What were you like as a teen?
My brain wasn’t yet fully formed, but I was foaming at the mouth for comedy and musical theatre. So not much has changed!
Did you have an un-sexy starter job?
My first job in LA was at an Italian Restaurant in Burbank and the one thing I got out of it was getting fired. We love an *underdog story! (*underdog meaning just generally bad at showing up to work*)
What do you consider to be your biggest comedy achievement to date?
I got to do a sketch with Will Forte, who dressed up as a cat and lay on my lap. A DREAM!
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?
I am entirely driven by the need to make my sisters laugh. Giving up has never even been on my radar! I gotta keep the sisters laughing!
Have you ever dealt with trolls? Hecklers?
I have definitely been in situations where I felt underestimated, undervalued, or misunderstood. But I’ve realized that’s kind of the beautiful thing about the arts. If you’re staying true to YOUR voice, it probably won’t resonate with every single person. If you’re a one-of-a-kind, rejection just validates that!
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?
All you have to do is stay. You’re the only you that exists. Stick around. There’s room for you! We need you!
Best comedy advice you ever got?
Honesty is always the funniest.
Worst comedy advice you ever got?
“Don’t try too hard.” Couldn’t disagree more. I so prefer a comedian doing the most over someone who’s too cool to be there.
How has being funny helped you in your life?
I’ve gotten away with a lot! In school, my grades were terrible but I still always got “a pleasure to have in class.”
What specific things do you think a novice comic should do to shape their voice?
Try to perform as much as you can and in as many environments as possible: open mics, coffee shops, backyards, wherever! It’ll help you gather data on what works and where.
Was there one person who inspired you to go into comedy?
Mindy Kaling has always been the blueprint for me. She was one of the first comedic South Asian voices I was ever introduced to. She just exploded the world of what I thought was possible.
Do you have a writing routine?
I like to write my first draft of everything quickly. I find I trust my instincts more and it doesn’t give me time to overthink.
What is your go-to show when you’ve had a bad day?
RuPaul’s Drag Race.
What word always cracks you up?
Butts. (Okay, I wasn’t allowed to cuss growing up.)