We DO NOT like Green Eggs and Ham but we love ourselves some Samantha Stepp. Check out her Hot Seat interview!
When did you first start doing comedy?
I started doing stand-up in Austin in 2014. I fell in love with comedy and quickly moved into improv and sketch.
How did you come up with your show title?
My director, Matt Needles, and I worked hard to create some very diverse, yet personal characters. Each one having a unique voice and but they all turned out to be pretty weird, and high-energy – kind of like Dr. Seuss’ characters. Also, my name is Sam and I am Sam and Sam I am.
What was the first sketch idea you can remember having as a group or an individual?
It’s actual one that made it in the show! When I first started sketch, the stand-up world was really what I knew best in terms of comedy. I was working hard to hone my voice and get better and going to some pretty rough mics and shows. A lot of these shows, the host felt it necessary to really nail it in the ground that I was FEMALE, A SMALL FEMALE, A CUTE FEMALE, A SARDONIC FEMALE, A FAMALEISH FEMALE, A FEMALE WITH BANGS, A FEMALE WEARING SOCKS, A FEMALE OUTSIDE OF A BOX, so idk, I think the inspiration came from there.
What's your creative process like? How do you generate ideas and keep it fresh?
I try to constantly be writing and jotting down ideas. That way when I get to sitting down with a blank Google Doc open, I already have some jokes and perhaps an idea of the structure of the sketch. I’ve also found that (often failed) material that I write for stand-up, can sometimes be repurposed for sketch and that was the home for that idea all along.
Who are your influences? Who are some of your favorite sketch comedy acts performing today? Who has blown your mind?
I remember re-watching episodes of MadTV over and over in middle school and obviously Chapelle’s show in high school. Today I love Broad City, Baroness Vaughn Sketch Show, OSFUG, Girls With Brown Hair, etc. But at the end of the day, my super f**king talented friends inspire, push and influence me the most.
Do you have any fun "worst show" or "worst audience member" stories?
I HAVE NEVER HAD A BAD SHOW. JK. My favorite worst shows are when someone is sleeping in the from row, or they have something to say about material during the show, etc.
But one thing that you can control a bit more that comes to mind with “bad shows” is making sure that you and tech are on the same page. Over explain your tech, make an excel sheet, rehearse with them – good tech makes for a good show, bad tech makes for a horrible show.
Do you have any fun "best show" stories?
I work a pretty corporate day job and don’t invite work people out typically because I love to say the fuck word and talk about sexy times and what not. A coworker found out about my show and I had to perform basically a sketch making fun of the corporate tech world in front of him. That was really fun to break down those walls and just laugh at how dumb life can be.
Are there any ideas that you've had that you can't seem to make work or convince yourself is actually funny.
I WISH TO GOD I COULD DO IMPRESSIONS. I am just so bad at them (BUT WORKING ON IT), so that is something where I haven’t been able to make things work, or the sketch is a little limited, because in order for the character to truly come to life, you kind of need to not sound like a dying goat when doing it, unless that character is indeed a dying goat.
What should people interested in comedy know about performing sketch that you didn't know when you started?
REHEARSALS (clap emoji) ARE (clap emoji) EVERYTHING (clap emoji),
Also, the quicker you can get off book, the quicker you can begin working on body language, and weird ticks your character has, learn how your character would move through fun space with lighting and sound, etc.
What else – comedy wise – are you looking forward to this year? What do you have cooking?
I started a web series over the fall and now that my solo sketch show has been written, rehearsed and performed, I’m going to refocus on that and really work on honing my voice and writing scripts for television.