21 Questions with Tara Cannistraci

A lighthearted Q&A series spotlighting local personalities

Italian-American comedian, actress, and writer Tara Cannistraci is practicing downtime on her days off, of which there are few. The Bronx-born beauty is headlining throughout the country and Canada in support of her recently released solo comedy album, "I’m Talkin’ Here" and, alongside actor Chazz Palminteri and actress Kathrine Narducci, is a co-host of "Neighborhood Logic," an episode series on the popular Chazz Palminteri Show podcast. Perhaps you also recognize Cannistraci as the former scoreboard host for the New York Yankees, or you’ve managed to snag a ticket to one of her stand-up comedy shows. If you’re among the minority that hasn’t seen her live, she’s hitting the stage next month at Emelin Theatre. Just don’t sit too close. @tarajokes 

  1. What’s your guilty pleasure? HGTV is on nonstop when I’m home. 

  2. What do you eat for breakfast?  I aim for eggs but crave anything that’s a carb! I’ve convinced myself that a paleo cookie at 9am is healthy.

  3. Biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Leaving my day job to pursue stand-up comedy.

  4. What was your first car? A silver Honda Civic.

  5. Current favorite song? Coi Leray “Players” because girls are players, too.

  6. What item of yours was your biggest splurge? My wedding wasn’t necessarily an item, but they say, if you’re only going to do it once, do it right. In my case, I could never afford to do it twice! 

  7. What are three things you can’t live without? Things, not people? Lip balm, pajamas, and a 20-minute power nap. 

  8. Something that always makes you smile? Reading nice comments from fans. 

  9. When do you feel most like yourself? When I’m on stage and when I’m on my couch.

  10. One person you’d like to meet, past or present? Lucille Ball.

  11. What’s your favorite board game? I used to love Cards Against Humanity. Is that game canceled yet?!

  12. Do you consider yourself a good dancer? I do! I always say, Italians have moves!

  13. What’s an item you’ve kept from childhood? My first ever pair of shoes. They’ve since gotten a little higher – and more expensive. 

  14. What scares you? Not living up to my full potential.  

  15. Favorite spot or thing to do around town? Walking in the neighborhood and looking at other houses and landscaping.  I walk to the farmer’s market on Sundays, too!

  16. What’s your hidden talent? Cooking. I want to go to culinary school and I’d love to do it abroad.

  17. When was a moment that you felt proud of yourself? My favorite movie of all time is Moonstruck. When I was a little girl, it was the first time I saw people that looked and sounded like me and my family on a big screen. One night in the city, Danny Aiello was at my show and I knew where he was sitting in the audience.  I almost couldn’t concentrate until I undeniably heard HIS laugh. It was smooth sailing on stage from that point and a real full-circle moment for me when I met him after. 

  18. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? An actress. 

  19. Food: sweet or salty? Sweet all day, every day!  

  20. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon or TV show? From age 6, I’d bargain with my mother to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live. 

21. What’s something you’re trying to get better at? Being present.

"Growing up, I was the queen of putting on one-woman shows in my living room. Now I just have a bigger stage."

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