Gina Yashere - Udderbelly Festival Appearance and DVD Incoming
London born Gina Yashere has had a very successful carreer in the UK. Having made many appearances on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, The Lenry Henry Show, and winning multiple awards over the years does make her a successful comic in anyones’ mind but her intense drive to take her career even further has paid off as she has further established herself in America. Having been in America for a number of years now, she became a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, made several appearances on Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien and even became the first British comedian to feature on the famous Def Comedy Jam.
Gina also has a few stand-up specials to her name – ‘Skinny B*tch’ and her follow up ‘Laughing to America’ which was filmed in San Fransisco and is due out very soon.
I had the opportunity to ask a few brief questions to the very busy comic regarding her time in America and what she has planned for the immediate future.
You have a lot coming up in May – Australia, Udderbelly Fest and USA. What do you have in store for those?
Well, basically more jokes…
You’ve been residing America for a few years now. Has that been a far more beneficial career move?
It’s taken me to a wider audience, and nicer weather! It’s about keeping relevant and broadening my horizons. And of course, if you make it in America, the rest of the world follows like sheep.
Typical follow up – Have you found a difference between American and British audiences?
Definitely. They are MUCH less travelled, so less worldly, so anything that is not about America has to be explained as part of the joke. I’ve obviously created new material about being a fish out of water in the US, and had to mellow out my broad cockney accent so Americans can understand me. After all that, I get great responses regardless of where I am in the world.
You’ve made appearances on huge shows such as Jay and Conan O’Brien. Was there any fear before performing on those shows?
Nope. I’ve done a million TV shows in the UK, so these were just more of the same. They were fun and exciting, but I don’t attach anything to it. Just another TV credit to get more people to come out and see my stand up.
You also recorded your ”Laughing to America” DVD in San Francisco. What was that experience like and when can we expect a release date?
It was fantastic. San Francisco has the best and most intelligent comedy audience in the US, so there was nowhere else I wanted to do it. The theatre was sold out and it couldn’t have gone any better. The DVD is due out in the next month or so as a hard disc and download. I’m doing the Louis CK thing…on a much tinier scale…
Do you have any other programmes (UK or USA) you are currently or soon-to-be working on?
There’s always something in the pipeline, but I hate talking about them unit they are in the bag…so for now…maybe…
Finally, what advice would you give to serious comics wanting to establish themselves?
Work hard, be original, be prepared to be skint for a long time. If you’re not, then go do something else. It may look like it, but stand up isn’t a short cut to TV stardom.
Gina Yashere is touring Australia’s Cracker Gala Night/Perth Comedy Fest and Southwest Funnyfest throughout April and May. She’ll then be coming back to the UK for Udderbelly Fest from May 22nd to May 25th.
You can follow the rest of her tour dates via her site http://www.ginayashere.com/shows.cfm