We had the good fortune of connecting with Dani Colucci and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dani, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I feel like people have their own definitions of what “risk taking” means to them personally. To me, risk taking means trying something new that I’ve never done before. Especially if that new thing seems quite intimidating or scary. I’ve always felt like a dichotomy between a shy introvert who is literally scared of the dark and sleeps with the light on, and an extrovert who isn’t afraid to be weird or performative in public. I’ve always gotten some kind of adrenaline rush from surprising people with something they never thought I would do. One time I impulsively posed nude for an art class, which confused the hell out of my close friends. I thought it was hilarious. Risk taking definitely plays a part in my creative career too. It’s actually the reason why I am where I am today. If I let the fear of failing hold me back, I would never have written my first bit and said it into a microphone. I bombed majorly the first time I did standup. Dear gawd, it was painful. But I knew that if I keep pushing myself and writing and just doing it, eventually I’d get to a place where I’d feel good onstage. I think that can apply to anything you do in life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a creative who enjoys wearing many hats: comedian, actor, writer, musician. However my biggest love is stand up comedy. I studied acting in school and for many years considered myself soley as an actor. After I graduated, I started to understand how excruciating it can be to be a female actor in the industry. Ninety percent of the roles I was getting auditions for were sexualized or victims of abuse. I found myself very uninterested in what was conventionally available to an actor in her 20’s. Even worse, I had to sit around and wait for someone to cast me. Secretly, I had always dreamt of being a stand up comedian and had been obsessed with it since I was a kid. My friend kept pushing me like “You HAVE to do it” and I finally did. I’ve been hooked ever since. I love standup because it gives you the creative license to express yourself freely. With standup, you can perform any day of the week, say whatever your brain comes up with and you don’t have to ask anyone permission to do any of it. Also stand up is an art form that takes a lot of time and effort to get good at. Something about that is really enticing to me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Assuming that this question is set in a pre-pandemic world, I’d start with taking them on a walk on York Blvd in Highland Park and grab a coffee from A Bloc LA. They’re this shop that’s half coffee/half bikes, run by a really nice family. We’d hit up Munch Co in Pasadena, they seriously make the best sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life. Then I’d take them to the beach, which one–who knows. I do kinda love interacting with the bizarre types that hang on the boardwalk at Venice Beach. We’d probably hit up a taco truck for dinner, Leo’s Tacos is SO GOOD. Then I’d take them to a standup show in some backyard somewhere, there are tons. After that we’d go watch my friend’s band called Slugs play at The Echo in Echo Park. We’d end the night drinking out of questionably sanitary glasses at The Winchester in Glendale. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my best friend Ruben Adorno who was my roomie for 7 years and has always had my back. He’s seen me at my lowest and literally clapped at me “Get-off-the-couch-you-are-not-a-sad-bitch” when I was incapacitated for 3 weeks from heartbrake. He’s been so supportive of every career or life choice I’ve ever made. Shoutout to the Gallery Cabaret, my favorite dive bar in Chicago that has been a haven for artists and weirdos for years. Shoutout to Bobbie Oliver who created the Tao Comedy Studio in LA. Tao Comedy is an inclusive and safe space for comics to practice their craft and perform.
Other: Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dcol?source=h5_m (If you just want my @’s instead of the direct links they are: IG: dani.colucci Tiktok: dcol
The two headshots were taken by Steven Meidenbauer