Born on New York’s Long Island, Philip DiGiacomo was three years old when his family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut. His father Vincent, one of the original Ad Men, made the commute to Manhattan where he worked as an art director in the heady days of advertising. His mother Barbara was a muralist and trompe l’oeil painter.
Growing up in a family of artists, a formal art education seemed inevitable. A B.F.A. degree in painting from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, coupled with a junior year in Rome, led to a loft in New York long before the area was known as Tribeca. He went on to earn his Masters Degree in painting from Queens College, New York. Various lofts and studios followed, along with countless jobs: Bartending, cab driving, construction, courier work, even modeling.
During his NY days, Philip’s circle included a number of actors who were as interested in art as he was in their craft. Most had been trained by Sanford Meisner, and their shop talk brought about a revelation. Working as a painter required a studio full of canvases, paints and tools, but the “palette” of an actor was the entire realm of human behavior.
A year later he was accepted into acting school. Following his training, he spent two years working in Dallas in equity theatre and commercials before moving to the west coast. Over the next few years he came to understand that he treasured the “pick and shovel work” of the rehearsal process more than the performance. Though highly trained in both the visual arts and acting, he was not convinced these crafts were the creative avenue he was seeking. So he did what every smart man does: he listened to his wife. She knew he had been collecting bits and pieces of overheard conversations written on scraps of paper and the margins of drawings for over 45 years.
She urged him to write.
With a Phil Di Giacomo story you never know what you are in for, except that he always treats his characters with the gruff benevolence of a priest who has seen it all. There are guys who have asked for every punch and guys who haven’t; children who have had to wise up fast, all depicted with the odd flash of crooked-smile humor and the audacious authority of a writer who is the real thing.
The New York Times
“Phil writes short fiction that’s crisp, clever, and fun. It’s utterly readable and you don’t put it down.”
Story and Grit Magazine
Philip DiGiacomo’s vivid, evocative stories inspire with their depth and scope. He writes with exceptional authority and precision about everything from expert bow hunters to twentieth century milliners and populates his stories with characters whose flaws define their fate, their voices so distinctive that they leap into readers’ imaginations and take up residence, hauntingly welcome companions.
UCLA Writer’s Program