Michele Carlo became a performer at 35. “I was at a crossroads in my life and figured, eff it, let me go for it. I didn’t want to face my last moments knowing I’d wussed out from trying the one thing I knew I wanted to do. And now it’s over 20 years later and I’m still at it.”
The native New Yorker, Nuyorican and “natural redhead,” has done everything from performance art to improv/comedy to emcee burlesque shows. She discovered storytelling at a MothSlam in 2003, and has performed at many of their Mainstage shows in NYC. Her first book, Fish Out Of Agua: My Life on Neither Side of the (Subway) Tracks, is a NYC set memoir based on her early Moth stories. It was a real treat to have her perform at our recent TueNight Birthday Bash!
In Michele’s “free” time she curates/produces/co-hosts two storytelling shows: “No Name Super Storytellers” at the Word Up bookstore in Washington Heights and “New York Story Exchange” at the Cornelia Street Café. She also hosts a radio show/podcast with internet radio station Radio Free Brooklyn called “Fish Out Of Agua” and appears in the occasional film project or theater production.
“Whenever someone asks me what I think about getting older,” she says, “I reply with one of my abuela’s (grandmother’s) dichos (sayings): Black don’t crack, brown don’t frown, beige don’t age…and Puerto Rican’s no creakin’.” Here’s her TueNight 10:
1. On the nightstand: Ivelisse Rodriguez’s Love War Stories, the new RISK!: True Stories People Never Thought They’d Dare to Share and Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs Mc Neil and Gillian McCain (love this SO much!)
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: My life’s work: helping to change the default of who an artist can be and what they look, act and sound like.
4. Thing(s) I miss: My father (always). The New York of my well-spent youth (sometimes).
5. 80s crush: That guy from that bar that night.
6. Current crush: My partner and my kitties (whoever’s first depends, haha).
7. Will whine about: Always been more of a yeller of expletives than a whiner. Willful ignorance, self-absorbed inconsiderateness and intentional disrespect may get you an earful!
8. Will wine about: Red like my head! No…that would be more like burnt orange. Wait, there is orange wine now, right?
9. Best thing that happened yesterday: Finding $20 in the pocket of a coat I hadn’t worn since last year, which I promptly spent on cat litter. (Priorities.) 😉
10. Looking forward to:Getting older. No, really! It’s a privilege not everyone gets to have. And I truly believe my best years are ahead of me, not behind.