Sasheer Moore, 23

McCarren Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Sasheer Moore

Photograph: Jay Muhlin

What are you up to? I'm writing bits for some stand-up I'm putting together.

You're a comic? Well, working on it. I'm taking classes at Upright Citizens Brigade right now.

I could never sit in a park and just conjure up funny things. Is that something you were born with? Well, my family is pretty funny. I mean, not on purpose. They don't realize that they provide a lot of material for me. [Laughs]

Where's your name from? Um, it's from Star Trek.

No, it is not. Yeah, I'm not kidding. My parents are both Trekkies. In season two, episode 50, Captain Kirk is flirting with this alien princess. He gives her a rose and she goes, "Oh, this is beautiful! We have something like this on my planet—it's called sasheer and it's made out of crystal."

So is Klingon your first language? [Laughs] No. My dad claims he can speak it but I've never heard him do it.

You took flak for that name as a kid, huh? Yeah. I was so proud of it, and I'd tell the story and kids would be like, "Oooh, your parents are nerds!"

As an aspiring comic, how do you pay the bills? Well, I only got here in January. I was hit by a car three years ago and I got settlement money from the guy's insurance. I won't disclose the amount, but that's how I've been living in New York for the past six months.

Wow, the silver lining. Yeah! It was very serendipitous, the whole thing.

More from Sasheer

"I've never gotten so many creative catcalls as I do here. Like, I was walking down the street and this guy pointed at me and was like, 'I see you, I see the smoothness of your skin! It radiates like the moonlight!' I'm like, Whoa, that was really creative!"

"I'm listening to Dr. Dog. I didn't know who they were till I went to a Prospect Park concert. I loved it so much I got the CD. It's, like, funky, almost jam band--ish."

"After my accident, I had vertigo for six months—if I stood up too fast or turned my head too quickly, it felt like the world was spinning. I finally went to the doctor and she explained that she would have to grab my head and fling me to the bed five times really quick, and then whatever was dislodged in my ear canal would go back to where it was supposed to be. [Laughs] I was like, 'Aren't there, like, some pills I can take, or a shot you can give me?' But we tried it and I haven't had vertigo since."

—Kate Lowenstein