Sasheer Zamata Is Taking The Comedy World By Storm By Being Her Authentic Self
"Because I'm a Black woman, that will come out in my material," the former "Saturday Night Live" star told Blavity.
September 19, 2019 at 1:22 am
The only thing we love more than Sasheer Zamata's jokes is her come-up.
We recently sat down with the Indianapolis, Indiana, native, who told us about how she went from being a military kid to taking the New York City improv scene by storm with her buddy Nicole Byers to starring in SNL and feature films.
With a father in the military, Zamata moved rather often as a child. But she said the constant relocating helped her to become more social. She soon found herself employing her funny bone as she'd meet new people. As an adult, the former SNL actress and comedienne floated between theater, comedy and improv. Ultimately, her work with an all-Black woman improv team in New York paved the way for her to join the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2014.
"We were kind of taking New York by storm, which was really cool," Zamata, who left the late-night variety show after four seasons, told Blavity of her improv team. "And that's how SNL found out about me. And SNL led to tons of other things and now I'm just doing whatever I want to do and this feels great, too."
Zamata, 33, said that no matter the audience when she performs, she remains her authentic self.
"Because I'm a Black woman, that will come out in my material," she told Blavity.
"I am also aware that sometimes the things that I'm saying are going to be completely new to some people. I feel really good about talking about my life and doing it in a way where people can learn something," she continued. "I just love that connection that you can even get from another person."
The comedienne also stars in a new film, titled The Weekend, which also stars She's Gotta Have It actress DeWanda Wise. Zamata also has a podcast with Byer, her longtime friend and fellow comedienne, titled Best Friends. She added that the film's team promoted the picture for some time.
"It’s been a long time coming," she told Forbes. "We shot it in 2017, at the end of the year, and we did the whole festival run. We went to the Toronto Festival. We’ve been touring this thing for a while and trying to get it out there and now it’s finally going to be available for people to see. I’m so, so excited because I think it’s going to be so fun. I think everyone in it is so talented. And I’m just excited for people to see me do something different."
The Weekend premiered in selected theaters on September 13 and is also available On Demand.