Billy Procida ’07, “…it is important to [think freely] because that is how one establishes their own words and principles.”

We caught up with Hyde-Woodstock alumnus Billy Procida ‘07 from Brooklyn, NY. After having discovered his passion for the stage he is now pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian. He graciously, and very wittingly, answered a few questions for us:

Describe your career path.

While at New York University, I was peer-pressured onto a stage and accidentally fell in love with the attention, I mean, craft. For nine years, I’ve been performing stand-up comedy all around New York City and the country honing my craft and developing an act. I also stumbled into a career as a podcaster with my show The Manwhore Podcast: A Sex-Positive Quest for Love—recently named a top podcast by Esquire.com. I get to explore topics I’m passionate about like sexuality, gender equality, and comprehensive sex education every week while interviewing TV personalities, adult stars, and relationship experts. It all sounds super solid, but it’s really just me on Twitter in the back of a comedy club at midnight waiting to perform for 7 tired people on a Monday night. Just living the dream.

Which word or principle has stayed most with you?

Integrity, but I think that’s just because I’m really bad at lying.

Which teacher(s) had a particular impact?

Mark Duethorn encouraged his students to form their personal code of ethics. He reminded me to think and question. For years, I blindly obeyed the rules and did what I was told without thinking about why. Herr Duethorn in his Ethics class teaches Hyde seniors philosophy by having them question the establishment: Hyde, the government, societal norms. Mark taught me it is important to do that because that is how one establishes their own words and principles. He invites you into adulthood, and for many of us he was the first person to do so. And his invitations are crafted with outstanding calligraphy.

What advice might you give to a Hyde student?

Follow the rules because your old high school has rules, too. Follow the process because you wouldn’t be at Hyde if your process was working. But break just a couple of rules, because how else will we learn unless we put our hands on the stove?

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