We were given the opportunity to interview Anastasia Washington about all things comedy, acting, writing and getting to know her. Anastasia Washington will perform at Burbank Comedy Fest (August 15th and 19th) and Broad Humor Fest (September 1-4), as well as attending screenings for her role in comedy horror short film Demon Juice, to be shown at CineUnderground in Busto Arsizio, Italy (October 7-9). Later this November, Anastasia Washington will publish her self-help book and debut a new one-woman show at Curtis Theater Amplifies in Brea, California, with more details to come!
Q: How do you find the balance between the seriousness of the topics like Police Brutality, Eating Disorders, and Colorism and the lighthearted comedy?
I think comedy is supposed to start conversations so I approach those subjects with empathy and love and a feeling of how ridiculous life can be. But it’s ok. I’m ok and we all can help each other be ok. I think when you are honest about what you’ve been through others can be honest to and it helps us all. I love the moments when someone comes up after a show and says I’m so glad you said that because I went through that or that happens to me. It’s the best to have people share their own stories with me becaus in some way I made them feel comfortable to have existed past the trauma and know their not alone.
Q: What’s the best and worst thing about being a comedian?
Being a female comedian is rough. It’s lonely and scary sometimes. And hard to get the respect you deserve no matter how hard your work but that’s why community is so important. To find your people. I started in a great community of Lisa Sundstedt’s Pretty Funny women so I’m blessed to have a community beside me. The best thing is the feedback. The people I touched in some way.
Q: Can we make jokes about everything?
Yes and no. Yes you can. But not without dealing with the repercussions. You have freedom of speech but your listeners do as well. I say tell the joke with love not hate and you’re good because even if you mess up you’ll be able to respond with empathy and grow as a comic and a person.
Q: Were you the classroom joker?
I was always finishing the work earlier then everyone and getting everyone in trouble by distracting them. My teachers would put my desk outside. But I also would do kids work so we could goof off together. I was a bit obnoxious. My mom says I was Louise Belcher.
Q: Do you crack jokes in real life or are you quite serious?
Im pretty sassy more then silly. I bring the snark for sure. But I can be pretty serious to but then after that I crack a joke. I don’t know I try not to be too serious.
Q: Would you identify any actors in the industry as role models?
Absolutely. First and foremost, I would shout out my friends as role models. Tiffany Smith, killing the game in animation and on screen. David Crownson, who has his own comic book publishing company and still acts and creates more content. Shout out to Kirby Howell Baptiste, Brea Grant, Siobhan Hewlett and so many more of my amazing friends who are making things happen. I surround myself with the best people who don’t put themselves in boxes and create their dreams. I am inspired everyday by these amazing people; I love collaborating with them and supporting their dreams.
Q: Do you believe talent or training is more important to an actor?
I believe that the most important thing is training, but not in the classical way. You have to do. You have to get out there, make stuff, make mistakes, say yes. The best training I have received was being on set or collaborating on projects. It has made me a better actor by continuing to find ways to create and keep busy. Classes are a great way to find your people and community but doing is the best lesson.
Q: Your latest project “Demon Juice” is all about a party drink that’s more dangerous as it seems. If you could create your own drink, which ingredients would you add and what would you call it?
Oh man. I think I’m a great mixologist, but people might disagree with me. I would make something with blood orange, grapefruit, and ginger. Maybe use something like tequila—not the smoky stuff, something smooth. I would add something unnecessary and kitschy like pop rocks and call it the Sorry Not Sorry.
Q: Later this year you’ll publish your own self-help book. Could you tell us a bit about it?
It’s self-help with a sense of humor. I feel like sometimes self-help can seem unattainable or can seem above us. If we don’t have a zen room, or a nanny, or money to go on a retreat, it can be intimidating. My goal is to take away the intimidation—to chat about self-help and make it for everyone. One size doesn’t fit all, and the same goes for self-care. This is for people who need room to be goofy, or for those who feel like it’s ridiculous but know they have a safe space. I hope to one day make a whole festival out of this philosophy. For now, step one: getting my book to your brains.
Q: Do you have a favorite book to read and/or a favorite author?
I am a Brene Brown Fan. Who isn’t, right? I’m an avid reader, and I tend to read pretty dark stuff. I love W Kamau Bell for humor and facts. Stephen King and Neil Gaiman are favorites for my dark, creepy side. Ta-Nehisi Coates is also someone that speaks to my soul.
Get to know Anastasia Washington
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh dang. Okay, we’re saying meal so I’m going to stretch it. I would have pink sauce gnocchi with burrata, a caprese salad, and nice bread with garlic butter, plus a slice of yellow cake with chocolate icing. And a glass of sangria.
Q: What was your favorite subject in school?
History. Like I said, I like dark subjects.
Q: What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
A satellite phone, a plane, and a Del Taco.
Q: Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Love. All you need is love. Just kidding, um… probably my phone. I have everything in there. Books, movies, work files, and Pokémon GO.
Q: What’s the most memorable moment in your career so far?
Aw, there are so many. I’ll say it’s a tie between having lunch with Raul Julia on the set of The Addams Family and Recording at Capitol Records with Michael Jackson.
Thank you again to Anastasia Washington for taking your time to do this interview. Don’t be shy to tell us your opinion about this interview on our Social Media accounts. Did you know that we also had the opportunity to interview Giles Matthey. Click here to see what it’s all about!
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Rike is a very optimistic person who's trying to make the best out of everything. She's passionate about traveling, concerts, football and conventions. Most of the time she’s carrying her camera around to capture some moments. Her favorite football club is Borussia Dortmund and if she’s not watching the games on tv she's probably being in the stadium supporting the team.