Anthony DiDomenico has big aspirations. The Bellmore native wants to make it as a comedian, he wouldn't mind becoming a big star.
Big. It's the first thing that comes to mind when encountering DiDomenico. But that's ok - it's out there, so run with it. That's his motto, anyway.
"I'm a big guy, I talk about my weight,"DiDomenico, 30, says. "I talk about my shortcomings...I find it funny, it's out there, so why not make a joke about it?"
Why not? What's real is what's funny, according to DiDomenico. It's everyday experiences and the obvious topics like his weight that he hopes will keep him afloat in the competitive world of stand up comedy.
DiDomenico is a newcomer to the stage, having performed his first show this past March, but he's no novice to the entertainment world. After spending time at Nassau Community College and Hofstra, he enrolled in the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. From there, it was time to grab a mic - a radio mic.
He worked at stations like WLIE and WGBB for a decade. One day, he said, he decided it was time for a change.
"I always wanted to try stand up but didn't have the nerve to do it," he said. "I watched the movie 'Funny People'...so I wrote up an act, went to an open mic night and tried it out. I got a lot of laughs."
His comedy career is off to a good start, but how does he keep the laughs coming? He says 'real' is the way to go - tell stories people can relate to, with a comic twist, of course.
"I talk about real life experiences, I don't make up jokes...the day to day [I talk about]," DiDomenico said, adding his notepad is always on hand, should he see some comic inspiration wherever he happens to be. He even finds humor in dealing with customers in his job for Geico. (Apparently 15 minutes can save you on auto insurance, and give Anthony a fresh set of material.)
DiDomenico said his favorite comics growing up were Eddie Murphy and Andrew 'Dice' Clay (yes, his humor is 'R' rated, suffice to say). Nowadays, it's the likes of Jim Florentine, Don Jamieson and the Howard Stern show.
DiDomenico has a quick wit, good for dealing with hecklers. In one of his first shows, an audience member got on him for his weight. The man was balding. Game on. After the show, DiDomenico says he and the man had a laugh about their little back-and-forth during his set.
Wit was necessary as Anthony grew up in Bellmore. Everyone in his household 'busted each other's [chops]', so you had to have thick skin. His mother was part of the fun - sadly she's since passed away. However, out of tragedy, comes comedy.
"I laugh about things my mother said to me, and I'm sure it'll come up in the act sooner or later," he said. "The whole thing about living at home till you're almost 30...when the time is right I'll bring it up; she would like it if she was sitting there watching."
From Governors and the Brokerage on Long Island to...where? DiDomenico says he has no problem being a Long Island comedian, but when the time is right, is willing to head to the clubs of the city - and beyond.
"I would love to one day sell out The Garden, any comics dream...then maybe even branch into movies and TV shows. I have a lot of ideas, hopefully I can get to the point where someone's willing to hear them," he said.
Big plans indeed.