June 20, 2017
An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!
Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 100 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.
For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews
Che has featured many members of the local media including
radio personality Scott “Fitz” Fitzgerald, radio personality Chris Konya, creators of The Rochestariat, Stefanie and Jason Schwingle, journalist Hélène Biandudi Hofer, journalist Jennifer Johnson, journalist Nikki Rudd journalist Norma Holland, journalist Alexis Arnold, journalist Ginny Ryan, meteorologist Scott Hetsko , producer Sajad Hoffman-Hussain Editor-in-Chief Juanita Washington , journalist Matt Molloy.
Today Che adds Mark Maira to the list.
Tell us a little about yourself, where your from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.
I grew up in Chili and went to Churchville-Chili Schools. Played in a lot of really bad bands, that sounded like even worse versions of Blink-182, during those years. Graduated high school when I was 16 and parlayed that accomplishment into going to a rundown Community College for an Associate’s Degree in Music Theory and Recording. From there I went to The College at Brockport for Broadcasting and ended up interning at 94.1 The Zone.
I’ve always found myself doing things that ended up with me being the center of attention, whether that be being in a band or doing stand up. Once in sixth grade my whole class was doing a show-and-tell type of exercise where we got to show off a specific skill we had. One of my classmates was showing us how good he was at skateboarding (he was not very good at skateboarding). After a few attempts at trying to demonstrate what a kickflip looked like I offered to take over his presentation and show the class how it was done (I was also not good at skateboarding). After about three minutes of not only taking over my classmate’s presentation but simultaneously not even coming close to landing a kickflip, the teacher told me to leave the classroom. I think this story is a good metaphor for me career so far.
It’s hard to use the word “conflict” or “adversity” for this example because it’s not negative at all. Right now I have an entire family, including my wife 2 kids and 1 on the way. They’re the most important thing to me and I do my best to center myself around them. That being said, I also have a pretty selfish and juvenile need to want to be funny or entertain. So I feel like I’m super lucky to have this great life with my family, wife, and kids and don’t need to be gone every weekend doing standup at a VFW in Toledo in order to get my selfish fix. I’m able to be able to do my thing right here and do my best at putting them first. Also my wife Lily helps make that all possible too and she’s pretty great and supportive.
There’s really no good way to answer this question without sounding like a huge psychopath or egomaniac but I’ll try. So, I’m not trying to make this out like I’m a genius that came up with this concept or that other people don’t do it but it’s just what I do. I put a lot a lot of prep work into every Gentlemen’s Club radio show, stand up show, radio event I do and we do (Shane and I). I think that both Shane and I are pretty funny and entertaining people, but there’s so much good stuff out there I try not to rely on that alone. When it comes to the radio show, for every 5 minute segment you hear, there was 20 minutes of prep and research behind it. When I do stand up for every 7 minutes on stage it was 2 weeks of working on the jokes. Again, I’m not trying to act like I invented the concept of preparing, it’s just how I work.
I watch a lot of CNN, it’s sickening. It all started one June 16th 2015… I don’t know what happened that day but it really got me hooked. I think I’m lucky enough to have my interests be my job. When it’s my down time I like to spend time with my family.
Any projects you have out or currently working on?
Always working on The Gentlemen’s Club show 3-7pm on 94.1 The Zone, it’s a constant project that we are always tweaking and trying to make better. Recently I’ve been getting more into satire writing, currently doing some work for The Hard Times and Runt of the Web.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Currently it’s all about growing what I have. Shane and I have a lot of great support at 94.1 The Zone when it comes to The Gentlemen’s Club. Hopefully we are able to get the show to more people in Rochester and beyond, giving us the ability to do bigger and better things with it. When it comes to performing live I would love to make it more of a regular thing in whatever capacity, whether that is standup or some rendition of The Gentlemen’s Club in a live format. For writing kind of the same thing, just looking to grow that, writing for different and more projects would be great.
Totally have a back plan… right? I know that’s not the most inspiring thing the world, but we all can’t be the next Paula Poundstone ya know? Plan on giving up around 28-30 years old… life definitely suffocates you at that point. Other than that I would say the most successful people I’ve seen know themselves and know their voice. I would say find your voice, build material around that, then go from there… but definitely be prepared to give up.