Actress Sasha Compére understands the juxtaposition between the creative and business aspects in show business. “Acting is a great creative play – but the other side is a business. I’m glad to have a strong head on my shoulders to protect myself, especially as a Black, queer woman.”
That strength and level-headedness is a birthright she received from her Haitian immigrant parents, who met here in Michigan, “when my mom worked for my dad’s brother.” Raised in Detroit and Oak Park, she is a proud graduate of Marian High School in Bloomfield Township.
“I started at Shrine Schools in Royal Oak, and I played all the sports. When I went to Marian, as a sophomore, it was too late to join the tennis team, so I said, this is my shot,” Compére recalled about trying out for the school’s play, You Can’t Take It With Me. “It was fantastic, and I made so many of my best high school friends.”
Initially, she was hesitant to fully commit to the acting bug. She received a full scholarship to the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan, where she also took classes in acting. “I never thought to double major!”
Moving to New York City, she worked as a sales associate, an events assistant at awards events, as a building manager, and then “jumped ship and moved to L.A., where I first took a one week workshop,” followed up by classes and workshops with Jonathan Slavin, she recalled. “Some years later, I realized there’s so much more to learn. But I’ve caught up.”
She sure has.
Her first big time role came as Laura on the TBS comedy The Miracle Workers, in 2019. She followed that up with a recurring role with Anna Kendrick on the HBO show Love Life, and the Netflix film Uncorked, among other roles. And then came the role Compére said “changed my life.”
Single Drunk Female, on Freeform, just completed its first season, with Compére playing Brit, the lead character’s ex-BFF.
“I’ve loved every character I’ve played. With Single Drunk Female, playing someone who is a real person, I have real life experience to bring to it,” she said. “As much as I love to transform, there’s always a piece of me in each character I’ve played.”
The experience on the set of Single Drunk Female has been wonderful, as well, she said. “There are a lot of women and people of color behind the cameras,” Compére said. “I’m praying there is a season two. We’ll know by June. We are all ready to do more. This one is so much fun and it hits so many generations.”
Among the cast members is Brat Packer Ally Sheedy, who has become a mentor. “I love her because she just reached out and gave advice to me on the script and in life. I look up to her as a friend and a mentor. I also found that in Marcia Gay Harden. I just worked with her on a film, Gigi and Nate. I feel very lucky because it shows there are amazing, kind souls who can show you what doors to walk through, and hold you up.”
Compére said she always comes home for the holidays, especially since her sister now has twin six-month-olds. Her parents still live in her family home in Oak Park, and her sister is in West Bloomfield.
“I love the history I have here. As much as I love L.A., I’d love a place of my own locally,” she said, noting last time she was in downtown Birmingham she visited 220 and Townhouse, along with Brooklyn Pizza. “It’s the best. I go there every time I’m home!”
Story: Lisa Brody