Interview: Sydnee Washington
Life in the Service Industry
When New York comedian SYDNEE WASHINGTON isn’t co-hosting “The Warm Up,” a monthly comedy show at the Karma Lounge, she’s interviewing guests on her podcast, “The Unofficial Expert.” BanterGirl was lucky enough to sit down with Sydnee and learn about her work ethic and awesome comedian friends.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a comedian? How did you actually start doing it?
I always loved comedy growing up and admired stand up comedians. Almost five years ago, a friend secretly video taped me after work doing bits and commentary. Honestly, I was a hot-ass, drunk mess. She edited everything and sent it to me saying, "You should do stand up. Seriously, you are so funny.” I took a class because I had no idea about open mics. All my brutally honest friends showed up to the graduation show and let me know I should continue, and that I did.
If you could have given yourself one piece of advice when you started doing standup, what would it have been?
Be yourself! Whatever the hell that is, be it. Don’t overthink it. The whole point is to present what is funny to you. And, it’s okay to look fabulous and be funny at the same damn time.
You do a podcast called "The Unofficial Expert Podcast." Where did that idea come from?
Marie Faustin (comedian) and I love interviewing people. We love non-traditional interviews, nothing too crazy serious, but we also like getting to know the guest. Everyone we come in contact with thinks they are the "know it all" of some topic. The podcast is really just about picking the brains of people we know on really random, silly topics. We have everything from a "Hood Expert" to an “Open Relationship Expert.” It’s so much fun—just an hour of fun, and sometimes we actually learn a lot from it.
Do you prefer to work by yourself or to collaborate with other comedians and writers?
I love working by myself in terms of stand up because my POV is so different. I go from talking about ten thousand dollar breast implants to my hatred of men who wear Skechers. However, I do a lot of projects with my comedy soulmate Marie Faustin. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and reminds me to always have fun. I love working with creative and unique comedians who are the complete opposite of me. It helps me expand on old ideas and create new ones with them.
You have a powerhouse group of comedy girlfriends! If you could name one special quality or characteristic about each of them, what would it be? What is your special quality?
I love that you called my comedy girlfriends a powerhouse because they really are. Qualities include being fearless, challenging me to do better or do more, and being passionate. Also, they all hate Skechers, just like me. My special quality is hurting most men's feelings and making them laugh at the same damn time!
How do you think a Donald Trump presidency will affect the comedy scene?
It has already affected the comedy scene. This whole year was the year of Donald Trump jokes. I don’t know if I’m looking forward to more and more jokes on our new president.
What does your ideal 2017 look like?
Doing more on camera work, quitting waitressing forever, then performing my one woman show called "Death of a Bottle Girl.” I would love for "The Unofficial Expert" podcast to become a live show and tour. Marie and I have a video blog called S&M that we want to turn into a show, so hopefully things really get rolling with that as well.