‘SNL’ Cast Member Sasheer Zamata on Creating a Career in Comedy: “I just followed the things I was really interested in”

Actress Shasheer Zamata

“I thought I was going to do theater and Broadway and stuff. But I kept going to see UCB shows and was such a fan I was like, ‘I should really just try this.'” – Shasheer Zamata

Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata didn’t grow up  aspiring to be a cast member of the long-running television institution, but the actress was quickly bit by the comedy bug when she had her very first taste of it. In an interview with NPR, Zamata explains how she turned an interest in comic performing into a career as a full-fledged comedian.

Zamata says that her journey consisted of following what she enjoyed. She says, “I just followed the fun. I just followed the things I was really interested in, and it turned out to be what I needed to do.” Zamata then went on to explain how she went from a college student in Virginia to a regular performer with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York:

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater has a touring company and they go to colleges and a group came to my college at UVA [University of Virginia] and there was a talk back … and someone asked how you get a career in comedy, and Bobby Moynihan, who happened to be in the group said, ‘Move to New York, go to UCB, and work really hard.’ So I did that. When I moved to New York I didn’t know how much improv and comedy would play into my life. I thought I was going to do theater and Broadway and stuff. But I kept going to see UCB shows and was such a fan I was like, ‘I should really just try this.’ [I] dove in hard, starting taking classes back-to-back, started taking sketch classes, and started doing stand-up all at the same time, and then eventually I was like, “Oh this is all I want to do.’ … Eventually my mangers and agents saw me perform and signed me and then I started getting money for it and … it turned into my career.

Leave a Reply

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Star Timothée Chalamet: “What scares me is being boring”
"At a certain point I was able to come to grips with the idea to just 'be.'" - Timothée Chalamet
‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville: “It’s so easy to make someone bad look good on film. In theatre, there’s no hiding place”
"Filming is different. You’re getting a moment right. You can go in and create something very good, very quickly. That’s a different challenge to having five, six weeks to rehearse a play.” - Lesley Manville
Chadwick Boseman on ‘Black Panther’ and How He Refocused His Career
"As soon as I came to L.A., things immediately shifted for me." - Chadwick Boseman
Bernadette Peters on Returning to Broadway and Why She is Still Trying to Improve Her Craft
"You have to do your best to fulfill the role, not fulfill yourself" - Bernadette Peters
Ellen Pompeo: “Acting, to me, is boring”
"Anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that's a f*ckin' skill." - Ellen Pompeo