P. was born on 21 June 1860
in Boslav, Ukraine. A stepbrother of Yitzhak Perkoff, he
received a traditional Jewish education, learning
Gemorah with tutors. At
all times he was a jolly person, a real joker, and when
he used to travel with a Yiddish troupe, he
didn't perform for the theatre. Owning a beautiful
voice, he used to sing all their songs.
He went off to Kiev, where
he worked for several years as a luggage worker, and for
the last prutus attended theatre, and he was always
talking about theatre.
Due to military conscription, he fled to
Galicia. In Brody or in Czernowitz he began to act for Akselrad.
Meanwhile his family
immigrated to London, and A. came to them in 1890.
There he acted for the first time in a dramatic club
for which Morris Winchevsky wrote a special play,
especially characterizing himself in Chasidic and in
comical women's roles. As such from the theatre he could
not gain enough of an income, and his brother took him
in to learn photography; however, A. was not
capable [in this regard], and he [then] became a partner with a hairdresser's
institute. Around 1894 he arrived in America. Here he
performed with Adler in the Roumanian Opera House, and it
fell through. He took to traveling across the province,
acting often with "amateurs."