We caught up with stand-up comedian Gina Yashere ahead of her appearance at Just For Laughs comedy festival in London next month.
Gina got her big break when she caught the attention of comic Lenny Henry who was keen to get her on board as a writer for his show on the BBC. Recalling the meeting with Lenny, Gina said, “I was like sure I’d love to write on the show but I’d also like to be on the show so what if I create a couple of characters as well as sketches where I perform.” The move paid off as her portrayal of Tanya – and the catchphrase “I don’t think so!” – proved popular with viewers and she was featured on the show for two series.
Talking about the beginnings of her career in comedy, the Londoner revealed that she was working as a lift maintenance technician when she first dabbled in the stand-up scene telling us she found it “worked very well and [I] just carried on from there.”
With Gina talking about a variety of topics during her stand-up routines we asked her how does she come up with the material for her shows? “It’s a bit of everything, it’s life basically. Stuff that’s happened to me, stuff that I’ve read, stuff that I’m interested in, stuff that’s annoyed me basically anything that’s happened in my life that I think I can make interesting or funny.”
Gina puts her success down to hard work; she worked tirelessly on the stand-up circuit and as a result gained success both domestically and overseas. Gina currently lives in New York but regularly flies back to the UK for gigs and filming reassuring us, “I’m always on your screen somewhere I haven’t left… England is where I’m from and that’s where I started and that is where my core audience will always be so I’m back a lot. Dara O’Brian’s got a new show on Dave called Go 8 Bit which is like a gaming show, I shot that a couple of weeks ago so I’ll be on that.”
Gina will be back in London next month for Just For Laughs comedy festival, so we asked her what can we expect? “Another night of fun and laughter basically, I have no idea what jokes I’m gonna do yet, it’s basically me just doing what I do, getting on stage having a laugh with the crowd just making people laugh that’s what I do.”
Gina will be performing at Just For Laughs at Logan Hall on 16th July, 19:00 & 21:15.
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