I was raised in a very humble environment, and I was always taught to be humble to the things that are happening in my life because they're blessings. They're blessings in every way. Whether you're able to help someone get through a tough time in their life through your music or through comedy, or whatever it is, you're just a channel.
In studio films, everything has to be boxed in, everybody needs to know beforehand - this is comedy, this is sci-fi, this is drama - and what's the point of independent film if you don't get to experiment?
You can't have good comedy without drama in it.
Real comedy doesn't just make people laugh and think, but makes them laugh and change.
I've been lucky because Hollywood can be harsh and try to pigeonhole you. I've done TV, films, and comedy, done it all... I think I'm spread out evenly among the film community. I've been lucky and keep working with great actors.
My school was 90 percent white, but 90 percent of the kids I played with were black. So I got the best of both worlds. I think that is where my comedy developed.
A lot of female comedians will go up there in a sweatshirt and Converses, trying to dress themselves down, because it is sort of a boy's club. I'll go up in my heels. I like that people don't think I'll be funny. I'll take that on. I don't do standup comedy - I do standup and I do comedy, but I don't go up there and do jokes.
I did stand-up comedy for seventeen years. I need to explore other things.
It's that I wasn't suited to do the kind of comedy that these people were coming to hear - mainstream comedy.
It seems that, culturally, young people function more in groups. They know each other through digital media. All the young comedy people who work in TV are really used to working at the table with lots of writers around. They're comfortable in the group; they don't assert their own egos over everyone else.
I actually started in comedy, but then after 'Deadwood' I started concentrating on the dramas more. But then I just got tired for raping and killing and figured, 'It's time to do another comedy.'
In college, I didn't perform so much, but when I graduated is when I discovered Second City. Then I realized, 'Oh, there are people who can focus on comedy and especially improvisational comedy and make a career out of it.'
As an actor, you read so many scripts and parts written for Asian-specific characters, and you see a lot of stereotypes and a lot of one-note characters, especially in comedy.
I was a huge fan of comedy and movies and TV growing up, and I was able to memorize and mimic a lot of things, not realizing that that meant I probably wanted to be an actor. I just really, really amused myself and my friends with memorizing entire George Carlin or Steve Martin albums.
Kevin Hart. He's the man! I like his style. He's short, so I can relate. All the stories he tells are real. I respect that, and he's just a really funny dude - great comedy instincts. To do stand-up on a stage for an hour and tell stories and make people laugh is incredible.
I like the rhythm of comedy in dramas, if that makes sense. In other words, I don't want to write setup, punch, setup, punch, where the joke dictates the scene; I want to find comedy in which the drama is actually driving the moment in the scene.