Going Up

Gina Yashere was working as an elevator engineer in London when she decided to take a summer off to do things she had always wanted to do. That included trying comedy. Yashere said she was naturally funny growing up, and many people, including teachers, told her she should be an actor or comedian. So Yashere performed at an open mic night. She got a great response, including people who asked her to come perform at their shows. She thought she’d ride the wave for as long as she could before going back to fixing and building elevators. That was 15 years ago. Yashere came to America in 2007 to appear on Last Comic Standing, where she was one of the 10 finalists. She has also been on The Jay Leno Show as the Surly Psychic, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and she was the first British person on Def Comedy Jam. She made a DVD in England, Skinny Bitch. Now she’s taping another in San Francisco, Laughing to America, a take on Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America. She’s funding it through a Kickstarter campaign, which allows her to have it look the way she wants, with the jokes she wants in it. Those jokes include ones about her being an outsider in America, growing up in England with Nigerian parents, and the difference between politics in England and America. And maybe a few about elevators.
Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m., 2012

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