She left the show in 2002 and has since focused her career on theatre.
Gasteyer’s musical and dramatic abilities were nurtured from early in her youth. “I played violin in the age of five,” she said, “and I ‘d an ear from a very young age.”
Gasteyer attended the esteemed private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, where she became a friend of classmate Amy Carter, the sole daughter of President Jimmy Carter. “It was real low key,” Gasteyer afterwards recalled. “We walk into this small bungalow [at Camp David], and essentially there is [President Carter] and some man, and another man in a turban.”
For many 10-year old violinists, that performance may have marked a career pinnacle. For Gasteyer, it was merely first. She earned her first professional acting job, as a kid phantom in Verdi’s Macbeth, when she was 13.
She was likewise an excellent pupil. After graduating in 1989 from Northwestern University’s School of Communication, where she earned her bachelors of science in speech, theatre and performance studies, Gasteyer moved to La to join the renowned improv troupe The Groundlings.
“Lots of improvisation could be quite manly and competitive and intelligent oriented, much more than playing oriented, and that I felt like that was the very first time that I realized that there’s some sort of female character sensibility that was more about slice of life — more about your humorous aunt that folks might find fascinating,” she said.
She created several popular first characters:
Gasteyer wed Charlie McKittrick on November 9, 1996. Their daughter, Frances Mary, was created in June 2002, making Gasteyer the first Saturday Night Live cast member to do consistently while pregnant. In August 2002, Gasteyer declared she’d not be returning for another season on SNL.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Gasteyer changed her professional focus to the theatre. Her Wicked producer said, “we did not cast her for her comic skills. We cast her because we believed she was a fantastic performer and we understood how well she could sing.” Gasteyer after reprised the role of Elphaba on Broadway.
Gasteyer in addition has made several memorable supporting appearances in movies, including former SNL associate Tina Fey’s Mean Girls (as Lindsey Lohan’s mom) in 2004 and Reefer Madness in 2005.
Gasteyer may not be a weekly presence on Saturday Night Live, but she’s fairly content with her present chances in theatre. “I need to act on stage now because… I really like the training,” she said. “In spite of what I did for years as an improviser as well as on live TV, I actually adore the slow procedure for stage work. There’s such an possibility to boost night after night after night. I must say I feel myself grow. Additionally, I worry less when I am in a play, the nitty gritty of it keep the crazy part of my brain quiet; it is this kind of present for a an anxious man, to possess a satisfactory occupation regular, to be active although not stressed.”