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If you’re looking to break into the world of comedy, Marie Faustin’s path might be one to look at. On top of temp jobs, she’s carved out time to create a well-followed YouTube channel, which she’s parlaying into even more comedic work. All the while, she’s buddied up with fellow comedian and friend Sydnee Washington, giving her viewers a double-dose of comedy.
Name: Marie Faustin
Age: Mad Young
Location: New York, NY
Profession: Stand Up Comedian & Perpetual Temp
Why did you choose to get into comedy?
Telling jokes and exaggerating stories to make people laugh has always been a huge part of my life. My parents do it every single day. I’m constantly trying to make the people around me laugh and one day, my friends finally convinced me to get on stage.
Name three key steps you took to get started.
- I wrote everything out, verbatim. I needed to know what I was talking about.
- I watched a ton of comedy. I needed to know what people were laughing at.
- I researched a bunch of comedy clubs in NYC. I needed to know where the best places to perform were.
How did you and Sydnee decide to work together?
I met Sydnee. at an all female open mic. (Read Sydnee’s story). We connected over our vanity (I thought she was pretty, she thought I was pretty!) and our goofy personalities.
What made you start the youtube channel? What are some of the steps you took?
It started out as a natural hair vlog! Every time I posted a video about my methods or love for natural hair, all the comments were from people telling me how funny I was. Nobody cared about my hair so I stopped talking about it. This was before I’d done stand up, so I started using my Youtube channel to test out my material. I had an audience that gave me instant feedback in the comments section and a lot of my subscribers were telling me that I should try stand-up comedy. Now, I post my upcoming show dates and times under every video and these subscribers will actually come to the shows and introduce themselves. It’s crazy!
What’s an average day like?
I get up at 7am and hit snooze at least four times. When I finally do get up, I’m late, every single time. So I’ll turn on some music as motivation to hurry up and leave the house. I’m at work from 9-5pm but I’m constantly looking for reasons to leave. If an audition, meeting or random video shoot comes up, I’ll sneak out of work for a couple hours. Since starting this [temp] job, I’ve left work numerous times to shoot videos for Google, Mashable, Refinery29 and YouTube. I always sneak back in with some food and act like I just ran out to get lunch. So far, it’s working because no one has said anything to me about my three hour disappearances yet.
After work, I’ll run home to drop my stuff off if I have time. If not, I’ll meet up with Sydnee and we’ll kiki over dinner or at an open mic. After that, we’ll either go to her show or mine, both if we both have shows that night. I’ll perform for a few minutes and normally get home around 11 or 12am. I’ll call my mom so she know’s I’m still alive. After that, I might try to shoot and edit a YouTube video before I shower, then go to bed around 1am.
Why do you do it?
Because I’ve got bills honey, child! I can’t sit home all day, I’ve tried that and it sucks. Staying active makes me happy.
Ups and downs you sometimes face on the job:
Downs: Commuting for half an hour for the chance to perform for less than 10 mins or not getting paid for it. Sometimes I’ll get to a show and there will be nothing but comedians there because the show wasn’t promoted properly.
Ups: When people come up to me after a great show to ask for my social media info or to know where they can see me again, that’s always a win.
Your greatest achievement so far?
Producing a YouTube vlog that now has over 13,000 followers. That vlog has led me to auditions with MTV, Fuse, etc. It has also led me to the weekly videos I’ve done with Sydnee, called S&M. Those S&M videos have led to shoots with GQ, amd a number of other opportunities.
Being a stand-up comedian is a difficult field to break into; do you find it even harder being a woman… and being Black?
Sometimes yes, but if you’re funny, you’re funny. People will slowly but surely start to give you the opportunities you deserve.
Someone (who knows who) once says that female comedians can’t be pretty. As a beautiful girl how do you respond to that?
HAHAHAHA. Does that mean everybody unattractive is hilarious? Someone came up to me after a show once and said, “wow! You’re beautiful and funny? That’s so rare because female comedians usually look like dogs.”
What keeps you going?
The fact that I know I was meant to be an entertainer. This is what I’m good at and I enjoy it. Why would I want to do anything else?
What is one thing an aspiring comedian can do today to get started in comedy?
Write what makes you laugh, not what you think other people will find funny. I spent so much time trying to write for other people when I started that comedy wasn’t fun in the beginning. Instead, it was just really, really hard. Now I perform what I think is funny and, surprise surprise: other people find it funny too.
What might be next for you?
Hopefully a TV show.
Funniest thing you heard today?
Female comedians can’t be pretty. Ha!
Funniest thing you heard ever?
Do you want to split the check?
What are your top 5 go-to hair tips?
- Moisturize — from the inside out. Water is your friend so drink tons of it and use it in your hair. Your hair and skin will thank you.
- Clip those ends, every 3 or 4 months. Not a full blown haircut but just to manage your single strand knots and split ends a little better.
- Protect that ish — protective styles are always a yes, and crochet braids are God’s gift to the world… along with Jesus.
- Never comb it dry – turn it on first, get it wet.
- No heat and no manipulation if you can avoid it.
Fun Fact: I got hit by a car* in Times Square once. I was fine but I was wearing a wig that day and it fell off my head when I hit the ground. I grabbed it and threw it in my purse before anybody noticed.
* It was actually a bike. I got hit by a dude on a bicycle.