Christi Chiello: Comedian & Actress

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Christi Chiello is a comedian, actress, angel and BITCH based in NYC. Christi made her Comedy Central debut on Jeff Ross's Roast Battle, opposite legend Jimmy Carr. She was named a 'New Face of Comedy' at the International Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in 2017. Christi's appeared on TruTV's Late Night Snack, IFC's Comedy Crib, MTV's GirlCode, College Humor, Funny or Die, JASH and MNN's The Special Without Brett Davis.  She has been featured in the Village Voice, Time Out NY, The Interrobang, SplitSider, Vulture, the New York Comedy Festival, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival and the Women in Comedy Festival.  Christi co-hosts Battle of the Divas with Matteo Lane (Time Out New York's pic for Best of the New York Comedy Festival 2018) and White Chocolate with Petey DeAbreu. Her one woman show "It's Christi, B*tch!" premiered in November at Ars Nova and has sold out every showing.  Time Out New York called the show a "must see comedy event." You can hear Christi as Baby Saffron in the animated series Pinkalicious and Peterrific on PBS Kids.

What do I do best?

Oh wow!  What do I do BEST? I mean… I don’t think I am the best at anything. lol, Despite my overly confident stage “persona” I am very much aware that I’m a work in progress, like everyone else! But if I’m looking at all the things I do and I’m picking one or two of them that I think are my strengths, I’d say crowd work for sure. I love interacting with the audience. I used to be terrified to go off the cuff like that, so I challenged myself to get good at it. And now I’ve created a monster because it’s truly all I want to do.  I talk a lot about forming “human connections” with people in the crowd.  I’m really confident in my abilities to improv and engage my audience on a personal level. I’m also really good at being an “angel-bitch.”  That’s a cool term I made up to describe myself because I’m half parts cuteness and savagery. I’m like a cupcake full of razor blades.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone.  Many of the things I’m doing on stage are things that once scared me a lot; crowd work especially.  But also, exploring premises that are real. Whether that be breakups or family issues or my faith (religion is now a big part of my standup).  All of that was difficult for me when I first started. But I know that I can’t improve and grow if I don’t continue to push myself to at LEAST try.

My aspirations?

I love this question because you’re asking for BOTH personal and business aspirations. Most times, I’m not even thinking about personal aspirations and truly that’s what I’m working on in therapy!!! Lol, I’m learning that I am more than what I do.  Being a comic is so consuming and it’s important to remember who you are off the stage, too.  Personally I want to take more time for myself.  Standup isn’t a 9-5 job and a joke can come to you at any and all times.  So it feels like a 24-7-365 job. But I’m learning to take breaks. To meditate (for me it’s prayer) and self-care and all that cheesy stuff that really is transformative. Business wise, I aspire to work in television as an actor. I aspire to make my one woman show, “It’s Christi, B*tch!” into my first comedy special. I want to do more voice over work! I want to make a LOT of money so I can buy my parents things. I’ll do all those things.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest success? My relationships. I’m really grateful for my supportive family and the incredible close friends I’ve somehow managed to form in comedy. My therapist!!!! I audition so often and face so much rejection and I am so grateful every day to have people in my life who believe in me and support me and keep me sane and functioning!

My Most Challenging Moment?

My most challenging moments are the situations I find myself in, whether an audition or a stand up show, and I’m asking myself, “What do they want? How can I make them laugh?  How can I give them what they want?” And it’s taken YEARS to learn that it’s not about giving anybody what I think they want. It’s about doing me! Being the most authentic version of myself and saying “Hey this is me. Either you like it or you don’t.”  But at the end of the day I can rest my head on my pillow knowing I at least did ME.  That’s SO important and something I work hard on, every day.

My Motto?

My motto is probably “Be grateful.” Or something that has to do with gratitude.  I want much more than I have and I’m never content, BUT I am grateful. And practicing gratitude every day has made me a much happier person. I make lists, every day of things I’m grateful for.  At first it’s easy because you’re listing “mom, dad, job” but 3 months in you find yourself getting deep as fuck “I’m thankful for hummingbirds” I mean, I get crazy…

My Rolemodels?

Personally my role models are my mom, dad & sisters. My nana! My wonderful youth theatre director in Rhode Island who is the reason I’m a performer today. My therapist! (Truly embarrassed by how much I’m mentioning her in this interview by the way). And my close friends, also creatives who I’m lucky enough to perform and collaborate with.  Professionally, I’ve always been inspired by Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Beyonce, Gilda Radner, Dave Chapelle, Martin Short, Bridget Everett, Sandra Bernhard, David Alan Grier, everyone in In Living Color, Amy Schumer, Nikki Glaser, there are just too many to name.  

My Favorite Places?

I’ve lived in NYC for 14 years and I love it so much it’s actually insane. My favorite place in the city is Lincoln Center. It’s magical. I’m obsessed with Japan and Japanese Hirijuku Culture. I can’t wait to visit there one day.

My Favorite Products?

My favorite products are probably hand sanitizer, my planner, my notebook, scrunchies, chapstick & my iPhone. I would die without any one of those.  Oh and my angel cards.  This is so sad!!

My Current Passions?

Outer Space.  I’ve been reading a lot about NASA and space is fucking crazy. I don’t understand why it’s not the ONLY thing people talk about? Also very passionate about pop culture, especially 90s pop culture.  Passionate about men and being horny.  Passionate about food, especially pizza.  I’m passionate about Law & Order Special Victims Unit.  Passionate about Jesus Christ and rebranding him cuz I think he’s actually cool as fuck and like, doesn’t have any problems with anyone.  Anndddddddddd the Jackson family. I’m pretty obsessed (passionate?) about them!