For this feature package, I highlighted eight local up-and-comers: April Bukofser & Marin Milio, Clare Galterio, Todd Sandler, Stan Rosenberg, Malcolm D. MacDougall III, Stephen Ferri, and Jay Alvear.
“Show me some dance moves,” Clare Galterio, 26, says to an older gentleman at a slot machine. Sure enough, he starts up with a jig of sorts. Galterio joins in.
“I deal with eighteen-year-olds all the way up to eighty-seven-year-olds,” Galterio says. “I need to be able to talk to anyone.” You want her to talk to you, too, because Galterio is the in-person and on-air hostess who does the big giveaways at the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. The public relations manager has given away cars, cash, even ShopRite gift cards to lucky gamblers. The filmed bits she does to promote the casino’s prizes are simulcast on cable and shown in casinos, racetracks, and bars all over the country (and a few in Canada, too). She’s also done segments for WPIX. Right now, she is auditioning for other TV hosting gigs.
Galterio’s easy charm with people—which lets people do goofy dances without feeling silly—makes her a natural host. “I grab people from the audience. I do trivia. We do dance-offs.” Then again, Galterio is no stranger to performing. Growing up in Bedford, she danced her way through the studios of Westchester. “I’ve been dancing my whole life, but being on TV has always been my dream.”
Soon, that dream will be realized on an even bigger screen. Recently, she was cast—right off the casino floor—in Imogene, a movie starring Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening. She plays, fittingly, someone who gives away a car. “I did a tour for the directors when they wanted to film at Empire City,” she says. “They said, ‘Listen, we have a part written for someone to give away a car. Would you like to be in the movie?’ That was amazing because people don’t just give away roles like that, especially for speaking parts.”
Auditioning for other hosting jobs is not always easy. For example, she auditioned to be the new Nets announcer—on crutches. “I had to do it on a sprained ankle.” (She didn’t book the job, but the basketball season was truncated anyway.) In the meantime, life is good at Empire City. “I make people really happy,” she says. “I’m not the machine that they want to take out all of their frustrations on.”
Click through to read the rest of the feature package online.
Photo by Cathy Pinsky.