This month, Mario Turchiarolo is our featured writer of the month. Mario’s quick wit has made both his short Jokes of the Day and his longer posts among the most popular on the site.
Who is Mario Turchiarolo?
West Philadelphia born and raised. Although I did not spend most of my days on the playground (I spent them mostly on the couch). When I was a baby, I would stay up all night and my parents would have to drive me around in the middle of the night to get me to fall asleep. The doctor said I would grow out of it but I never have. As a child, I would stay up late and watch The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. Fun fact: My parents are still really pissed at that doctor.
I love movies, music, TV and comic books. I’m a huge Batman fan. There’s a guy in the band Vampire Weekend whose last name is Batmanglij. The guy actually has Batman in his last name. When someone says to him Who are you? He can reply in a raspy voice I’m Batman…glij. How freaking cool is that?
When did you know you wanted to write? Were family and friends supportive?
I knew I wanted to write when I was a little kid. I was pissed off I couldn’t get into R-rated movies so I started writing my own versions of them as stories. Then I moved onto scripts.
My family and friends have always been supportive. They’ve always told me I would be a big success. Since I’m not, I’ve come to the conclusion that either they’ve been lying to me all these years or have no idea what they’re talking about. So if they ever give you any stock tips, dont take them.
What influences your writing?
Lot of things influence my writing. Especially life itself. I love the quirky, the absurd and the strange. There are a lot of weird people out there and they provide a lot of inspiration. Life’s a freak show. Buy a ticket, go on the ride and take lots of notes.
I have read that you went to pursue your dream in California. How’d that go?
Considering that I’m not rich and famous and I’m unemployed, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it didn’t go as well as I had anticipated. I did love living out there. But it’s okay. I was able to escape the abusive pimp I had out there, Big Ronnie, and now live in the suburbs of Philly. I’ve found a new pimp who dresses like the character Hollywood from the movie Mannequin. He’s really nice and offers an excellent dental plan. In the immortal words of Carl Spackler: So I’ve got that going for me which is nice.
What is the most frustrating thing about writing?
The most frustrating thing about writing is writer’s block. When you really want to write something but you just can’t think of that great idea. And forcing yourself to think of one only makes it worse. You just have to ride it out and hope inspiration will strike.
The other frustrating thing is getting people to read your work. It’s so hard to find an agent or manager to take a look at it. While it’s great you have the internet as an outlet to be discovered, it still seems like a crapshoot. For every Diablo Cody and Kelly Oxford out there, there’s a million…well, me. It all boils down to the one asset I have never possessed: Blind, stupid luck.
What is the most enjoyable thing about writing?
The most enjoyable thing about writing is when the script is done. Its such a great feeling of accomplishment. You silence those voices in your head and wait for the next set of voices to speak to you. Unless you remembered to take your meds.
What is your favorite topic or type of writing to do?
I like doing all types of writing. Comedy, action, drama, romantic comedy. Movies, TV, animation. I’ve never written horror and would like to give that a shot one of these days–a good, old- fashioned 80s slasher film. I don’t want to be limited to one genre or medium. No matter what the genre though, I always put my twisted sense of humor into it. Because life is always funny. And if you can’t laugh at yourself, other people will do it for you.