Ghost Stories and Gay Things with Jen Curcio

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode, we chatted with comedian, storyteller, and podcaster Jen Curcio - co-host of A Touch from the Past podcast, featuring ghost stories and historical facts...with a splash of sass. Jen gave us the low down on what makes effective storytelling. She also told us some of her favorite haunted stories - did you know the Bat Man of Echo Park was a thing? Spooky! Her podcast, with co-host Clark Canez, was featured in our Metrosource article "10 LGBT Podcasts We're Listening To"...just in time for Halloween!  

On a more serious note, the discussion turned real as we talked about domestic abuse in same sex couples and how it often goes unreported due to the fear of homophobia from the police and judicial system. Jen, being the good storyteller that she is, told us her own struggle with same sex abuse in a very intimate and candid moment.  

You just never know where the conversation will go! ...with your host, Alexander Rodriguez 

This is Metrosourcemennis the officialPothas to Metrosorce magazine and home of short form interviews with yourfavorite personalities, Ron, the LGVTU world and Beon Qick Fun and informative,its metrosource on the go out in Crownsenc Ma. Well, hello, hello, hello. This isMetrosorse Miis, IM, er host alaxenda radries. During this quorantine we allcrave a little totch. Well hove about a touch from the past. I am chatting withJencursio the cohost of a touch from the past tocas featured in ourmetrosource publication. Hok has to listen to, and this potcast is one parthistory and one part Spoki, a lark along with Carcadez Genexplores, ahistory and ghost stories inside the variety of buildings and often findthat history is scarier than any haunting hello. You'll go go, gen is amaster storyteller. Do we say Mister Storytaylor, I don't know she isoriginally from Philadelphia, but lives and loves L, a she's, a winner of themoth and can be seen performing around Los Angeles at the upright citizens,Brigade, theater and prepandemic. She Co host of the copper still comedy hour.Please welcome John CARSO Hagger, Hey! Thank you so much for having me, I'm soexcited to talk to you guys, no problem ileft en wearing fannel, whoknow like you or pot on. Thank you. You know. I call my my Halloween Flannel. Ifeel like the colors are a little bi, more spooky spelkay. So you are a star story.Teller, there's clips on you too, that everybody can check out and you'veappeared at so many valu venues, the lighting audiences, with your many manystories now. How is storytelling different from standup? I mean, besidesthe obvious, but how? How was that kind of medium different? Well, it's Lik caus. I really tried todo stand up sometimes, but it just like.

Doesn't I don't know it doesn't for me?Doesn't translate I admire anyone who can translate and go betweenstorytelling and stand up, but I feel like stand up. It needs to be a littlebit more um set up punchline next thing, and for me it's like I'm all about thatstory, so I can't I don't know I mean definitely more jokes, but mystories are still pretty funny. I mean I yeah. No, they are very funny and it'sit's the way you present it Um, that's so entrancing and funny and captivating.Now what are the main components to good story telling, I would say, having a good structure so,like te set up, you know getting everybody to know the charactersinvolved. You know e Ven, it's for me. It's always a true story, so it's likeyou Kinda have to paint that person who's in the story and then get into the meat of it like get intolike what happened, and then the climax, like lots of details, lots ofadjectives, lots of Pizez and I always like to Kindof- have like a moral to itlike I don't go heavy handed with it, but I like to be like a you know, a tiein some way like and then I learn nd this, but I obviously I wouldn't belike, and then I learned this now. What is what's one of the favoritestories that you love to tell, I would say one of my favorite ones: it's. It waslike growing story 'cause. Basically, I it's thist embarrassing, but I had ahuge crash on this. This woman in Heigtwall, I say woman now, but thisgirl in high school and I ended up getting into art classes 'cause. Shewas in the art classes and then I was like I really like art. So then I endedup going to the same art school as her th all girls arts, school ad. I know Iknow it's crepy after me, I'm...

...embarrassed, but I was telling thisstory on stage. So this is how the story evolved. I was selling the storyon stage about a year ago, and this guy in the audience jumps up and goes. Isthat and he yells her name? Oh my andiwas, like actually Yali from thestage I'm like yeah, actually yeah and he's like that's my cousin. I need totalk to you she's married to a trump supporter. I need you to fly to NewYork and I'l break up ther Mary, an I'm Lik recuar yeah, I'm like hat that thatcrushes over, like I'm not going to take it or that Stupi cream level likeI was creepy enough. You, like, I I'll, follow her andchange my whole like education, but I won't fly to New York. Okay, okay, let's talk a touch with thepasspodcast. When did your obsession with a ghost and history and hauntings?where, where did that come from, I would say it probably came from whenI was a little kid. My cousin got me really into e horror films super earlyon, like as a four year old I mean I was like obsessed with Freddie crugerlike I wanted this Freddy Crouger doll, so bad and my parents were like leavethat in the house four year olds are not supposed to be walking around withthat, but and then it was kindo like once I got into school, like myfavorite topic was history, and then I started to Kinda like put the twotogether like history's Kindo scary. Like go stuff stuff happen, you know Um. There are so many LGBT oned podcastout there, and I like that. This is a little break, h from the politicallyand socially aware shows out there, which there's definitely a need for aI'm, not saying that. But this is like a fun juicy extracurricular delight M:you Do, you do add a little gay sensibility to it, though. Don't you ohyeah, I'd say I mean I can't help it, I'm just so Gan. Now, what's one of the scariest storiesthat you've talked about on your show Oo, I would say definitely the Batmanof Echo Park. Oh yeah, because we're...

...mostly in L A I a we live Clark Ai,live in l, a we met in L A, and so we like to cover places. We can actuallygo to and the Bamian of l of Echo Park. It was socreepy because it was just like this kind of like middle aged straightcouple, starting in Wisconsin, and they moved to l a and the woman had a secretlike attic lover, and he would come down when her husband was away at work,and so she actually put him in a crate and moved him to Los Angeles with herwhat yeah no joke and he was serculy her like secret attic lover who wouldcreep down every day for sex, and it was so funny because he actually gotpublished like he would type. This was n nineteen thirty three. He would typeup stories for magazines for publication and she would run them downto the polishers and get him published. Oh my God, it's still so creepy, socreepy rig hthe hus. She and her husband are having an argument. Heheard it crept down grabbed a shotgun and killed the husband IA Super Sadstory at the end of things. But then this woman was like such a like manizer.I guess you could call her 'cause. She just like got two NE boyfriends. Onewas an attorney, and one was just a rich guy who, like continued to fund her lavish lifestyle, and so theattorney represented her in court during the case against the murder ofher husband and she got like she walked away like straight up, walked away, andthen the attic gey literally walked all the way to Canada. THAT'S INSANE! It's like sorce, Gumpmeats. I don't know like a Perry, Mason episode like that's insane yeah, it wasstill wild. I couldn't believe it, and this house was just in Echo Park withthe supercrepiattic. Still Oh, my godg...

...cant, you go visit it or no. I is it. It's still a house. It'slike three different apartments, so you can't go inside, but I was ar likealways gets close to knocking on the door. I was like mm. That's not it's apandemic, all right D, not to change the mood,but this is. This is something that that we had want to discuss. Part ofyour story telling is being authentic and totally open about your lifeexperiences, and you have talked very openly and you, and I have hadconversations about your experience with domestic abuse. First of adomestic abuse in same set household is rarely rarely talked about, and why doyou think that is because it's happening yeah? It happens so much. Iguess I think well for me, it was part of the theissue was like I didn't now at even existed. Like I didn't know it couldhappen. So when I was going through it, I had a lot of denial. 'CAUSE, I'm likewell we're both women like how much harm could this and I think of Ba howmuch harm could really happen if it's two people of the same sex like? Arethey really going to kill each other priy not, and I think that's like whenI talk to other queer people who went to get restraining orders 'cause,that's, unfortunately, what I end up having to do a lot of them said you probably won'tget it because judest look at you too, and they see two people of the same sexwith similar size and they think. Well, what's the worst, that's goingto happen,I'm Gong to deny this. So I was fortunate enough to have a good networkof people to talk to, but I think at's a lot of it is just people just not knowing like what couldreally happen and people not talking about it o. that's why I try to talkabout it when I can well, I'm glad you do bring awareness to it, because I e Isaid it is happening, and I think it's still this idea of feminite versusmasculine, like Oh boys, will be boys. You know they'll fight with each otheror it's the opposite. It's like two gay guys. What harm can they do likethey'll just have like a bitch cat fight and then it's like. Oh two girls,I mean girls can't fight girly girls,...

...you know what I mean and it's l Ke,this weird double standard of famine and versus masculine, but it doeshappen. Um You KNO and there's emotional and andUm physical abuse, but I think maybe it's because also you know we. We tendto kind of hang out in the same circles. You know the gays and and the Lesbiansr whatever, and so these circles are small and it's like you know when yougo through a breakup, that's hard enough, but something with domesticabuse. I mean that is so serious. I think it's it's people are so afraid,because it's going to damage what their little circle or you know their bubbleof friends yeah. Definitely, I think, N, that's the thing I kind of just stayquiet about it and just try to like gently walk away and unfortunately, theother person kept going with it. Like I mean this, isn't that terrifying, butthe one day I opened my front door and she's just there, and I lived in apretty gated difficult to get into like I had the go, sometimes howit struggledto get in and she's just standing there and I'm likeso m. How was your experience with lawenforcement and even the judicial system? Did you experience anyhomophobia? Well, I would say I was fortunateenough in the court system, when I got the restraining order that it didn't they were not homophobic. The judge wasreally good. He was very understanding and even when I heard 'cause You'eresitting there like all day listening to everybody's Court case, a n seem likehe really like, listened to the facts and he he seemed like. He had no biasabout anybody and Um, but as far as basically I never therewas one physical situation where I got physically harmful and I didn't callthe cops for one thing. I was super shocked that it was happening and I wasalso kind O, like myself, like with the little bit of that stigma and thatstereotyping of like well just a woman like what's two women like what's gonna,what's the worst tits going to happen,...

...and I was also deeply embarrassed- Imean that's that's a low when someone does that to you and you know you'rethinking, oh we're in this good relationship together and it's shockingand you don't want to talk about it to people but um. So I didn't call thepolice, and so what ended up happening was the other person appealed therestraining order eventually about after after about a year, and the appeal was actually won by theother party because they were like ll? Why didn't you call the COPS Ike they're like? Why didn't no thecops and I'm like Wol for one thing, have you seen the cops like that's wha?I didn't call the cops but also like I didn't think they would take itseriously, and there was one instance where, when I had the restraining order,I I heard someone kind of like piecing outside of my apartment and it freakedme out and I couldn't see they were like pacing at an angle where Icouldn't see who was out there, but it was in the same like heavily gatedapartment building, and I got a Francic phone call over facebook from thatperson's other x and she had actually gone the person I had the restrine woreagainst, went to her other ex's house that night and was like banging on thedoor and like screaming. So I was like I'm pretty sure, that's her out there,so I called the cops and they were just kindo like well. Can you just open thedoor and see and I'm like Godcri'm calling you, because I'm scared andthey were like well we're not going to come out for that then come Lek call usagain if she gets in your home and I'm like co get hap when it could be toolate. Yes, s, like you got you guys, don't do much like I hate to say it,but now. Well, I'm I'm glad that you're shearingyour story, because I think you know the more stories like this that areshared. I think a lot of people will come forward or they realize that theabus abuse that they're going through in the relationship is serious andshould be treated as as serious yeah. No as a story teller during quarantine,Dorin cove, you know you're used to...

...being in front of a crob getting thatkind of energy and feedback h from that entertainment side of Beur business.How have you been dealing with quarantine shut up in your house withall these stories? To tell honestly I've been reaching out torelatives talking to like ants and uncles, like oh get a load of this andthen they're telling me their stories? And it's honestly, it's been so muchfun becaus talking to relatives because they have wild stories too. They reallydo and like that's something I hate to say it. I kindof hate to sound ages,but I'm going to call myself out and say I didn't think about the wildstories. They might have. Oh Yeah Yeah here, Yo that that is definitely forsure, and what do you think your stories will focus on right afterquarantin like the very first time, you're in front of an audience again?What kind of stories do you think you'll be telling? Well, I honestly I started writing allof my stories in like one massive Google dock 'cause I was thinking like.Maybe this would be a ood time to just make a book of all my stories. Wi'vebeen kind of crafting them more. So I think iwould, probably like some of thestories that I've told before that. I never thought it Wul like a moresocially aware spotlight on them. So I think I would do that. I well. I love it and I can't waitbecause I do love your stories and for for our our audience, you can check outsome of the stories around your tube by the ways you can. You can take a LO, apig. Okay. Are you ready play rapid fire? Yes, okay, what celebrity ghostwhat you WAN to hang out with I'm definitely stell getty. Okay. What ghost haunt is on top of your listto visit? Oh the BLISCA axmurner house, where's that it's in Iowa, let's go it's so creepy. There was likean ax murder in their attic. I don't know why. I'm so fascinated by the aticGod yor ad close those attics wait. So...

...this guy lived in the attict and hejust crept down and killed everybody. He didn't live in there. They thinkthat he just t 'cause, the owner of the house, was like a wealthy banker. Sothey think that it was maybe like a business person that got denied a loanfrom this guy or they even think that maybe the ax murder do. You know the xman of New Orleans, the guy who killed people f. They didn't play Jazz. No, what is going on? Don't have Acens Melbos Atictat. That's all, I have tosay Iwas an ax murderer in New Orleans whow d he wrote like long letters. He killed a few people and then he started.Writing letters to the newspaper saying like if people aren't playing jazz liveJa, jis jazz bands in their houses on the creep in their and axe murder them.So God everybody hired jazz bands and had like big parties, one night toavoid getting killed. So they actaly Ho with him going all the way up to Iowaand 'cause he this guy, the murderer, ended up going. He would go up into theattic and he like crawled out after they had like whole day like a day,long church ceremony so on Sundays. So he crawled out and killed the the wholefamily, but the creepiest thing was: he covered all f the mirrors before doingit, so there wsols couldn't escape and and come back and haunt him Yeh Y. Okay,so t that is creepy. What's The scariest day that you've had oh, I would say it wasn't super scary, but I went on a date with my doppleganger. That is weird. That is weird, but Iwasn't even aware of it until my friends were like like I would. I wouldshow photos like this. Is the person I'm going out with like in case youknow? Whatever happens, anything weird happens like this is who you need tolook for, and my friends were like...

...that's just you and I was like Wa whatand they're like that looks just like you, and so I wasn't creeped down tilafter I looked at like what dopple gangers really are like how someti theyare' it. Is We see a lot in the gatecommunity? It's like. Oh pretty boy dates pretty boy. It's like barrain,okay, the worst, the worst Halloween costume you ever wore you're like, OhGod, that was a bad cost of. I was Um. You Know Fried Green Tomatoes. Yes,worse, hello, Ogay, I'd, like O O ad Hem. Another day I was Patty Batescharacter when she rapped herself in the Serana. Like only t, two people gotit and I went to word like that and like oi o office, everybody was likewhat is that even appropriate for at work and I'm like Yesias, appropriatefror, where Friin to I own ane Towada, talk bout that that makes my ditwhat location.Would we most likely see your ghost that you would be horrified for us tofind out like Miis Sizzler? My goes would be around sizzler AD. We needmore potatoes, yeah HM, probably Pinera bread. I love that tip and thebread bowl yeah. That's I coan see that okay, I tell our audience where theywant, where you want them to find. You follow you listen to you everything,yeah, okay, so a touch from the pastpod cast is available on Apple pod castspotify Um. If you just Google it and you can pretty easily find it we'realso on Instogram a touch on the past at instagram. You know and then formyself, I'm Onintogram at Gencursio. I love talking to you. I I literally weCUND, share stories forever and and ever mean I had the opportunity toguast on your pocdcast to tell my super scary story, so you guys make sure thatyou listen to that n episode as well.

Thank you so much John Thank you. Havea good Halloween season, O that was my Presson wit, the Caygosthat was Jencersio, and that is r. Our episode. I'm your host and lead ridterfor Metro, sores, Alexanda Radrigua you can follow me on Instagram at Alexander,is on air, and you can bench listen to all of our episodes. Featur ing yourfavorite celebrities from our issues and online stories and until next timestay true and Dilio. Boyscothat has been another metof sorse. Many likeShar, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check out the latestissue of Metrihorse magazine on News, Stans or online at metasort. Dot Comfollow US unfaithful against Te, Grama detesort and on teer meticorse Tan atTete. Time.

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