Retta on Being a Black Woman in Comedy, on TV - Rolling Stone
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Women Shaping the Future: Retta on Being a Black Woman in Comedy

The star of ‘Good Girls’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’ discussed representation in Hollywood at Rolling Stone’s event

On March 4th, Rolling Stone hosted its second annual Women Shaping the Future event, celebrating, raising, and honoring the influential female voices in culture. The event was the first to take place at the new Edge venue in Hudson Yards, which overlooks New York City.

Actress and comedian Retta currently stars in Good Girls (which returned for season 3 on NBC last month) and was first introduced to fans in the hit TV show Parks and Recreation. She shared her experiences as a black woman in comedy and how she broke into Hollywood.

“If you don’t make it real for yourself, no one else is going to buy it,” she explained about her stand-up career. “I did what i thought was right, not trying to do what other people thought was right.”

She took that attitude into her auditions as well. “Stop trying to figure out what you think these people want,” she said. “Because if you do that, they see what is great. … “I had to do what I thought was best on this page, opposed to what these four white people think is best on the page.”

The day also included Emmy-winning actor Uzo Aduba, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, singer-songwriter Lauren Jauregui, CAN-AM’s Senior VP Josée Perreault, and playwright Katori Hall. who also all spoke throughout the event about their distinct experiences as women breaking barriers in their respective industries. Performances included Grammy-nominated artist Grace Potter, Overcoats, Diana Gordon, and S.G. Goodman.

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