We met up with Natalie Cuomo after her show at the New York Comedy Club in Midtown and asked her some questions about stand up comedy, being a comedian and here are her answers.
What other jobs did you do before starting stand up comedy?
Before doing stand up, I was a classically trained actor. I studied under the great Wynn Handman, and I completed the conservatory program at Stella Adler Studios in NYC. While doing comedy, I managed a coffee shop in Williamsburg called Variety. I would wake up, do my shift from 6:30 am-2:30 pm, take a nap, and go out and do shows around 7 pm. It was quite a time.

How did you know you wanted to be a comedian?

I’ve loved performing since I was a little kid. I think the moment that energy funneled into comedy was when I began writing my own jokes while I was in acting conservatory. 

If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t doing comedy, I would live in the middle of nowhere on a mountainside, with sheep and goats, and a vegetable farm.

Where are some of your favorite places to perform?

I love to perform at Greenwich Village Comedy Club and New York Comedy Club. Those stages just feel like home. In Los Angeles, I always have a blast performing at The Hollywood Improv and The Comedy Store.

Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the comedy world?

I have SO MANY favorites. Jay Jurden is amazing, so is Maddy Smith, Yedoye Travis, Isabel Hagen, Hanna Dickinson, and Molly Austin.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Just be yourself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Be true to you.

When did you feel like you were a pro comedian?

It was definitely an accumulation of moments. When I started performing in Los Angeles at some of the bigger clubs with comedians I’ve looked up to my entire life.

When I got my first paid spot at a club. When I did my first road gig. But ultimately, after time and hard work, there was a shift in my confidence that made me feel like a professional. Comedy became an integral part of my identity. 

How often do you perform comedy per week?

I perform comedy every night of the week. Sometimes several shows a night.

What are your favorite NYC comedy clubs?

The Stand, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Caroline’s on Broadway, The Pit, The Comic Strip.

How do you deal with hecklers?

It depends on the circumstance. Hecklers aren’t always rude, sometimes they’re trying to be supportive- but they’re wasted. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Fuck it. Fuck what anyone thinks. You’re awesome. 

How would you describe your brand of comedy?

Dark and endearing. 

What do you talk about in your act?

My life, growing up in NYC, romance, and tattoos. 

How did you develop your style of stand up? Who were your influences growing up; both from the world of comedy and elsewhere?

I developed my style of stand up from just doing it. The more you get on stage, the more your persona evolves into something that is true for you. My influences growing up were definitely musicians. Rock and roll really spoke to me. I was obsessed with bands like Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails. They really got me through some hard times. As far as comedy goes, as a teenager, I really looked up to Sarah Silverman, Nikki Glaser, Amy Schumer. 

I love to interview comedians, Can I ask what happens when you are in front of a crowd, and no one laughs?

If no one’s laughing, I’ll definitely just go into crowd work. Or I’ll pleasantly make fun of myself. 

What made you decide to be a comedian? Were you born funny?

I love performing. When I was in elementary school, I was terrified of the auditorium at my school, but when I did the school play and was on stage, I felt ALIVE. It’s just in my blood. I like making people laugh. I like being on stage. It’s who I am.

When can people see it?

You can go to my website nataliecuomo.com or follow me on Instagram @nataliecuomo_

If you could choose 4 comedians to perform with on a show what would your lineup be?

WELL- my dream show would be Sarah Silverman, Chris D’elia, Chelsea Peretti, and Whitney Cummings. When they’re on stage, it’s just fucking magic. 

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