It seems as if everyone is trying to achieve instant Instagram fame these days but if you’re an aspiring actor, the real challenge becomes: How do you go from Instafamous to landing a TV show on network television? Comedians and real-life besties Sasha Merci and Dee Nasty (Darlene Demorizi) could probably offer some advice in that department. The Dominicanas — known for their Instagram presence, as they say — are bringing their digital series Like, Share, Dímelo, which launched this past spring, to our television screens and it’s history in the making! It’s the first show of its kind on a television network hosted by two Dominican comics.
The show, which premieres on Fuse September 21, “is a hilarious and unfiltered talk series that explores trending topics in Latinx and millennial issues, including politics, pop culture, dating, and sex.” Unlike the short-form digital series, the network television version will include celebrity guests and was already approved for an entire first season.
“I think that this is finally the moment where you see that we have been putting in the work,” Demorizi told HipLatina. “Sasha and I have been online presences — for lack of a better word — for a minute now. We’ve stayed consistent and we’ve stayed steadfast in our journey and I feel like this is finally a break for us and I’m really grateful. Finally, we’re on TV! This is what we always wanted to do since we were kids. And we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a lot of digital series but there’s something that’s kind of nostalgic [about being on TV.]”
Sasha Merci and Dee Nasty certainly have stayed consistent in working hard towards their dreams and career goals. And there’s a reason why they’ve become so popular over the years. Their content has resonated with the Dominican-American community since day one. In fact, both Merci and Demorizi were posting comical videos that touched on Dominican culture, humor, and identity at a time when there wasn’t really any content like that being put out especially by female Dominican comics.
“What I’ve been telling people is that what got us here is our relatability to our people. If all else fails we have to be true to that because that is what got us here. That is why we have this TV show because this is a lane that has never been touched before,” says Merci.
“I’ve never seen a Dominican-American shine in this light. When they are, they are playing a different character. This is fairly new and my culture is everything to me. Dominican-American culture is everything to me and that’s just who I am and that’s where I lie in my authenticity.”
The two childhood friends from uptown Manhattan and the Bronx, grew up cracking jokes with their Dominican relatives, who were the ones who inspired a lot of their content and motivated them to pursue comedy. They quickly filled the void of Dominican representation in comedy after building their social followings, did plenty of standup comedy work, including their comedy show together called Sancocho, and a number of indie acting roles before landing the digital series Like, Share, Dímelo, which the girls both host and help write and produce.
“We are Dominican and yes, we are the largest Latino demographic in NYC but there’s not a lot of us in the rest of the nation. A lot of people didn’t know us [when we started doing Instagram skits in 2016], so one thing I always say about when we started out was that some of my videos were cringey. I think they were very corny,” Demorizi says laughing. “But people were still receptive to them and I think it’s because there was a lack of representation in the media from someone with a Dominican background and with a Bronx background. If you’re a person who wants to get into this career and you have something to say that you want to put out for your people — for your community — put it out there because you’re going to find people who are similar and who can laugh at it, agree with it, and appreciate it.”
The TV show, like the digital platform, is a comedy/ talk show where they touch on topics that are especially relevant to the Latinx community. Sasha Merci and Dee Nasty even have an episode dedicated to the issue of colorism and internalized racism within the community, which they touched on in a previous digital series episode with guest activist and singer Amara La Negra. In the premiere episode on the network TV season, they chat with legendary hip-hop star and Bronx-born Puerto Rican rapper, Fat Joe about what it means to be a celebrity today and the problem with cancel culture.
The new gig has made it clear to both comics, that acting is the route they want to continue to pursue. Merci not only sees herself acting more in the near future but also writing more, producing more, and even directing. Whatever she’s doing, she wants her focus to be on shining a light on the stories and experiences of folks whose stories aren’t often told, highlighted, or celebrated.
“I think in 5-10 years I want to be doing everything that I’m doing now at a larger scale,” says Demorizi. “Back in the day you were either a singer and the most you could be was a triple threat: singer, dancer, and actress. I don’t sing or dance but I do a lot of things. I do want to do scripted and I want to continue to do unscripted work. I love interviewing people and learning about them but I also want to play pretend sometimes so I do think in the next few years I’d want to be in movies and more on TV, and still navigating all of media until it’s no longer fun. If I feel like I’m no longer having fun with it and it’s not bringing me joy, then I’ll change [to something else].”
Merci also wants to start making space to have more honest and real dialogues around mental health.
“I want to be more honest and let people know about me suffering from depression because I do suffer from depression but lately I’ve been able to get it to a place, where I can keep it at bay,” she says. “But it took me years, I’m talking years to get here so I want to start speaking out more about it and try to see how I can help people navigate their depression. Especially now in this moment in time, I think mental health is something that we really need to start talking about in the Latino community — in POC communities.”
In fact, one of the episodes on the show does touch on mental health and how the lack of access and lack of dialogues around it deeply impacts people of color. “I feel like so many of us are used to sweeping things underneath the rug and acting like things aren’t a big deal but it really is a big deal and moments like now, where emotional intelligence is becoming more talked about and less taboo, we have to keep pushing that narrative and let people know it’s okay if you feel depressed and sad. It’s okay,” adds Demorizi.
Watch Like, Share, Dímelo on Fuse TV tonight at 11 pm EST!