Side Streets: Taylor Caruso


Portrait and interview by Alex Schmidt

“Dude, I’m juiced!” is the first quote I think of when Taylor Caruso pops into mind. Whether it’s about a gnarly trick he just got, or if it’s about seeing Penelope Cruz at his valet job in West Hollywood. Regardless of both, his sincere and rather interesting way of sharing the story will always bring a smile to my face. The kid knows what he loves in the world and his passion for those things is through the roof. It’s a trait that’s really great to see in someone, almost as if his personality is pure as can be. I’m excited to see what’s to come in his future. Having said that, check his interview below.

State your full name.
Taylor John Caruso

Where are you originally from?
Palentine, Illinois. Just outside of Chicago.

What were the reasons for moving to Los Angeles?
I was going to school at the University of Illinois, Chicago and I pretty much failed out. After that I went to a community college closer to home and didn’t do much better. Considering my mentality wasnt focused on school and mainly on skateboarding, I decided to move out here to LA and seek out new adventures.

You’ve lived here for about a year now, what’s your take on it so far?
It’s a lot different than I would’ve thought. I moved out and lived under my friend’s kitchen table for a while. The dude’s name was Luke and he let me live there for a month rent free. After that I found a job and moved out to South Central with all my Kinship homies and we started filming for that video.

Kickflip West Hollywood

South Central is pretty hood, do you have any crazy stories about living there?
Yeah this one night, it was about 11:30, and I was laying down in bed in the living room while some friends were sweeping and cleaning up. All of a sudden we hear three gunshots and then a car just speeding off. We all looked at eachother and knew it was gunshots. So we went out front to see what had happened and all of our neighbors were out too. I guess some dude was shot down the street or something. It was insane.

Didn’t you also witness some guy with a bandana over his face holding someone else at gunpoint?
Yeah I was sleeping one morning and I woke up to two of my friends looking out the window saying, “Oh my god, oh my god.” Basically some dude was on his knees and the guy with the bandana had the gun to the back of his head and was saying, “I’ve got the most important thing in my hand right now.” We all ran to wake up everyone else and when we came back they were gone.

Ollie Echo Park Kickflip Frontboard Pasadena, Los Angeles

By the sounds of those stories it seems obvious it was about time to relocate. Where’d you end up living after South Central?
I ended up moving to A Street house in Echo Park and I share a room with my best friend. It was the best move I could’ve done because all my homies moved out of there shortly after me. RIP Kinship house.

You just started getting boards from Lurkville, how’s that going?
I sent my footage to Tyrone the team manager and owner and the day he hit me up to let me know he wanted to send me stuff was the day I hurt my knee. Luckily I didnt have to have surgery but I couldn’t skate for maybe six months or longer. Tyrone stuck with me the whole time and now Im almost 100% better and couldn’t be more stoked. I think it’s awesome he kept it real with me while I was hurt and it makes it way easier to jump back on it and start skating my best with that in mind.

Wallie Echo Park, Los Angeles

What did you do to occupy your time while being hurt?
I was still going out on missions with everyone and was trying to just be as postive as I could. It was hard to get away from skating considering all my friends are going out everyday trying to film as much as possible and it got to the point where I needed a break. I was almost like the Kinship Team Manager. (Laughs) I would just be in my room reading a lot and writing. Just passing time.

So what’s next for you? You’re back on the board. What projects are you working on that we can expect to see soon?
I’m tryin’ to cut down on working a little bit and just focus on filming. I’ve been goin out with Will (Rosenstock) tryin’ to stack clippies for his new video. Then after that hopefully film for a Kinship Two video, Kinship Dos. Who knows, maybe I’ll film a part for Lurkville too.

Late Shuv Silverlake

All skate photos shot by Brent O'Donnell

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