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Home Bio/Resume Personal Bio

A LIFETIME: 820 WORDS OR LESS

“So,Sara, tell me where are you from?”
“Brooklyn.”
“But I thought you crossed the George from NJ into NY everyday?”
“You asked me where I’m from, not where I live!”
I did live in Brooklyn for many years, first in Williamsburgh, traversing across Bushwick, East New York, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and finally settling somewhere between Flatbush and Midwood.  I had the dubious luck of spending 10 years (birthdays 5-15) in the Eleanor Roosevelt Projects residing on the 13th floor. One day my dad, Luis, all 5 feet 4 inches of Puerto Rico’s finest, announced to me and my 5 brothers and sisters that he’d bought a house and we were moving to the country. We ended up in Richmond Hill, Queens.
My mother, Maria, another of the island’s most hard-working imports, had flirted one day on the streets of NY with this skinny, really white, Spanish-speaking guy playing stickball and so my story began. I was born into a family of laughing, drinking, domino- maracas- card-playing, pork-eating Puerto Ricans that never missed an opportunity to dance and sing. My father had 11 siblings, my mom few, and I remember many days and nights of cousins and aunties and summers on the island with my grandparents and fincas (farms) and coconuts and rum. I also remember coming home to the junkies and needles and missing playground equipment, and longing for the cool of the Caribbean breeze.
Queens will always be associated with disco fever, Rudi Guiliani (the prosecutor), and the Summer of Sam.  I graduated Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, attended John Jay College, and moved right back to Brooklyn. I managed to fall in love with a Dominican and we married, had two children, bought two houses together, and eventually each bought a house 5 blocks apart after we divorced in NJ. My son helps me relocate trapped garden animals and believes his body was meant for every possible tattoo under the sun. My daughter still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. I tell her it’s OK, Mom doesn’t either. Just looking forward to growing old with the man I now love.
My oldest brother spent many years upstate, you know …. away. I think he didn’t really believe it when they warned him that harmless drug addicts get locked up practically forever because of the draconian Rockefeller Laws. My older sister is disabled and lives in the lower east side, one of the coolest zip codes in NYC. One younger sister served as a lieutenant in the NYC Fire Department and, at 5ft 1inches, was the most vicious paddleball player, pool shark, chess whiz, hustler/salsa dancer, and emergency services personnel I’ve ever known.  She spent 80 hours at Ground Zero and that nasty chronic bronchial situation will forever make me nervous. My younger brother  lives in Las Vegas and he’s a Mr. Mom. He’s also profoundly hearing impaired, as is my other younger sister. Whenever I sign with them people think I’m deaf also because I develop “deaf speech.” I get a real charge out of watching the shock on people’s faces when I turn around and say “you’re phone’s vibrating, answer it.”
I used to drive really fast and my only splurge in life has been leasing a new car every three years. I have excellent credit, ran two NYC marathons, and my dirtiest secret is that I shop at consignment shops. I believe in public education, love the City University of New York, and earned a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from Brooklyn College.  (Voice and diction classes at Brooklyn College---isn’t that a contradiction in terms?)  I worked at a special education preschool for many years. I read New York magazine religiously and miss Maura Jacob’s crossword puzzles so much. Politically I’m fairly opinionated and know what side I’ll be on when the tanks come rolling down the streets if that happens in my lifetime. I’m an atheist but the residual Catholic in me prays that never happens.
I became a comedian because a dear friend sent me a flyer announcing “the Funniest Teacher Contest” at Stand-Up NY and wrote on it “go for it….you’ve always wanted to do it and you’re the funniest person I know.” I won that night and within two years was signed with Abrams Artists. My career really took off after the Latino Laugh Festival and then New Joke City, and eventually I did “Law & Order,” “Conviction,” “Third Watch,” a Mastercard and Fleet Bank commercial, some radio, some writing, and then Showtime’s “Original Latin Divas of Comedy.”
When I can, I do push-ups before a show to ease my nerves, but mostly I know I can’t fail when I hit the mike. The best part is...I mostly don’t. I used to think the “13F” on the door of my apartment in the projects used to mean I was F----D FOR LIFE. It took this long for me to realize it was FUNNY FOR LIFE.

 

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