Joe Montaperto was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his family at the age of 11 to Roselle, New Jersey - where the subject of his first memoir - The Edge of Whiteness - takes place.
After studying acting at the Sonia Moore Studio of the Theater, he grew tired of the depressing Russian plays, and moved on to a job as a nut vendor in the Hell's Kitchen streets, before studying to be a monk at a NYC ashram; eventually leaving to pursue both stage and film work in New York. Afterwards, embarking on what he believed to be his true passion - stand-up - on the city's comedy circuit, where he worked with Jon Stewart, Dave Attell and John Leguizammo, among others, in the edgy, crack-riddled 1980's. Drinking, dancing, and getting beat up by crackheads on the late night city streets, eventually led him to create a one-man show, Four Degrees of Disconnection, based on his experiences and some of the characters he encountered along the way, which ran at several theaters in Manhattan in the late 1990's.
Burnt out from the intensity of the New York art scene, he set out on a long-awaited spiritual sabbatical, living at a couple of Buddhist monasteries before escaping to South America. There, he spent quite a bit of time exploring the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon jungle, teaching English and becoming involved in several eco-projects.
He has been an avid freeloader for many years at The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in upstate Rhinebeck, New York, among other establishments, and is currently featuring his second memoir, Lovely Chaos, in a planned trilogy, which explores his spiritual and stand-up comic adventures in the gritty streets of 1980's New York.