Retta of "Parks and Recreation"

Retta, who played Donna on “Parks and Recreation,” joined Salon’s D. Watkins to share her hilarious journey to Hollywood and stories from her new memoir “So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know.” On “Salon Talks,” Retta talks about why she abandoned her medical school plans and chased her dream of starring in her own sitcom instead. Plus, she opens up about race and finding her own voice in the industry.

“I used to fear the black audience early on in my stand-up career, then I did a show with Cheryl Underwood. This was a college gig and the audience was mostly white and I opened for Cheryl at the time,” Retta told Salon. “I remember watching Cheryl just be herself and killing in this room and I was like oh, you should just be yourself. I saw it, where I done black rooms where I didn’t feel urban enough for this room and I’d watch white comics get up and decimate a room and I was like ‘that person is just being themselves.’”

Watch the video above to hear about Retta’s new project and how she was almost casted to play Effe in “Dreamgirls.” Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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