Sarah Halstead is an actor and comedian who is originally from Flint, Michigan. However, she moved to New York City, where she studied Drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She studied wine and spirits in 1999 and received her higher certificate from Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Sarah did well in the wine industry and represented several influential and iconic wineries such as The Hess Collection, Perrier Jouet Champagne, Mumm Champagne, and Laurent Perrier.
Though Sarah Halstead was doing well in the wine industry, she felt there was something missing. Soon, she realized that comedy was her true calling. “I have been obsessed with comedy since I started watching Saturday Night Live (SNL) at the age of 10,” the talented artist shared. “I am also a big fan of Lucille Ball, Joan Rivers, Moms Mabley, and the trail-blazing female comedians that didn’t have the same advantages because of their gender. I fell in love with acting and even starred in small plays after high school and grew a strong passion for the craft. Standup comedy came much later in my career, but I have always felt it was my destiny,” she added.
Her passion for comedy has helped her earn a name for herself in a genre that is considered a male-dominated field. Decades ago, there were only a handful of women comedians, and they didn’t get the opportunities that are available today. However, in order to make your mark in the comedy genre, one needs to be extremely observant, sharp, and quick-witted – traits that Sarah Halstead possesses. She has her way of turning real-life experiences into light and fun moments that others can enjoy.
Sarah’s recent comedy special, RVs and Cats, is all about her roller-coaster life up until now. The show recounts her time in Flint, her dream of becoming a performer when she was young, her struggling years as an actor, and her champagne business. This is not all. It also shows how Sarah finally decided, in the wake of her divorce, to quit her job and load her possessions and two cats into a 30ft RV to set out to Los Angeles. What is interesting about the show is that RVs and Cats was taped in front of a live audience at Second City, Los Angeles. It is available on Amazon Prime, one of the largest streaming platforms, and has over 1.7 million streams.
Besides RVs and Cats, she runs a podcast under the title of ‘Drinking During Business Hours’. On the podcast, she interviews artists about their creative journey while they enjoy a great bottle of wine together. A new episode is uploaded every other week and is available on Spotify, Itunes, Apple Music, and more. She is also the creator and producer of a monthly standup comedy show at Hollywood Improv, named Bottle Shock, in which she has a comedy act along with other artists.
Some of her other achievements include starring in an off-Broadway play in NYC called A Lullaby for Murder, as well as featuring in the play Hairspray at the iconic Orpheum Theatre. Moreover, she has co-created and co-hosted the podcast Jimmy & Sarah on the Sunset Strip at The World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
Her other accomplishments are co-creating and co-hosting a live show and podcast with Darrell Hammond from Saturday Night Live called The Summit. Along with this, she has been featured in over 100 commercials internationally, and her television appearances include names like Deadly Sins, Bloody Relatives, Cry Wolf, etc.
An actor, standup comedian, and podcaster, Sarah Halstead has her life all set towards success by bringing smiles to people’s faces. She has been able to ace everything she puts her mind to because of her dedication and passion. In fact, when she is on stage, she completely turns off her wine business brain and vice versa so that her attention and focus are undivided.
But most of all, it’s the love for the craft that keeps her blood flowing. “Performing in front of a live stage has always been euphoric to me. I love diving into different characters and making them come to life. What inspires me about the job is the ability to make other people feel the emotions of the character through my performance,” Sarah explained.
She further went on to add, “Acting and standup comedy urges you to keep studying, writing, and getting into character. As a result of this exercise, I have gotten to understand myself better and know the parts of me that I never even noticed before. Good comic performers have the ability to laugh at themselves, too, and once you are comfortable doing that, your audience gets relaxed and happy with you too.”
Sarah Halstead is a hard-working, compassionate and driven individual who has been creating waves in the entertainment industry with her sharp wits and acting prowess. Having a go-getter attitude has helped her observe, learn and practice her way up to the standup comedy stage, carving a niche for herself in the highly competitive industry. Her life has not been smooth sailing, but she has learned to sail through the tides and make every detour work in her stride.