BELONGING

Spotlight on Laughter and Community with Bushwick Neighbor Ryan Curcie

By

Chelsea Kane

– VOL. 11

Ryan Curcie, like many born and raised New Yorkers, was accustomed to sticking to his normal social groups.  Used to prioritizing spending time with close friends and family, he typically didn’t go out of his way to interact with other people around his neighborhood. 

“I’d lived in the Venn building in Bushwick since 2019, but only last year started attending events,” said Ryan. “I think at first I was hesitant, unsure of what these events would be like.” Despite his initial hesitation, Ryan eventually joined a Venn meet-up in his building and realized the opportunity for connection. 

“Venn helps you to branch out and meet more people.  It creates a space where we can get together to explore interests and hobbies, and as a result make new friends.  I wish I had jumped into the community and opportunities earlier.” 

Since his initial foray into Venn events, Ryan has taken a more active role in his community, bringing together his neighbors and his passion: comedy.  

Image of Bushwick Comedian Ryan Curcie

Ryan and Carson welcome local creatives and comedians to an open mic night at the Venn Cowork on Knickerbocker Avenue.

For as long as he can remember, Ryan has been interested in comedy.  He started to explore the scene in Bushwick, discovering and then frequenting comedy clubs. He knew that he had the ability to get on stage and make people laugh just as well as the performers he was watching. He signed up for his first open mic night and was immediately hooked.  

Ryan honed his skills at regular open mic nights and quickly started expanding, performing at multiple clubs, and eventually co-hosting shows with friend and Venn neighbor, Carson Mlnarik. When they launched the first show in March, he tapped into his network of Venn neighbors to invite them to the show.  

“I posted about our first 2 Gays, 1 Mic show in the Venn app, and our Community Manager, Lauren, reached out to help me set it up as an official event,” said Ryan. But that wasn’t all: Lauren bought five tickets that Venn neighbors could claim to attend the show. “I’m so thankful to Venn for supporting the show. It was a kind way to show they cared,” continued Ryan.  

The first show was a big success: “Hosting this show was one of the best nights of my life. I may have only been working in comedy for one year, but I’ve been funny for 25.”

Image of Bushwick Comedian Ryan Curcie

The coworking space offers an informal and collaborative environment for trying out new bits. 

Ryan and Carson are now hosting weekly comedy shows at the Venn co-working space in Bushwick. “I love using Venn as a platform to host and promote our shows,” Ryan shared.  “As I’m spreading the word about a show, I like to invite the different pockets of people in my life—friends, family, comedians, co-workers, and neighbors. Being a part of Venn gives me another outlet to include even more people and welcome them into these events that are designed to spark joy.” 

To Ryan, the benefit of living in a Venn building isn’t just related to his career: “Venn is such a great way to meet your neighbors that you may otherwise not encounter.  Think of all the times you pass someone in the halls, on the way to the coffee shop, or just around your neighborhood.  With Venn, I’ve now met these people.  We can exchange a smile or a hello, and it makes the neighborhood feel more inclusive.”