Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘It’s rare that you can do something in your life that the only purpose is enjoyment.’


“I absolutely loved theater in high school, but I was never an actress. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t pretty enough to be an actress. So I became a director, but as much as I loved it, there was no way to make a living. I went into English, went into public education, then became an assistant professor at Marymount Manhattan College. I always say it was the best gig I ever had, but then they closed the department.

“I was a teacher for over 40 years. People think stand-up is hard, but really, I did it every day for 40 years. The performing was revived after retirement. I did some small roles in community theater, joined a chorus; I’d always danced. I loved the camaraderie, I loved being onstage, I loved the challenge of it. It’s rare that you can do something in your life that the only purpose is enjoyment. It isn’t to achieve a degree; been there, done that. I have a doctorate. It’s just for the sheer joy of performing and being with people.

“So I was driving to dance class, listening to ‘Netflix Is a Joke’ on [the radio], and I thought, well, I can do that. Then I thought, don’t be ridiculous; I don’t know anything about it. I took a six-week class at Governor’s Comedy Club. I’ve taken many courses with many comics because I learn from all of them, and because education is my thing. The course ended with a stand-up routine, and I found it challenging. Producers started calling me to perform in the city. I performed at Dangerfield’s, Gotham [Comedy Club], Comedy Cellar, all over. You get a feel for different audiences and what flies.

“My humor comes from my life, as with many comics, like my daughter moving home after COVID. She was home for five months, and that was enough for both of us. Now she’s happily engaged, and I like to think I’m responsible for that. You have to find the humor; humor can get you through it. This is not a career. A career is where you really pursue it, you go on the road, you do it six nights a week. It’s not my life, it’s an avocation. I’ve had a moderate amount of success. I’ve learned so much from the wonderful comics I’ve met. Life is all about learning. To me, you never stop learning. Humor has been my sustenance my entire life. It’s gotten me through everything.”