We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Sanderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I would not be where I am today if I was afraid to take a risk. Choosing a life as an artist is not a normal path that people follow. When I first moved to Los Angeles, the only person I knew was my college roommate. My whole life I had dreamed of being an actress and knew it was only a matter of time until I took that big step to move here. It was scary and lonely at first, but I eventually found my footing and my LA family. It’s important to have a strong support group surrounding you in this city. I took another risk three years ago when I signed up for a standup comedy class and hit my first open mic and then my first show in front of 200 people. I have learned to love that feeling of fear in your stomach; it makes you feel alive, it’s exciting. My teeth were chattering at my first open mic, but I didn’t let fear stop me. I always say unless something can kill you, don’t let fear stop you from taking a risk and doing something you may find out you love.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an actress and comedian. I have always loved making people laugh and even though I’m a newer comic, I’ve been working in the comedy world for over a decade. I started improv when I first moved to Los Angeles and performed in sketches on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for six years. There’s no greater feeling than making an audience laugh. I am really excited to get back on stage again once we get through this pandemic. I have fortunately worked on a lot of TV shows and movies. But I’ll never forget that first phone call when I booked a big job. I was in Palm Springs on vacation. I had left my phone in the hotel room and gone to the pool. I had no idea my agent and manager were blowing me up for hours. When I got back to the room I learned I had booked a week on NORBIT and was on hold for BLADES OF GLORY. I started screaming and jumping up and down. You work so hard towards trying to book a job and the majority of the time you are told no, so it makes the wins that much more enjoyable. I studied all over town and met many of my close friends from my classes, which I think helped me form a strong community of artists. We became shoulders for each other to cry on. We give each other advice, create with each other, inspire each other, and now self tape each other over zoom. I think having supportive friends around you is really important.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a best friend visiting we would definitely go wine tasting! It’s one of my favorite things to do and we have some great wineries in town. I love Malibu wines. I would definitely take her there and then have dinner or a late lunch at The Malibu Café. Hitting the beach is a must, then lunch at Reel Inn and possibly another wine tasting at Rosenthal wines. I love hiking, so I would want to take her to Temescal Canyon or Tuna Canyon. Hiking with the view of the ocean is breathtaking and so relaxing. There are so many amazing restaurants in this city, I would want to take her to Madeo, Craigs, Felix, Pace in the Canyon, Dantanas…. I like Italian if you can’t tell. Horseback riding at Sunset Hollywood Ranch is fun too. Of course we have our staples like the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive and Venice Beach. Those three are the most requested spots when I have had family and friends come to visit. There are so many great places to explore in Los Angeles, it just depends what you are in the mood to do. There really is something for everyone here. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have been a big part of my journey in Los Angeles, but I want to focus on The Comedy Coven. We met in a standup class at Pretty Funny Women, then decided to form our own comedy group and produce our own shows. These women have been beside me at my first open mic, first show and they taught me how to produce a show. We were each other’s support system. We found a home for our show at HAHA comedy club and I can’t wait to get back on stage with these amazing women.
headshot credit: Stephanie Girard