Name: Kevin Allison
Neighborhood: Ridgewood, Queens
Occupation: Actor, Comedian, Storyteller, and Coach. Creator and Host of RISK! at the 92Y Tribeca, the next installment of which is Thursday, January 6 at 7 p.m. and features Ophira Eisenberg, Christian Finnegan, Danny Lobell, and Stuckey & Murray.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Right now it’s Spalding Gray. He would entertain the furniture if there was no one in the room.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
I ducked into Mamoun’s Falafel for a shawarma last month. It felt like Fantasia on my tongue. Uh … I mean the movie.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Tell stories, coach folks to tell stories, and send nagging e-mails telling famous folks to come to RISK! to tell stories.
What was your first job in New York?
Door-to-door dictionary salesman. The first day I entered a florist’s to find him heaving a thief through the shop window. The third day I sold my first book to a Middle Eastern porn distributor with a utility closet for an office. Armies of roaches streamed from his toaster oven. There was no fourth day.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
A cast member from Hair with a beach ball of an Afro having a smoke outside the stage door.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
No. But it’s a habit, since I spent so long needing every penny.
What’s your drink?
Currently it’s the cayenne-maple-syrup lemonade of the Master Cleanse. I’m single again and need to molt. Plus, I’m an extremist. My diet swings from “Kid’s Birthday Party” to “Gandhi’s Last Stand.”
How often do you prepare your own meals?
Whenever I’m seized by masochism.
What’s your favorite medication?
Marijuana. If anyone can teach me how to be moderate with it, I’d surely be most grateful.
What’s hanging above your sofa?
I demolished the sofa trying to get it out the door when I moved.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Twenty bucks. I was born with the “queer” but not with the “eye.”
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
They’re both fun parks, but the old one was a lot more fun.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.
What do you hate most about living in New York?
That Manhattan shut out hungry artists. We made the island great, and we’re prohibited from living on it.
Who is your mortal enemy?
The guy in my head who says, “You’re not up to it.”
When’s the last time you drove a car?
I’m not a driver of cars, but I’ve played one on TV.
How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Not much, really. In tough times, people thirst for true stories. Not the BS the industry serves up, but the real stuff. That’s my niche.
Times, Post, or Daily News?
Well, I have a Huffington Post habit, and that’s the New York Post on the Light Side of the Force.
Where do you go to be alone?
I listen to audio experiments on the iPod and walk the streets. The other day I was walking through Queens listening to street sounds in Brooklyn.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
The thought, Yeah it’s rough, but why live anywhere else?