Acting Out a Comedic Story
Storytelling comedian discusses being good at stand-up, bad at waiting tables.
Instead of serving a setup and punch line, comedian Mark Riccadonna considers himself a storyteller, delivering stories to his audience in the same manner he would to a bunch of friends.
“When I first got started, I did the setup-punch thing,” Riccadonna, who performs this weekend at Scotty’s, said.
When a fellow comic, Carl Labove, pointed out that Riccadonna was good at telling stories and enjoyed acting, he suggested going the storytelling route.
“I started doing that, and that made it a lot easier to remember my act,” he joked.
Riccadonna was introduced to comedy about eight years ago when he got a job at a comedy club to complement the days he spent looking for acting work.
Although his skills as a waiter were subpar, he said the club’s management decided to keep him around and train him on other jobs. Eventually, he got to know some of the comedians working at the clubs who, one night, talked him into going up on stage for a few minutes.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Riccadonna said. “I was so nervous. After that, the owner of the club said, ‘I didn’t know you were a comedian.’ I wasn’t.”
From that point on, the owner allowed him on stage every night before the final comic went on, while audience members were paying their checks. This led to comedians asking him to join them on college gigs and other shows, which eventually led him to work with all the comedians he had watched with his dad as a kid.
“When I first started doing comedy, my parents were so into it,” Riccadonna said. “My parents would come up to the show, and my dad would say, ‘Remember when we saw this guy on “Comic Strip Live” and he did this thing?’ I was working with the people we used to watch on TV.”
His act has also taken him overseas to perform for the military in Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo, northern Europe, South Pacific and Central America. In fact, he did five tours in 2010 alone.
Before going overseas for the first time, Riccadonna said he had been going through a sort of a funk, beginning to see comedy as more of a job than something he enjoyed doing.
“When I started doing these tours,” he said, “it really hit me that, wow, comedy is kind of powerful.”
When he’s not performing stand-up, he is auditioning for acting gigs or performing with his theater company, the Amoralists.
Riccadonna performs at Scotty's Comedy Cove tonight and tomorrow with fellow comedians Harris Bloom & Anthony DiDomenico.The show is $13 and starts at 9 p.m.