Written by: Joseph Santiago
Caitlin Peluffo is one of our favorite up and coming comedians and we decided to meet up with her at the New York Comedy Club in the East Village right after her show to ask her a few questions about Stand up comedy.
When and where did you start performing comedy? What was your first time on stage like?
I started performing comedy in NYC about 5 years ago. I always wanted to try comedy, but didn’t have to courage until I went through an awful breakup and thought “what do I have to lose?” At first, I started to open mics with Laughing Buddha Comedy, which were about 5 minutes of stage time. Could I fill it? Absolutely not. Did I try with horribly embarrassing stories from my past relationship with zero punchlines? Of course. I apologize to everyone who was forced to endure the therapeutic torture.
Why did you pick NYC instead of Los Angeles or anywhere else?
I already lived in NYC! I came to Brooklyn originally for graduate school. I studied Visual Performing Art/Photography and amassed over 100 grand in student loan department I couldn’t afford to move to LA even if I wanted to.
How long did it take you to get paid work in comedy after you moved to NYC?
It took about 2 years to start getting consistent paid work. I began hosting open mics and small bar shows which then helped me graduate to some small clubs outside the city. About a year later I got a car which helped me get more paid work on the road. Ford Fiestas are the shit.
What tip would you give any comedian who moves here?
Get up as many times a week as possible. NYC has the most amount of open mics in the world; you’d be foolish not to take advantage of them. Make friends. Support your peers. Be social. Be kind.
What’s the most important lesson you learned in comedy?
Be grateful for every opportunity that comes to you. It’s easy to get bitter and jealous, but it’s way more fun to be happy for your friends.
How do you come up with Material?
I like to make lists and journal. I write out things that I remember from childhood, past relationships, current events, then free write about them. I do a lot of stream of consciousness writing which helps me land of things I wouldn’t normally consider.
Who are your influences?
I’ve been influenced by Dave Attell, Maria Bamford, Dane Cook, Jessica Kirson, Marina Franklin, and Chad Daniels.
Which are your favorite comedy clubs in NYC to perform at?
I love performing at New York Comedy Club! They’re such a supportive venue for new talent in the city. They let comics work their way up from their late night program, to check spots, guest spots, hosting, and eventually paid spots. I feel extremely lucky to be apart of their comedy family. Stand Up NY and Carolines On Broadway also put on great shows with diverse line-ups that are a blast to be a part of.
How did you get your start in comedy?
I can’t really think of one exact moment, but I would say I have gotten the most help from doing comedy festivals. I started applying to festival’s about two years in, and through these festival’s I was able to travel the country, perform for different groups of people, and meet comics from different scenes. Through those I was able to get bigger and bigger opportunities and work clubs that I never would have even known have existed. Some great ones are the Women in Comedy Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, and the Asheville Comedy Festival. They treat comics great and put on really fun shows!
Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the comedy world?
There are so many funny comedians in New York City! Right now I am staring at one, Peter Revello, a long-haired dreamboat who happens to be very funny. There’s Steven Rogers, Jill Weiner, Maddy Smith (hi!) Emily Winter, Mary Cella, Amy Shanker, Eagle Wit, Usama Siddiquee, Fumi Abe, Andrew Casertano, Sam Evans, Connor Cregan, and of course, Raanan Hershberg. It’s impossible not to run into any of these people at a club or mic. They’re some of the hardest working and funniest comics in town!
What are some of the best tips Caitlin Peluffo would give a new comedian trying to make it in NY?
Record every set and actually listen to them. Write every day. Get onstage whenever possible.