We had the good fortune of connecting with Murray Valeriano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Murray, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I first started out, balancing life and career, or the pursuit of a career, was fairly easy. It was just me and I love what I do, so I had no problem immersing myself in the work. Now that I am older and have a family, the balance is a bit more difficult. Having a chid and being a comedian can cause problems, like when I get home at 3am and he gets up 6am. That’s rough. And it’s kind of a drag to go out on the road and leave the family behind. But, another comic, who is a father, and I did the math once. Being that we are home during the week and out on the weekends, we actually spend more time with our children than if we worked a 9-5 job 5 days a week.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been a standup comedian and writer for about 20 years now. It’s been a fun and crazy journey, literally taking me all over the world. Like every profession, it takes a lot of hard work, but if you love it, the work isn’t work. I think there might be a little more luck involved in my job than most. I think I’ve been pretty lucky at points… and also unlucky. Lately, I’ve been putting most of my hard work into a music and comedy game show called “For What It’s Worth…” It’s a perfect blend of my love of music and comedy. The contestants are today’s best comedians with the occasional musician, music critic and actor thrown in. Being that music is the universal language, and a recent survey said that 93.7 percent of people love to laugh, this is really the perfect show. I might have made up those statistics.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Let me answer that question with a story of when my friend, Rich D’Andrea came out to visit me. I picked him up from the airport and drove him directly to a small free concert with the Counting Crows. Over the next few days, we visited my wife’s movie set on Paramount, went to the beach and I took him surfing. We took a drive up the PCH to Neptune’s Net and had dinner and watched the sunset over the ocean. On his last night, I had a spot at the Hollywood Improv so we went and hung out at the comedy club and laughed all evening. It was a great trip and he can never come back, because he thinks that’s how my life is every day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, I have to give credit to my wife, Mary Zophres. Being married to comedian isn’t all the laughs you might think it would be.