American of Irish-Italian descent
CP: How about giving us a look behind the scenes even further? How about a few words about yourself?
S: Sure. I am an American of Irish-Italian descent. Every so often my father jokingly tells me he couldn’t find an Italian woman that special night some 23 years ago. I was born in Staten Island, NY, in the most heavily Italian section of Staten Island, the South Shore.
CP: Irish-Italian ancestry, interesting…
S: My maternal grandfather, John Donoghue, served as a general under Michael Collins of the Irish Republican Army, while my paternal grandfather, Alfred Galligano, chose a career of a postal worker. His story is very tragic, but also very motivating to me. Alfred was a very smart man who dreamed of becoming a pharmacist. Once he received a full scholarship to go to New York University achieving his dream seemed more possible than ever. But then, it was suddenly shattered when his father, my great grandfather, committed suicide. Alfred was forced to support his siblings and mother so he dropped out of college and become a postal worker.
It was one of those typical midweek days when a colleague of mine dropped me a note about a show in a local club. “A friend of mine, Stats, is performing stand-up comedy,” he said. Nice!
Before I knew it, Saturday rolled in and, by the evening, I was on my way to the Gotham Comedy Club - one of Manhattan’s premier clubs for up and coming performers, surely, but also a tried and tested favorite venue of many stars of the show biz. Think: Seinfeld and company.
I negotiated a corner and started down the 22nd street. I was there in a hop.
As soon as I walked into Gotham's anteroom, somewhat surprisingly, I was immediately drawn into the depth and breadth of the place. The photos covering and coloring the walls of the anteroom, though leaving a bit to be desired (in terms of aesthetics), spoke volumes of Gotham’s zeitgeist, and I felt a certain, albeit as yet undefined, connectedness to the club. Yeah, you might be right to call it a transcendent experience of sorts.
Through a heavy, dark curtain, I got escorted to my table in the main performance hall filled with guests. There was a well-lighted stage elevated to just above the tables. This ensured an unobstructed visual joy to its patrons.
“Yeah, you bet ya,” I responded to the waitress’ suggestion to bring me some drink or another as I sunk in the comfy semi-rounded booth awaiting Stats to climb the stage and do the show. . .
It was a success!