American of Irish-Italian descent
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.
S: Both of my grandfathers were very tough guys who strived to do the right thing. I most admire them for living their principles.
CP: How about your parents?
S: My mother Ellen Galligano, is a teacher at local High School on Staten Island, and my father is a Certified Public Accountant. He also owns an accounting business. Both my parents are very humble and hard working people and I respect them a great deal.
CP: And siblings? You did mention a brother got you the plane ticket to Arizona. . .
S: Yes, I have a younger brother, and also an older sister. My sister Ellieanne is 28 years old. She is an artist. We are not as close as we should be, but I still respect her a great deal because she is so independent -- moved out on her own when she was 19. Within the family I am the closest to my brother Ryan,. He is 18 years old, and attends St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He is a great brother and friend.
CP: Quite a family background and a fine legacy to follow and build on…
S: All true. Although, I could think of an anecdote or two where the gene pool I inherited may have influenced my choices in life in not quiet the best of ways.
S: It happened some two years ago while I was (for the third time) interning at one the financial powerhouses on Wall Street. The House was hosting an (open bar) end-of-the-year event. As the ‘real’ interns were sipping martinis and talking stocks, we - the ‘outcasts’ interns - were getting smashed off our face with Jack-and-Cokes, and doing shots upon shots… Later in the night, we hooked up with some girls and were gonna continue partying in their apartment.
Due to quite a consumption of assortment of beverages the details here run a bit hazy on me but, essentially, we waived a cab down and I decided to jump on top of the car and start dancing. The cab driver didn’t take well to my self-expression and started swinging his Billy Club at me. One of my buddies then engaged the cabby in a bit of fight. Shortly after, I got arrested and spend a night in Central Bookings (holding cell where all arrest are brought to in NYC) - the scariest place in the world to me.
CP: Any noteworthy details?
S: Nah. Let me just say that having to sleep on the floor was the least of my discomforts there.
CP: How long did you remain locked up?
S: Well, I was gonna get out in the morning and head to work like nothing happened, but there was a shooting at City Hall and no one was being let out. Consequently, I spent another 28 hours in that cell without anyone, except my ‘outcast’ intern friends, knowing where I was. And they never ratted me out. Instead, they made up some cover story of me shacking up with some girl.
CP: Fama per urbes reigning supreme, likely…
S: Sure. As you can imagine, rumors quickly spread… Stats is with a prostitute… Stats was robbed, all sorts of stuff. Anyhow, it turns out that three out of five interns didn’t show up to work the next day and got fired. I lucked out - partly due to my uncle being an executive at the investment bank I interned in.
CP: Did you take anything away from this incident?
S: Yes, I learned a valuable lesson or two from this incident. First of all I realized one event can change your whole life. I mean what would’ve happened if I hurt someone or hurt myself by being that drunk and not realizing what I did? All my dreams and aspirations would be washed away. Needless to say, I will never be involved in something like that again.
CP: Lucked out’s right, Stats. Let’s talk about something else. What keeps you going?
S: I am actually a very religious person, a firm believer. However, from the practical standpoint, The Contender (boxing show run by Sylvester Stallone) inspires me a lot. In fact, I just came from Vegas where I actually met most of the boxers from the show, and many celebs. I even met Stallone, shook his hand. If you think The Contender was motivating to me before, now fougetaboutit.
You know, besides the sheer notion of my personal dreams coming true, a part of me wants to be able to provide my parents with anything they might desire and to succeed for all my relatives who did not get to fulfill their dreams. Ultimately, I just want to be the best person I can possibly be and try to help and inspire as many people as I possibly can.
S: Yeah, I actually do. In fact, it’s full of quotes I wrote down. I recite them back to myself occasionally.
CP: Could you recite one or two to us now?
S: Sure, I’ll recite my two favorite ones: “The most absurd and reckless aspirations have sometimes led to extraordinary success,” by Vauvenargues and, “Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness,” by George Santayana.
CP: Deep. Yet, simply stated and true. In your own words, what would your advice be to the new comers, comedians or actors?
S: Times will get tough but never give up. Find your dreams and have the courage to persevere and realize those dreams.
CP: You know, many of us can get a normal 9-5 job, earn a nice salary and move up in the company. But how many would dare and go after their dreams?
S: “It is better in life to attempt great things, and come up short, then to conquer something you already know you can beat,” from the NBC Boxing show The Contender. I love this quote! I do subscribe to that philosophy. In fact, I am currently living my dream and all I do supports my search for the best possible life for me, where I can immerse myself in a job that I love and passionately want to do… I know there is a chance I might come up short but, at least deep down inside my heart I will know I gave it my all.
CP: Where can people see your shows?
S: Besides performing at various open mics on weeknights, I perform regularly at Gotham Comedy Club on Friday or Saturday nights (at 6:30 pm), and at New York Comedy Club on Thursday nights (at 9:00 pm). These times are subject to change so I advise calling and confirming details beforehand.
S: First, I am aiming at a full-time position with a marketing firm, so I can better finance my acting and comedy career. I plan to continue the acting school, perhaps even increase the number of classes per semester. I am now in the process of getting my headshot prepared and searching for an acting and commercial agent to help me get the auditions. Once that’s done, I will be ready to take the NYC entertainment business by storm.
CP: Sounds like you’re really going all out on this one?
S: You bet! “It is better in life to attempt great things, and come up short, then to conquer something you already know you can beat”. And that’s not all. . . I will enter and try to win the New York City Comedy Underground Competition, one of the biggest competitions in the world for up and coming comedians. It takes place in October. Just to give you a clue of how competitive it is - over 1,000 aspiring comedians apply for this event, and only 8 get chosen. I am also throwing the idea out of saving money and moving to Hollywood next summer, so I can be closer to the acting/film business.
CP: Stats, guess we could argue about much but not the fact that you’re the man with the plan. Where can people learn more about you and/or contact you?
S: Over the next couple of months, I plan on developing my own personal website. It’ll provide an easy access to details about my up-coming shows, future plans, etc. If anyone would like to email me with feedback or questions about the business, feel free to do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
CP: Stats it was a pleasure meeting you. We tremendously enjoyed your show. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our readers and much luck in your future endeavors!
S: Thank you Cavtatportal.