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Skye Townsend: What She Learned From ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’

“A Black Lady Sketch Show” has been renewed for a third season! The Emmy-nominated sketch comedy show is breaking barriers in many ways: It is the first TV series where the writer’s room is led by all Black women. And the creator is Robin Thede, the first Black woman to become the head writer for a late-night show and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Skye Townsend, a new cast member in season two, joined Bold Life to share her most memorable experiences on set and the lessons she learned along the way. 

Lessons learned

Being a part of “A Black Lady Sketch Show” taught Townsend about being an actor and about the entertainment business as a whole. Her most memorable lesson was, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, you’re disrespectful.”

The best part of her experience? Bringing 25 characters to life. Season two has six episodes, and Townsend played 25 characters total. After reading the scripts, she imagined the character in a specific way, but that changed once she got into hair, makeup and wardrobe. Seeing the character come alive right before her eyes brought in the necessary changes she had to make.

“I play all types of characters that have different quirks … And so I had a chalkboard of ‘Remember — she has a shaky hand, she has tight shoulders, he moves like this, she talks like this,'” she said.

Photograph by Ali Paige Goldstein/HBO

What’s next?

Townsend grew up surrounded by the entertainment industry. Her father, Robert Townsend, is a well-known actor, comedian and filmmaker from the 1990s. She told Bold Life that she goes to him less for advice and more for wisdom.

You can’t bring everybody with you. As much as you want all of your friends to win at the same time, and as much as you want everybody to have the same hustle, you have to look out for yourself. And when you’re able to get into that position, you’re then able to bring your friends, but you can get easily distracted trying to win as a group. Sometimes people don’t want the dream or want the hustle or want to do the work.

Robert Townsend’s advice to Skye

Towsend eventually wants to get into developing and creating her own content. After landing this gig, she now feels like she’s in a position where she can pitch her show ideas. We look forward to seeing what’s next for “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and Skye Townsend. Have you watched season 2? Write us on social and let us know your thoughts!

All photos by Ali Paige Goldstein/HBO

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