I was born on November 19, 1976 to two people that should never have gotten married in the first place. The plan was to name me Stanley Casimir. While my mother was passed out, my dad named me Peter Vincent. My mother blames her inability to wear a bikini on my large head and resulting 70′s C-section scar. I blame donuts. I grew up in a small town outside of Philadelphia called Delanco, NJ. It was mostly farms. We didn’t get a traffic light until I was 11. I went to Catholic School. I was an altar boy. I played basketball and baseball. I read a lot of books as a kid. My house was chaotic. My sister had epilepsy when I was growing up. My parents were always separated. I liked it better when they were.
I played football for two years in high school. It was turning me into a dick, so I quit. I did a musical called Pippin at the end of my senior year. I fell in love with the attention and the girl that played Fastrada. I ended up at Rutgers University because no other school would give me enough financial aid. Fastrada was still in high school and got a job at Friendly’s. She slept with the line cook and I stopped coming home on the weekends. Needing something to do, I started auditioning for plays on campus. I got cast as Woody Kittredge in “Six Degrees of Separation.” For the next few years, I got sucked into a theater group called The College Avenue Players. We did plays and sketch comedy in a lecture hall. It was fun. I played all the Chris Farley parts. I started dating Dr. Fine from Six Degrees. She was on the crew team and was very pretty. I stole her from her high school sweetheart. I stopped going to class. An attack of appendicitis helped that along. The next few years are a haze. I smoked a lot of things and drank a lot of things and smashed a lot of things. I broke up with Dr. Fine. She took me back and I broke up with her again. I had a mental breakdown while living in a fraternity house. I had dropped out of school by then and was never in a fraternity. My mother figured out that I’d inherited my father’s depression and anxiety and called him to clean up the mess. He drove up and got me out of there. I stayed in my room for weeks. My aunt died and I bought a windowless van. Dr. Fine was living in Trenton and I moved in with her. I got a job at my old high school as a substitute teacher with the help of a former teacher named Sister Gilmary Beagle. I loved that lady. I was a weird teacher. I blew an airhorn at random intervals. The Sixers went to the finals that year. I proposed to Dr. Fine.
I started taking the train from Trenton to NYC to take improv classes. I’d always hated watching improv, but Chris Farley and John Belushi and John Candy did improv, so I took improv. I trained at Chicago City Limits. I was very lucky to have great teachers there. About a year later, I was in their touring company. That was pretty cool. I got to travel to 37 states over the next 7 years and do shows. I also met some really solid motherfuckers. I tried doing stand-up for about 6 months. I didn’t enjoy it. I stopped doing that. I started taking scene study classes at the T. Schreiber Studio in midtown. My teacher there was named Peter Jensen. He taught me about specificity and how to take shit seriously. Dr Fine and I got married. I used to go to auditions in Philly and in NYC, sometimes on the same day. Non-Union, horrible shit. One my first jobs was having my fat gut measured by pharmaceutical salesmen in the Four Seasons for 6 hours. I never was reimbursed for the scrubs I had to buy for the gig.
Dr. Fine and I moved back to New Brunswick. She started having seizures more often than either of us liked. The Eagles lost the Superbowl. I did a few double and triple off-broadway plays. Once Shakybritches got her driver’s license taken away, we moved to Sunnyside, Queens.
I never thought I’d ever live in New York City. When I growing up, we’d talk about “The City” and meant Philly. New York was never on my radar. It took a solid year to get acclimated. I ended up getting bit by the brain bees again. I went to one guy for talking and another guy for pills. I got to do a bunch of comedy spots on Conan during the last year he was in the city. That was really fun. I got in trouble one time for asking Michael Strahan for an autograph in a Philadelphia Eagles notebook.
I went to see my buddy Morgan’s band down at The Bitter End one night. I was late and missed his set. I was waiting outside for him and saw The Moth on the event calendar. A year before that, my buddy Carter told me about The Moth one night in Fallon, NV. It clicked and I started going. My first line in my first story was “I like to put my balls on things.” It was a terrible story. I kept going and went to every show for a year and a half. I started volunteering to teach for The Moth in the Community Outreach Program. I started winning storyslams. I formed a band based around improvised music and stories. I got to perform in some of the storytelling shows that were popping up all over town. My favorite remains The Liar Show. I was telling stories at and hosting burlesque shows. The Phillies won the World Series. I went to the parade. I did a drag show at the Stonewall Inn. The owner has an Eagles tattoo on his leg. We got to talking and he let my band play in his bar. I started producing a storytelling/burlesque hybrid show called Bare.
I started hosting Moth slams and got to do a Moth Mainstage at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A few weeks later, I got a Facebook message from some lady in the UK claiming to work with a
distillery. She wanted me to come to London to tell the story that she saw at The Met. I worked that gig for about two years. It was called True Tales and I got to go all over Europe and get paid to tell stories and drink Glenfiddich whisky. I started getting a bunch of tattoos because I like to plan for my future. The Madman that founded The Moth, George Dawes Green, asked me to host his Unchained Tour down in Georgia. I befriended Edgar Oliver. I got to listen to Shovels & Rope every night live. I met people named Samita and VG. It was exhausting and exhilarating. The Whisky gig ended with 3 weeks at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I did two more Unchained Tours. I got more tattoos.
Dr. Fine and I were invited to The Kennedy Center to tell a story about living with her epilepsy for TEDMED. We met the Surgeon General and rode Amtrak back to NYC with Joe Biden. Not with Joe Biden, but near Joe Biden. Joe Biden looked up my wife’s skirt. My wife has great legs. I began hosting Moth Mainstage shows on the road and in New York. I wrote scripted shows for Hotsy Totsy Burlesque based on “The Big Lebowski” and “Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.” The BTK Band played our last show of a four-year run at Under St Marks Theatre in the East Village.
I have a solo storytelling show called Daddy Issues that I’ve been performing in NYC and other cities. I may be writing a fucking book too. Everybody has a fucking book, so I guess I need one too. I’m teaching a regular storytelling workshop through the New York School of Burlesque. I’ve been traveling to Las Vegas once a month to work as Resident Storyteller for Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project. The Phillies have gotten old, the Sixers just finished a wretched rebuilding year, and the eagles could be on the upswing. We’ll see how everything pans out.