To Melissa Villasenor, stand up comedian and impressionist, laughter is the best medicine.
Villasenor first began her career as a comic in California, when she was 12 years old.
“I was singing when I realized I could start doing impressions,” said Villasenor. “For example, I learned Brittney Spears.”
The next day Villasenor shared that impression with her friends at school and everyone was laughing. This is where she realized her newfound passion.
“It just made sense,” said Villasenor. “I love making people laugh, therefore, I wanted to be a comedian.”
However, with her shy personality, Villasenor didn’t showcase her newfound talent until her sophomore year of high school, when she told herself she absolutely had to take part in the talent show.
“I did my singing impressions and ended up getting a standing ovation from my high school,” said Villasenor. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.'”
Then, with the aid of a friend, Villasenor ended up performing her singing impressions and comic act to the judges on a Seattle audition for America’s Got Talent.
“I went in thinking that I shouldn’t expect anything to come out of it,” said Villasenor. “But it was probably the most beautiful experience of my career.”
Villasenor describes the experience as an ‘‘extremely important” one, even with her body buzzing in excitement.
“If I hadn’t taken that opportunity, I’d probably still be working at Forever 21,” said Villasenor. “It was just so great for me.”
Even with stand up as her current main focus, Villasenor has other goals in life.
“I love standup, but I also want to be given the opportunity to do TV and film,” said Villasenor. “But personally, I really want to be on Saturday Night Live—that’s been one of my dreams for my entire life.”
Villasenor also has a current side project that she hopes to accomplish soon between shows.
“I’m working on a short story book,” said Villasenor. “Maybe I’ll do a cartoon too, I like to draw and could do a voiceover for it.”
Having performed stand up comedy for the past two years, performing at Washburn University was nothing for Villasenor.
“I feel that tonight was a great show,” said Villasenor. “I left the stage really happy and as a comedian, that’s all I can ask for.”