What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they’re comedians? No, that’s not it. It is a fact, though, that America’s biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York’s vibrant comedy scene. It’s called Meet Me In New York.
Sydnee Washington spent a full decade working in the thick of the New York City nightlife scene, which she has turned into a one-person show, “Death of a Bottle Girl.” You can catch her performing it this weekend as part of the 2018 Speak Up, Rise Up Storytelling Festival.
Washington has a lot more going on this year, too. Comedy Central picked her to perform at this June’s Up Next showcases for rising comedians at Clusterfest in San Francisco. And with comedian Marie Faustin, the duo is coming up fast on 100 episodes of their popular podcast, The Unofficial Expert. (You can support Washington and Faustin via Patreon). They also co-host a live show, “Hot Box Comedy” monthly at et al in the Lower East Side. You may already have seen Washington on MTV’s Vidiots, or in videos and/or shows for truTV, Vh1, GQ, Cosmo and Elite Daily.
So let’s get to know her better!
Name: Sydnee Washington
Arrival Date/Arrived From: Originally from New York City.. Moved to Oakland, CA to have a childhood. Then moved back to grow the hell up.
When and where did you start performing comedy? What was your first time onstage like?
I started 5 years ago in NYC. My first time on stage was a bringer show. 10 of my worst friends came so I could get an honest opinion. It was fun but you already know my material was garbage.
What was your best credit when you moved here?
I’m originally from New York City, that’s the best credit. People respect you more if you’re from a dope city. Also I was a part of Comedy Central’s Clusterfest: Up Next.
Why did you pick NYC instead of Los Angeles or anywhere else?
Money, I only have enough money to struggle in NYC. To struggle in LA just isn’t “the look”. So many people have 5 jobs & 7 roommates here, I don’t feel so bad for not having a dental plan or a proper savings account
How is this scene better/worse/different from the scene you moved from?
No scene compares to comedy in NYC. This is the only place you can bomb at an open mic then a homeless man will go up & kill and randomly Mark Normand was there to see the whole thing.
How long did it take you to get your first paid gig in New York after moving here?
Maybe one year after I started.
What tip would you give any comedian who moves here?
Be ready to grind & get up as much as possible. All stage time isn’t always beneficial stage time. Word of mouth is how most ppl get on here. Try your best to kill on any show, you never know who is in the room. And have fun, this shit is stressful & the money is pretty terrible in the beginning. If ppl can see you having a good time on stage, the experience is so much better.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Bicoastal, working on my 2nd comedy album, filming a movie in LA, and having lunch with Beyonce on a regular.
Here she was a year ago at Paste Studios:
Which NYC comedian would you like to see me style and profile next for Meet Me In New York? Send your nominations to: thecomicscomic AT gmail DOT com