Von Decarlo is honest. She specializes in the truth. This conviction to what’s really-real is conveyed through the multi-talented stage player’s many entertaining gifts as an actress, singer, writer, and comedian. The wise and witty stunner from Pittsburgh – with a beautiful body and impressive principles – is the co-star of Centric TV’s hit relationship comedy series “According to Him+Her”. But wait. Girl gets deeper. Von’s latest artistic offerings arrive in the forms of the one-woman stage play “Lasagna” (which SEXEE cannot wait to see) and a daring new book, “Speak Fluent Man: The Top Things Women Should Consider Before Blaming the Man.” The model-esque mother-of-one with the Good-Lawwd! looks and optimistic outlook took a moment to discuss life, living, and why lying just isn’t an option in the realest interview of the year. Von Decarlo is SEXEE certified.
written by Tone Swep
images by Chuck Pain
mua by Eve Chen
hair by Priscilla Jay
styled by Alexis Marie
(SEXEE) When you meet people and they ask: “Who are you? What is it that you do?” – What is your response?
(Von Decarlo) I’m at a place in my life where people are getting to know me on the show, According to Him+Her. So lately I’m more known as the funny chick. In total, I’m an actress, I sing, I write, a comedian. I’m like an overall entertainer. Which is good because it works for me. And I recently got my own segment with the Centric TV network called Coach Von. NBA Basketball is my favorite sport. I watch it all day, every day. So this segment will be love and relationship advice straight from my Coach Von playbook.
(SEXEE) Who was the muse and model for your career as a young girl growing up in Pittsburgh, when you initially decided to become an entertainer?
(Von Decarlo) I would say Diana Ross and “Lady Sings the Blues” made me want to become a singer and actress. And Whoopi Goldberg is such an amazing story teller. She made me want to become a comedian and comedic actress. As women, one thing we have to learn is to admit our responsibilities to situations gone wrong. Take responsibility for our part. It’s not always the guys fault. I’m told that I’m the pretty girl with an ugly girl’s personality. Basketball, food, and sex in no particular order (Laughs!). That’s fine with me. And those two amazing women, Diana and Whoopi, are what best represented real for me. They were real in their careers.
(SEXEE) Your one woman stage play – “Lasagna” – is going to be phenomenal. What compelled you to create a stage play about love, loss and hope?
(Von Decarlo) I have been working on Lasagna for years. I had my daughter when I was 25-years-old and went from 130 pounds to 212 pounds during pregnancy. I was huge! I went through all of these phases like postpartum depression. Because when pretty is all you think you are, and all of that pretty is in a sense taken away, you learn to develop other aspects of who you are. Patrice (O’Neal) actually named the play Lasagna because of the loose skin that develops around a woman’s stomach after she has a child. I knew I wanted to make a statement with the stage play. And you’re not going to be pretty forever became the message. You have to make certain you are worth more than that, more than just pretty. But then Lasagna didn’t have an ending. Not yet. It needed an ending. And hope became the ending. So, it takes you from a place of desperation, loss and hopelessness, to a place of hope.
(SEXEE) You’re a sports chick. One who loves and is actually knowledgeable about b-ball. Do you think LeBron losing in the finals for the third time in five trips will ultimately tarnish his legacy at all? In comparison, Magic is 5-4. Jordan is 6-0. Kobe is 5-2. LeBron is now 2-3.
(Von Decarlo) You’re right, I definitely don’t watch basketball from the regular girl perspective of: “Oh, he’s rich, fine, and famous.” I watch basketball like a dude. Patrice taught me to watch basketball like that so we could have better sports arguments (Laughs!). Now, with regards to LeBron’s legacy, I don’t think anyone’s legacy should be dependent on how many rings they have. Then, too, Magic, Jordan, Kobe, those were all different eras. And I think Carmelo Anthony is phenomenal. A great offensive player. But he may never get a ring. So no I don’t think LeBron’s losing in the finals again will affect his legacy overall. Maybe in the eyes of some. But not in the grand scheme of things.
(SEXEE) You have a new book coming out soon: “Speak Fluent Man: The Top Things Women Should Consider Before Blaming the Man.” Sounds like a must read. Can you share a gem with us?
(Von Decarlo) The last chapter is for guys-eyes only so to speak. You ask a woman to do so much. All of this stuff. But then what are you doing for your woman in return? For example, Patrice and I were together for 10 years, but he passed away right before we were going to get married. And New Jersey doesn’t recognize common law marriage. He suffered in the hospital longer than he should have because I couldn’t make some of the decisions I needed to make. And I suffered afterwards because we weren’t protected legally in the government’s eyes. So men, make sure you upgrade the relationship from girlfriend to marriage. I lost everything, because I wasn’t protected. That piece of paper makes a difference whether we care to admit that it does or not.
(SEXEE) One of the many hats you wear is that of a comedian. Often times, comedians have lived very dark and tragic lives which is often portrayed through their comedy. Your humor seems to derive from a more spontaneously happy place. But are there darker, edgier sides to your life that are portrayed through your work?
(Von Decarlo) Tone, let me tell you. My delivery may have a bubbly fun thing to it, but it’s exactly what you said. Sometimes the truth is so painful, so numbing, that comedy is the best way to deal with it. I have been around for a long time. I can’t dwell on anything negative. I am blessed to be an entertainer. To have this outlet for my art, but also for the pain and struggles. The hardships and letdowns. So many commit suicide or suffer through a lifelong depression, and I feel it is due in large part to them not having an outlet. A means of releasing the pain.
(SEXEE) Talk a bit about your improv group, Good Catch. What’s the latest with you and the crew?
(Von Decarlo) Yes! You know, it’s my favorite thing to do but the thing that will probably never make me any money (Laughs!). I love theatre too, but this is the one thing I do where I get to act, sing, dance, some comedy; everything I love all at once. We do a fully improvised show. The characters and scenario are all based on the audience’s suggestions, then we just put on a spontaneous show from there. Tell a story. It’s so much fun.
(SEXEE) You are a very sexy woman. A pretty woman. But also a woman of many interests and talents, so a capable woman as well. Do you feel your sexy has overshadowed your smarts and other gifts at all?
(Von Decarlo) Firstly, thank you. Thank you. To be honest, I wasn’t this smart back when I started (Laughs!). Patrice taught me to be funny, or at least how to project my humor. To put real life into my work in a certain way. Everything I am doing now he helped me become. Because when I first met him I was just a pretty girl with an attitude. I’m from the ‘Burgh. I was the prettiest girl in high school. I got to New York and all of the girls were pretty. So I had to learn how to be more than just pretty. So I taught myself to cultivate my other gifts and develop my other talents.
(SEXEE) You and Patrice had a strong bond and partnership. What is one word of advice you can share with people as conveyed from Patrice’s thinking and ideology?
(Von Decarlo) You can’t fight the taste of the truth. It’s disgusting. But it’s healthy. They call me the firm truth girl. I’ll give you honesty. I’ll give you the truth. It may be ugly when I say it, and even uglier when you hear it, but we’ll both be better because of it.
(SEXEE) Relationships are the central theme of your show According to Him+Her. Give us your three most important qualities in a man. Tell the ladies why they shouldn’t settle unless their man possesses those three attributes.
(Von Decarlo) This is difficult for me, because I’ll tell you, these three years being single are like (Screams!). What the fuck! Being single now is not cute. I work better in a relationship… but… My top three are: Honesty. Be honest with yourself and your loved one. My second thing is: Health. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. If you do, do it in moderation. Eat right. Workout. Try to extend your life as long as possible. Be responsible not reckless. And then my third is: Career. Know who you are. Do what you love. Be passionate about something. I’m going to work myself, so I’m not the b!tch trying to just sit on someone’s couch. But I do like nice shit. And I think the natural order of things is for the man to make more money than his woman. I don’t want to be the king. I want to be the woman. I want to be the queen, and I want my man to be, and feel, like the king.