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Lights, Camera, Comedy, Buscemi

By Skylar Reiner

When you hear the name Buscemi, you probably think of the famous actor Steve Buscemi. However, there’s another Buscemi who is a comedian and she works in Adelphi’s Theatre Department. Lauren Buscemi is an adjunct professor who has been teaching stand-up comedy and beginning acting at the university since 2018.

Lauren with Honey, who she’s training to be a certified therapy dog.

Most professors ask you to call them by their last name, but Buscemi is different. She tells people to call her Lauren. “Right now I am like Madonna and I go by one name but eventually I want to be like Prince and go by a symbol,” she said in response to why she prefers a first-name basis. “I think that being casual with the small things helps to build a bond that makes talking about the difficult things easier."

One of her colleagues, who has taught and worked with Buscemi, is Professor Terrance Ross in the Communications Department. He said, “A thing that impressed me the most was how smart and perceptive she is, and that even with that already being the case she continues to take courses outside her field. She is a lifelong learner which I admire.”

Lauren and her students at the New York Comedy Club Photo by Mike Bryk

Even with all she is doing outside the classroom “she always puts the student first,” said senior Ean Baker. “She really cares for her students inside and outside of the classroom. At the end of the semester all her students get the opportunity to perform at a professional comedy club in the city.”

When asked who her comedy inspiration is, she said without hesitation Robin Williams. “He had a generous personality outside of stand-up. He did a lot of charity work.”

Lauren Speaking to the audience Photo by Mike Bryk

Besides teaching at Adelphi, Buscemi also works in video production for various events on campus. Adelphi, however, is not the only place she works. She is a camera operator at BRIC Arts (Brooklyn Information and Culture) in Brooklyn. She has also worked with Academy Award winning director Cynthia Wade on two different productions, including “Sproutland,” which has won various awards and is loosely based on the real-life story of a widow living in her husband’s shadow. Buscemi also worked on a documentary film called “The Flagmakers,” which asks the very complex question: Who does the American flag truly belong to? It’s a National Geographic documentary that is available to watch on Disney Plus. Buscemi also worked on another documentary project that also questioned American values. It was an episode of “The Weekly,” which is a documentary show in collaboration with Hulu and “The New York Times.”

“If you listen closely you can hear me slate right in the beginning of the episode,” she said.

Outside of work Buscemi collects T-shirts. She has over 300 and has been collecting for over 15 years from concerts she attended. However, she has recently started downsizing in order to lead a more sustainable life.

She volunteers her time at North Shore Animal League, the largest no-kill animal shelter and recently adopted a rescue dog named Honey who is a shepherd mix. She is currently training Honey to be a certified therapy dog.

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