It all began when Dominick DeLorenzo was hyper one day in the second grade.
“The teacher asked me what the heck was going on, but I got down on the floor and started dancing,” the Carlisle High School senior recalled.
When the teacher asked what he was doing, DeLorenzo replied off the cuff "I blended jazz and funk and call it junk.” That got the teacher laughing.
“It’s the first memory I have of doing something goofy,” the 17-year-old Dickinson Township youth said. “I’m known for my unpredictability. Some people say its craziness. I don’t blame them.”
The origin of his funny bone is a topic of controversy within his family.
“My mom said it was her side ... my dad said it was his side ... It’s a very civil debate. My dad always said I had to figure out ways to keep myself out of trouble.”
A class clown since elementary school, DeLorenzo has been a member of Wingin’ It, the high school improv comedy troupe, from his freshman year on.
His involvement is just a natural outgrowth of his upbeat personality and his knack for blurting something out of left field to defuse tension at home, school or work.
“I’ve always been happy with what I’m doing,” DeLorenzo said. “I always try to take time away and realize how great my life is.”
For him, moments of reflection often end up as opportunities to cheer up those around him who are having a rough day or seem down or distressed.
That first year Wingin’ It, DeLorenzo was pretty nervous about every show, but now the comedy is old hat and he is having fun being random and spontaneous.
“You can never think about it,” he said – summing up the formula for good improv. “If you try to be funny, you are not funny. I don’t know what I’m going to say so long as I don’t get kicked out of school saying it.”
While he enjoys performing comedy, he doesn’t see it as a career. “I don’t think it’s the lifestyle I’m looking to live. If you want to go hardcore on improv, it’s a lot of city life and I’m not a fan of city living.”
Instead, upon graduating in May, DeLorenzo plans to follow through on post-secondary education by taking tuition-free classes at Harrisburg Area Community College where his mother works in the financial aid department.
DeLorenzo has been taking welding classes since the summer and plans to obtain his certification. He may press on to pursue an associate’s degree in business along with training in electrical work and/or mechatronics.
“I enjoy welding,” DeLorenzo said. “It’s like sewing with fire. It’s a fun trade that pays good money. It’s a hands-on job. You get to see the work and appreciate it.”
One idea he has is to maybe pursue a job helping crews install pipelines. It’s suitable work for the young and unattached. “I can travel around and get to see the country,” DeLorenzo said. “I can make decent money to store up to start a business.”
Since the summer of 2014, DeLorenzo has owned Green Haven Home and Lawn Services which focuses on landscaping, lawn care, grounds maintenance and home repair and clean-up. As owner, he’s the only supervisor and sole employee.
The business venture began with his mother. Through her ties to the community, he lined up small jobs cleaning out barns, mowing grass, moving stuff around garages and out of basements. The business has grown over the years.
“Once they figured out I’m reliable and can do the work for them, they enjoyed having me around to do it,” he said. DeLorenzo enjoys having control over his own schedule which can range from five to 10 hours of week during slow periods to as much as 35 hours a week during the busy summer season.
At first, he lacked a driver’s license and had to arrange his jobs around his mother’s schedule. Getting his license has helped DeLorenzo to step up the enterprise.
He’s used to hands-on work and enjoys it. The DeLorenzo family lives on a 25-acre homestead along Pine Road in Dickinson Township. Though it includes a barn, it is only used as a workshop. The property is not a working farm with either crops or livestock.
“The only thing we grow is old lawnmowers,” Dominick DeLorenzo said. “They just kind of pop up here and there.”
For two years now, DeLorenzo has worked for the Carlisle Family YMCA and has been responsible for the maintenance and grounds keeping of Camp Thompson and New Frontiers. This work has included small engine repairs and building maintenance.
Lorenzo has also been involved with the Carlisle Student Technical Team that operates the sound and light system during high school musicals and other productions.
“It’s a way for me to get to events,” he said. “I’m never satisfied going as an audience member. I wanted to have a bigger role.”