Yasamin’s Persian-Irish-Tulsa perspective
Yasamin Bayatfar performs at multiple open mic nights in Tulsa.
Cher. Ke$ha. Yasamin. Three people with single names. Two of them are pop icons, and one of them can’t be friends with her exes because “they know what [her] asshole looks like.”
“I’m not going for an Oprah vibe,” Yasamin said. “I’m just trying to do everyone else a favor, because my first name is hard enough, and my last name is impossible.”
Her last name, Bayatfar, which she pronounces “buy-yacht-faihr,” comes from her father’s Persian side. She tells people that her mother is “extremely Irish,” which makes her “basically an Irish car bomb.”
“I try to bring my perspective as a Persian and a woman into my sets,” Yasamin said.
That Persian perspective means she won’t smoke weed because “‘getting stoned’ means a whole other thing” where she comes from. As a woman, she speaks on the trials of modern love.
“I don’t understand how it’s cool if you’re inside me ... but it’s ‘moving too fast’ if I follow you on Instagram,” she deadpanned.
Yasamin was introduced to comedy through improv classes at the University of Tulsa. “I liked it, but wasn’t in love with it,” she said. “I liked the being-funny-and-making-people-laugh aspect ... but what I didn’t like was the rules and structure of it.”
Tulsa expat and current Chicago comic Steven King encouraged her to do stand-up, and Damion Shade nudged her toward weekly appearances at his Yeti Writers Night.
Though she hated the structure of improv, the skills she gained in class show in her quick crowd work and breezy segues. In her set, after describing herself as an “Irish car bomb,” she tells the crowd: “That’s tacky as shit, so I knew you guys would like it.”
Yasamin told me she’s studying to be a medical examiner, a job she finds appealing for the low risk of hurting people—“because they’re already dead.”
She says she also likes the idea of working alone, though that hasn’t turned her away from collaborative work with fellow Tulsa comics. And while her rigid school schedule has kept her from our budding podcast scene and more regular bookings, she has applied to multiple out-of-state comedy festivals and Tulsa’s own Blue Whale Comedy Festival.
For now, you can catch Tulsa comedy’s pop star at multiple weekly open mics. In the not-too-distant future, she’ll be slicing up corpses.
For more from Mitch, read his and Holly Wall’s article on City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper.