My Old Gothamist Interview: Carolyn Castiglia

Back in 2004, I used to do Gothamist Interviews.  Gothamist is shutting down, so I am posting my old interviews here.

I interviewed my friend, Carolyn Castiglia, back in July of 2004. Carolyn is a comedian based in New York City.

The Basics.
Age. (Ain’t nothing but a number)
27

Occupation/Day job.
Comic/Actress/Temp

How long have you lived here? Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m originally from Oswego, NY. It’s a small town on Lake Ontario. I’ve lived here for almost four years. Now I live in East Harlem, but I used to live in Astoria. I had to get out of Astoria. My friends would call me from the train and say “Now how do I get to your house?” I’d say, “Okay, you can go one of two ways – you can go up the 24 hour Burger King/Scary Russian Dance School/Scary Russian Liquor Store side, or you can go up the stinky fish market side. Oh good, you’re on that side. Okay, if you don’t wanna step in the fish guts, just step in the broken glass from the abandoned cars. That’s what I do. Don’t worry about the lamb truck – it’s Greek Easter. Well, I’ve never seen a skinless, hairless lamb with a face either but I guess that’s what they like. It looks like Joan Rivers. I know. What? I can’t hear you – the train’s going through the backyard! Okay, sorry. Are you next to the club yet? You’ll know. Just look for the drunk 16-year-olds hitting each other with broken beer bottles. Alright – see the gas station across the street? That’s right next door to my house. See the window next to the pump? That’s our living room.”

One For You.
As a comedian and a married lady, what or who makes you laugh?
I don’t think I laugh at anything different than I used to as a single girl. I liked farts then and I still like ’em now. (As a comic device – not so much as a hobby or anything, although sometimes my marriage does feel like one big fart-fest.) I do like to laugh at the fact that I have two cats. I’m a dog person, but my husband is a cat person, so now I’m a cat person. Sometimes I say to my cats, “You ma dawg, dog!” and that always makes me laugh. They’re like my babies. I pick ’em up and sing to them. I kiss them on the face. I keep thinking, if this is how I treat my cats, how am I gonna treat my kid? I’m afraid my 14-year-old will be in one of those Baby Bjorn slings on the front of my chest going “Uh, Mom, can I go play now?” “No – Mommy just wants to hold you! Kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss!” Lots of things make me laugh. I’m a good laugher. People are always commenting on my laugh, being thankful for it or sometimes taken aback by it. But, if you think something’s funny, you should laugh. It’s good for you and it’s good for the person making you do it.

What’s your favorite subway stop?
Astor Place. It is completely in the center of all of the best parts of New York. The East Village is just my favorite place to be. There’s the Comedy Social, all the restaurants, and bars, the (window) shopping. I love it! But, probably the best thing about the Astor Place stop is that you can zip right into Kmart and zip out without ever going outside. Now that’s modernization!

What’s the most unusual pitch you heard from a panhandler?
This guy covered in filth from head to toe just sat there with a sign that said, “I need money for drugs and hookers. At least I’m honest.” I thought that was original. Then I thought, “Those poor hookers.”

If you could have a New York City neighborhood renamed after you which one would it be? I think Chelsea should be renamed Carolyn. It’s got a ring to it. “We’re goin’ down to a gay bar in Carolyn, wanna come?” “I saw the cutest pair of hot pants in Carolyn the other day!” “Oh my God, you live in Carolyn? Isn’t that expensive?!” Or, I would have Little Italy renamed Castiglione in honor of my Italian heritage and my undying love for pizza.

What’s the best place for a low-carb diet buster?
My house. Pizza, nachos and Ramen noodles! Mmm!

What outerborough place do you always say you would like to see but probably never will?
The Bronx Zoo. I always think, “We’ll make a day of it – go to the Zoo, the Botanical Garden” but I’ll probably never go. I live in Harlem – I don’t need to go far to see exotic animals. My super’s got a boa constrictor and my next door neighbor has an aviary. It takes up his whole back yard. He’s got parakeets, cockateels, everything. My other neighbor’s cats sit on top of it and just drool. It’s very entertaining. All that action is right outside my window. It’s a major improvement from looking out at the gas pump.

Where is the best place in the city for semi-public sex?
My house. Nothing is private in New York – especially when your blinds are too short.

You can check out the funky funniness that is only Carolyn Castiglia all around town. She is competing in the 2004 Ladies of Laughter Competition at the New York Improv tonight, Thursday, July 29 at 8:30 pm.

– Interview by Nichelle Newsletter

 

Categories: writing

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