From Tel Aviv to Ramallah" has played at theaters in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Cleveland as well as on college campuses, at Jewish-Muslim and Israeli-Arab peace events, camps, synagogues and community centers.
"Actor, human beatbox, percussive wizard, and funky dancer, Yuri Lane is an undeniably talented dude... thoroughly engaging and very fun...most impressive (and hardest for a humble review to do justice) is how Lane produces every note of music and all sound effects on his own. How does he double track his own voice? How does he keep his vocal beatbox and harmonica solo in check? How does he maintain enough focus to improvise dialogue and sound effects mid-scene? At a certain point, we stopped asking and simply enjoyed the show."
"Yuri Lane celebrates the subconscious soundtrack that thrums in our heads...astonishing... The cocky swagger of Lane's hip-hop doesn't let up, leaving his audience vastly entertained." -Chicago Magazine
"Human beatbox" Yuri Lane plays multiple characters in his "hip-hop comedy" about urban life. There's no denying Lane's mad skills or freakish repertoire of rhythms and sounds. And his best bit--a heavy-beats-and-harmonica blues fusion--is a real barn burner." -Chicago Reader