On The Record: Tom Padovano

Comedian/Comedy Writer

By Jessica Meditz


Tom Padovano of East Elmhurst loves nothing more than making people laugh.

When he’s not up on stage performing at a private gig or a local open mic night, Padovano spends much of his time writing jokes.

He began writing in the 1980s, and experienced the spotlight himself for the first time in 1985.

He’s sold his jokes to big name comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller and Tom Dreesen. He’s even written material for the governor of a certain state years ago, at the expense of his rival.

Padovano said that he feels a great sense of satisfaction when a well-known comedian uses his joke and it gets a good laugh.

But nothing beats the feeling of delivering the joke himself.

“It’s a really great experience…when it doesn’t go well, it’s a little rougher, and some nights are better than others. But it’s nice, especially when someone comes over to you after the show and says, ‘I thought you were really good.’ That’s a nice feeling,” he said.

Padovano’s favorite topic to joke about is dating, since it always makes a good bit and it’s something everyone can relate to.

As for aspiring young comedians, he recommends reaching out to comedians and sending them sample jokes.

For live performance, he encourages people to get out there as much as possible.

“A lot of times, you find new gigs from other comedians, and as you get into it, you find more places to go,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of building up the material. Every time you go onstage, try at least one new joke.”

On The Record: Kayleen Seidl, Actress

During summer 2014, Kayleen Seidl relocated to Astoria, Queens from the Midwest to pursue her musical theater career.

It was during a summer stock in Woodstock, New York when she decided to move to the big city on a whim.

She attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and earned degrees in vocal performance and Spanish. A few months into her move, she booked her first New York show at White Plains Performing Arts Center.

“I really came to give the musical theater industry a shot, and I basically said I’d give myself five years and see how it goes,” Seidl said.

“At about the five-year mark, I was in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ in Yiddish, which was enjoying a year-long run off-Broadway on 32nd St,” she continued. “I decided it was going well, so I’m still here.”

As a small town Catholic girl, becoming heavily involved with the National Yiddish Theatre was a pleasant surprise for Seidl, which allowed her to expand her knowledge of different cultures.

“It’s been really great. I’ve learned a lot about the culture and language; I didn’t know that Yiddish even existed growing up,” Seidl said.

“Now I’ll catch myself saying Yiddish words sometimes because they’re just so ingrained in me from this whole experience,” she added. “It’s been a really neat journey.”

Her favorite part about living in Queens is the diversity it has to offer, and of course, the food!

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