Keith DiRienzo & Brendan Goggins

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Keith’s responses to Brendan’s questions:

What inspired you to perform drag the first time.?

Being surrounded by amazing drag queens when I worked at Hamburger Mary’s.

What do you watch (TV/Movie/Youtube clip) to put you in a good mood?

The Real Housewives of NYC

Who's been the biggest creative influence to you?

Lucille Ball for sure. I think she’s the ultimate funny housewife. A true role model.

You're in stupid amazing shape. What's the hardest or least enjoyable part of maintaining the look of a Roman god?

It’s a whole production of smoke and mirrors that my roommates have to sacrifice bathroom time for. I love it I hate it.

What's the show/video/content you've worked on that you're proudest of?

My one-man show “Me At 3AM” that I did in 2017. I pushed myself to be vulnerable and 100% myself on stage.

If it doesn't exist already, what's Keith's catchphrase?

“Bless.”

Brendan’s responses to Keith’s questions:

Why do you love improv?

Most criticisms about improv I've heard are valid to some degree. Is there more bad or inexperienced improv out there than good shows? Sure are! Is improv often self-indulgent? You bet! Are there systematic things in improv's current way of operating that need changing? Holy smokes yes!

Yet even with considering all those things (and plenty more) over the roughly ten years I've done improv, I still love it. When it works well, it's like this joyous magic trick everyone got to be involved in creating. Performers and audiences are all collectively a part of this experience that is truly unique, and in turn special. You can't repeat it, and that is such an easy pathway to be fully in the moment and experience something joyous with other people.

That and getting laughs feels nice.

If you were stuck on an island with 3 things, what would they be?

My boring practical answers would be related to survival or getting off said island like a satellite radio, clean water filter, and a camp cooking set, which are great for survival but a real buzzkill for fun Q&A's.

What I'd actually be worried about is being by myself all the time, and after a stretch doing that in quarantine, I'd like to avoid that if possible. So whatever 3 objects I have I'm probably going to Wilson them all out like Tom Hanks does with the volleyball in Castaway. Maybe 3 soccer balls just to have something different from Tom Hanks? Maybe I'll get tired of one of the three soccer ball-head friends, use it as an actual soccer ball, and get real good at keepy-ups. Let's also swap one of those other balls for guitar with strings that never break so I can write a song about how insane I'm going.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done in front of your parents?

After college I lived with my parents on Long Island while I was making the jump from unemployed to semi-employed performing artist. I used to work late in the city and catch earlier morning LIRR trains, so coming home after 3am was a normal occurrence. However sometimes after closing out a bar after a shift/long post-show hang, the sunrise would beat me home.

The latest arrivals would be after staying the night with a romantic encounter (yes this is a humble brag) and concluding my long-walk of shame with my parents already up. Generally wonder if they ever bought that I was "just crashing at a friend's place", though that did occasionally actually happen as well, so who knows. Either way, the shame was still there for this lapsed Catholic.

Who’s your favorite comedian?

I change this answer every so often, but lately I've been leaning towards Dana Carvey. Not only is he flat-out one of the best sketch performers alive and maybe the best comedic impressionist, but as far as I can tell he does comedy for all the right reasons. Silliness and joy for the pure sake of sharing silliness and joy. This on top of the fact that, from as far as I can tell, he seems to be a genuinely good human which is way more important than any amount of talent.

What would the brand name of your life be?

Step-Dad Energy.

What’s one of your favorite comedy gigs you’ve worked in NYC?

Many odd ones to pick from, but I was on an improv team that hosted a show in the basement of a sushi place on St. Marks for a little bit. It certainly felt like it was checking all the boxes of having New York specifics short of running into Fran Lebowitz. That said, I've since learned other teams had shows at other, completely different sushi restaurants, so maybe it's more of a rite of passage than I thought.