Rising Star Vladimir Caamano: “Avoid petty gossip; Hollywood is a small town”

Avoid petty gossip. Hollywood is a small town. The last thing you need is your name landing on a producer or booker’s desk, and they associate you with negativity. Asa part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Actor & Comedian — Vladimir Caamano. One of Variety’s […]

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Avoid petty gossip. Hollywood is a small town. The last thing you need is your name landing on a producer or booker’s desk, and they associate you with negativity.

Asa part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Actor & Comedian — Vladimir Caamano.

One of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” star of the new CBS hit, “Tommy,” and championed by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Howie Mandel, and Lilly Singh, Vladimir Caamaño has cemented his place in comedy and entertainment. Whether it be touring his stand up nationally, writing and working with some of the best late night shows in the US, starring in CBS’ latest top drama, “Tommy” alongside television vet, Edie Falco, or working on his next series idea, Vlad is absolutely one to watch in 2020.

Born in Washington Heights, NYC and raised in the Bronx, Vladimir Caamaño is a first generation Dominican American, his comedic style developed from being the child of an immigrant Dominican family living in the cultural mecca that is New York city and has been often described as an elegant combination of urban grit and intellect. Comedy wasn’t always the chosen path for Vlad. He graduated Wesleyan University, and for some time, worked as a High School counselor and hired different teachers for after school positions.

Finding a connection to his father through comedy, Vlad started pursuing stand up, moonlighting for 8–9 years cutting his teeth in clubs around the city until he booked the 2015 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. It was there the writing and acting bug struck for Vlad, gaining the opportunity to work with producers Adam Sztykiel and Bill Lawrence to write, producer and headline his own comedy pilot based around his personal life. Though it didn’t pick up, Bill Lawrence told him he could act, and should stick around. So, while continuing to tour for comedy at clubs including Stand Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Dangerfield’s, and Comic Strip Life, he began booking guest parts and recurring roles including those on NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Marvel’s “Runaways,” and NBC’s “Superstore.” He’s also been featured on Gotham Comedy Live, and Adam Devine’s House Party. Most recently, Vlad can be seen starring on CBS’ new drama, “Tommy,” as ‘Abner Diaz,’ security detail and wingman for ‘Tommy,’ (Edie Falco) when it comes to adapting to her new job as the first female chief of police for Los Angeles.

When he’s not developing his next show, touring nationally, or filming for CBS, Vlad likes to dedicate his time to mental health focused charities. He has worked with the Psychological

Trauma Center at Cedars-Sinai, a one-of-a-kind, school-based prevention and early intervention mental health program servicing the needs of Hispanic children in the community at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Igrew up in the concrete jungle of the Boogie Down Bronx. My parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic. I temporarily left The Bronx to go to “Wesleyan University” for College. Post-college I spent time as an after school counselor helping students with admission into higher education. Following that, I jumped into Standup comedy, writing, and acting.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I am introvert. Writing and performing makes it easier for me to connect with people. My father loves Rodney Dangerfield. As a kid, I would find and rent Rodney Dangerfield movies at the video store to make him laugh.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

In 2015, I made it into the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. I was handpicked to perform at the Howie Mandel Gala. I can tell you about but I think it better if you watch it! See here:

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I remember one of my first bits being that I pronounce Acronyms according to their spelling. So I would say “DVD’s” as “Duvduhs.” The specificity of that joke died with the rise of streaming platforms!!! It still stands as a learning moment: Try to stick with evergreen material.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am a series regular on the CBS show “Tommy” with Edie Falco!!! My character’s name is “Abner Diaz”. People can tune every Thursday night at 10pm ET on CBS, or they can binge-watch on CBS All Access. I also have writing and voiceover projects in development.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Forgive me If I sound like Neil Degrasse Tyson: Good art, I think, is man’s attempt to capture what’s in the cosmos. It could be a feeling, a color, or a sound. Diversity is a part of the universe. Think of it this way; If Einstein left out the “c” in E= MC2? So my three reasons are E= MC2.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

All of the 5 things I am going to mention are things we already know, but our personal experiences shift these ideas from theory to practical knowledge. A career occurs in peaks and valleys. In 2016 I sold and shot a pilot for NBC. At the beginning of the project, you can imagine the state of my mood: Ecstatic! Later on, NBC Passes on my project, and I am in a state of defeat. However, looking back at that project gives me enormous confidence. Here is the article:

There is a saying the passes between comedians: “You are only as good as your last show.” It’s meaning is self-evident, but it means like a good warrior, you should understand that every battle is unique. You should be confident while being mindful of being “Cocky.”

Thomas Sadoski, my co-star on Tommy, loves this quote: “Make Hay while the sun shines.” I love it. I take it to mean that while you are in a position, make it a point to have gratitude and try to soak up all the sunshine. Using the current pandemic, those of us that will be fortunate to come out on the other side, I’m sure will take a moment to have some gratitude.

Avoid petty gossip. Hollywood is a small town. The last thing you need is your name landing on a producer or booker’s desk, and they associate you with negativity.

Make time to call people for no other reason than just to call them. It goes back to number 3. Beautiful and creative conversations can happen when we leave out “an agenda.”

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Numbers 1–5 that I mentioned above.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have some influence, but “enormous?” LOL. For starters, Its telling Americans to stop hoarding toilet paper. How much are people pooping?!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The list is long, but for the sake of this article, I would like to thank my publicist.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorites comes from Albert Camus, “In the Depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.”

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I will name a few to increase my chances: David Pouge, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Paulo Coelho, Rickson Gracie, Ellen Degeneres, Shonda Rhimes, Denzel Washington, Steven Speilberg, Melissa Mccarthy. Make it happen!!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Yes. All of my social media goes with @LaughingVlad.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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