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How She Got There: Carly Aquilino, Comedian on ‘Girl Code’

Name: Carly Aquilino
Job Title and Description: Stand-up comedian and cast member on MTV’s hit show Girl Code.
Website: http://www.carlyaquilino.com
Twitter Handle: @carlyaquilino

A lot of people think that being a comedian is about just telling a lot of jokes, but that’s obviously not the case. What really goes into a day on the job? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Carly Aquilino: My schedule usually changes depending on what I’m doing. Sometimes I’ll be filming, and when Girl Code isn’t filming, I might be filming other TV shows, little segments here and there, commercials, anything like that. So I don’t really have a set schedule, which I like, because it’s not like, “Oh, I wake up at 8:00 every morning and come home at three or four.” I like the variation in my schedule because it keeps me on my toes and there are always new things to work on and more opportunities to get more life experience, which turns into the things that I write down and do in stand-up comedy routines.

What is the best part of your job, both as a comedian and as a member of the Girl Code cast?

CA: The best part of doing stand-up is getting to travel and see new places that I’ve never seen before and getting to try new things.

I think the best part of being a member of the Girl Code cast is just getting to be who I am. We don’t get a script, and we get to say what we think about whatever the topics are. We really get to speak our minds; they’re not telling us what to say or what opinion to take. It’s just our personal opinions, and I think it’s such a good show because of that. Viewers can relate to at least one person on the show, and I think that’s definitely the best part.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?

CA: Something that you learn as you go on is that you don’t always do great when it comes to stand-up. There are always times where you wish you could’ve done better. But that makes you work harder, try out new jokes and write more. It inspires you because you’ll say, “I’m going to do better. I want this joke to work, so I’m going to switch it up and change it around a bit.” And then you get more gratification when things do work out. If everything were perfect all the time, you wouldn’t appreciate it as much.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

CA: I have a few moments where I can’t believe they happened to me in my life! There are just things that some people never get to do, like going to the VMAs and being on the red carpet and doing interviews and taking pictures with all the fans that were there. It’s incredible to walk out and have people calling your name because they’re fans of MTV and the show. The people and the energy is just so amazing.
You’re known on the show for your bright red hair! What made you decide to dye your hair, and what was the thought process behind it? How has it helped your career?

CA: It’s really interesting actually because I’ve had this hair color since I was 18 years old. I was a shampoo girl at a hair salon and I was messing around with colors all the time. I eventually tried red and I loved it, so I stuck with it.

I really didn’t think too much into it when I got on Girl Code because I’d had it for years already. I didn’t really realize until the show aired that my hair was my trademark. That’s how people recognized me and that’s how they got to know me. But in terms of my thought process, I wasn’t really thinking about it at the time. I wasn’t a comedian back then and I wasn’t thinking about how it would get me attention. I was just messing around and playing with it, and I never realized how much it would end up helping me with my career.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

CA: I think the best advice is just to be yourself, because at the end of the day, that really shines through. If you have a great personality, that really will get you so far. Have good people skills, and just always be nice and friendly. I think if you’re trying to be someone else, it’s just not genuine, and that can show. I think that no matter what you do and what you look like, being yourself is the most important thing.

You’re hosting an MTV special on New Year’s Eve about proper NYE code. What should viewers expect, and what’s your number one tip for ladies on New Year’s?

CA: It’s going to be me and Charlamagne Tha God, who’s one of my really, really good friends, hosting it. I love working with him, and we have such good chemistry together. I’m really excited about it! It’s really a dream come true; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s incredible just to be there, let alone to be hosting for MTV. I don’t even think it’s real yet! I was asked to do it, and I’m so flattered and I’m so grateful for that, because it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

My number one tip for girls on NYE is don’t drink too much, because you don’t want to get sloppy. Also, make sure you bring flats in your bag or other comfortable shoes, because if you don’t, you’re going to end up barefoot walking home and it’s going to be really embarrassing.

Looking to the future, where do you see yourself and your career in five or more years? Any future goals and dreams?

CA: I definitely want to keep working and doing what I’m doing now. I really want to take every opportunity that I can to expand my career and to get better at what I do. I just hope I can continue to do this and to get these great opportunities and have amazing fans. The best part is having fans who support you and want to watch you. It’s such a cool feeling to have people who follow your career and want to see more of you.

Any last pieces of advice for Her Campus readers?

CA: Just be who you are and don’t ever be ashamed of it! Own it.


Tune into MTV on December 31st at 10 p.m. EST to see Carly ring in the New Year on her special Girl Code Presents: New Year’s Code in Times Square!

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Lily is a member of Wesleyan University's class of 2016, where she double majored in government and sociology. She's a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect (www.theprospect.net), the world’s largest student-run college access organization. In addition to her work with Her Campus, she also serves in editorial roles at HelloFlo and The Muse.
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