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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Deeper Dish with Katina Corrao


Remember back in the '90s when Parker Posey was crowned "Queen of the Indies" for all of her work in independent films? Well, I'm now bestowing the prestigious title of "Queen of the Web Series" on New York City-based actress/comedian Katina Corrao, whom I think is the grooviest gal online. When I first saw Katina in a 2009 episode of the hilarious web series, Jack In A Box, her performance as a perky box office employee named Suzie made me laugh out loud, and I've been a fan ever since. Her other web series include The Actress, Making Things From Things, The Good Neighbor Minute, and Kid Farm!, a brand new sitcom that recently debuted on Comedy Central's Atom.com.

In addition to her many online appearances, Katina is the writer and performer of two one-person shows, Italian Cookies: A Recipe of Love and Anxiety and Katina Corrao as The Nosy Neighbor!, as well as one of the stars of the sketch team, Matt & Katina, and The Skip & Sparkle Variety Show (she plays the lovable Sparkle Montgomery). She has also been a commentator on VH1's Best Night Ever, and her television credits include the HBO short, Daddy, One Life to Live, Cash Cab, and sketches on The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live. The only thing missing from her resume is a regular role on a TV sitcom to show off her brilliant comedic talents (I can definitely see her hanging out with Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation). So I am delighted to have the fabulous Ms. Corrao here on the Dish to discuss her career and answer a few pop culture questions.

Let’s begin with The Good Neighbor Minute. What inspired you to create this web series?
Ooh, fun question! When I was a kid, I was fascinated with neighbors like Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched, Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company and Mrs. Poole from The Hogan Family. These characters were not on-screen very much, but when they did make an appearance, it was awesome. It was like seeing a friend you hadn’t seen in a while. There was excitement in my heart because I knew whatever they would do would make me laugh. They didn’t hold back and what you saw with them was what you got. Plus, they always had the most outrageous wardrobes! I always knew that I would play some sort of nosy neighbor in a sitcom. I had such encouragement from family and friends - especially Michael Cyril Creighton and Jim Turner - to just start it, that I did!




How did you get cast in the role of Suzie in Michael Cyril Creighton's series, Jack In A Box?
Well, no casting couch, that's for darn sure. Michael has been a dear friend of mine for a long time. We truly enjoy working with each other, and I think we both feed off each other's energy. I feel so lucky to not only play such a lovable character but to work with Michael, who is not only an amazing comedian but a brilliant actor.




What is Kid Farm! about?
It’s so funny. It’s a variation - for lack of a better word - on the TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, and it stars Jamie Lee, Pete Holmes, Oren Brimer, Matt McCarthy and myself. I am so excited to be a part of it.



Did you always want to be an actress/stand-up comedian?
Actually, I always wanted to be a commercial star. I remember when I was four or five playing with toiletries in my grandmother’s bathroom, pretending I was selling toothpaste.

Why were you kicked out of Charm School when you were eight?
I was in this country/western dance scene as part of our final performance show. During rehearsal, the “instructor” told us to turn right, but I got nervous and turned left. She pointed at me and screamed, “Out!” My parents immediately picked me up and we had a good laugh. They knew I had charm and that was all that mattered.

What is the funniest and/or most memorable moment you have had while performing onstage as a comedian or in a show?
One time I was performing stand-up and a mouse ran across the stage. Several people in the audience screamed and ran out. To this day, I still believe it was because of the mouse and not my comedy.

Is there a role in any musical or play that you would love to do someday?
I would like to be in anything Nora Ephron writes. I love her!

Did you enjoy your appearance on One Life to Live? And are you a soap opera fan?
Yes, it was awesome. A little secret - on my first day I looked directly into the camera. Yikes! But I love the energy and silliness of soap operas. Let's hope they stay on the air. I still want to play a sassy nurse.

You’ve appeared in sketches on The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live. Which was the most fun?
They were all great. Not to sound corny - too late, I know - but I just love performing so I truly have fun on every show.

What are a few of your favorite things to do in New York City?
I love sitting outside at a cafe with friends on a hot summer day and drinking yummy frozen cocktails. I also love taking cabs.



In high school I was:
President of Student Council and Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!

My favorite comfort food is:
My mom's pizza.

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:
Beverly Hills, 90210, Three's Company and Mister Rogers.

Today I never miss a television episode of:
The Real Housewives of New York City/New Jersey and ABC News.

Three of my favorite movies are:
The Karate Kid, Goodfellas and Annie.

If I was asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
Vince Vaughn

If I could have anyone in the world – living or dead – be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers.

Thank you, Katina, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish. To learn more about Katina and watch new episodes of The Good Neighbor Minute, check out her website at www.KatinaCorrao.com. You can also become her friend on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

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