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Sayed lands co-starring role on TV’s ‘Partners’
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

August 21. 2014 11:46AM
Tracey Sayed is coming to primetime television next week!

Nearly a year ago in October, the 1998 Brandon Valley High School alumnae auditioned for a role on the comedy series, “Partners,” staring Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer. Two months later, the 34-year-old Sayed was told she landed the co-starring role – playing the part of a secretary at a sperm bank – and in January, the 30-minute sitcom was filmed.

The episode, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Butt Ugly,” airs at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25 on the FX network. The half-hour comedy centers on two attorneys, played by Lawrence and Grammer.

“It was an out-of-body experience,” Sayed says of the experience. “I told myself, ‘It’s fine, they’re going to love you,’ but it’s still very intimidating.”

Sayed, who says she’s not typically “star struck,” admits she was excited to work alongside the Hollywood “superstars.”

“This is one of my first television gigs, and here I am showing up at set, which is exciting in itself, and then I’m going to be on set with Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer,” she recalls. “I was so excited because I’m a huge fan of both of them, I mean a huge fan, who was also a little bit scared and nervous, but it turned out great.”

Sayed describes Lawrence as “quite shy” and Grammer as “fun and goofy and easy to be around.”

“At one point the director asked me to do something and I didn’t know when he meant, and Kelsey stepped in and told me what to do,” she said.

Sayed said she has wanted to be an actor since the third grade when she was in her first play. She immediately fell in love with the craft. “I knew it was something I always wanted to do,” she said.

So following college at South Dakota State University entwined with summer stints with Prairie Repertory Theatre, Maher and Val Sayed’s daughter set out to pursue her dream job in Hollywood 10 years ago. Since that time, the three shows she’s booked have all been comedies, including a yet-to-be-named show coming out on Hulu, a subscription-based website that streams videos of TV shows, movies, etc.

Now in pre-production, Sayed plays a stenographer in a mock court trial setting.
“It’s really fun, and as a matter of fact, I was trying to keep from laughing onset because it’s one of the funniest scripts I’ve ever read,” she said. “It’s a super funny who dunnit.”

Her co-starring role on “Partners” next week is her first TV job.

“Acting was the only thing I ever wanted to do in my life,” says the Brandon native. But after a few years of not pursuing her dream and just “living,” Sayed said she saw an ad for an acting school, similar to the acting method she’d previously learned.
“It was a free workshop, so I thought I’d go and see what it’s all about,” she remembers. “Then I saw how much it cost!”

But when she was challenged by one of the school’s acting coaches, who asked her where she wanted her acting career to go, she realized that she, herself, was the only one keeping her from achieving her dreams.

“That was about four years ago,” Sayed said.

Sayed continues to attend acting classes. “I look at class like a professional athlete looks at the gym,” she said. “I go to class every single week so I can keep myself in a place where actor’s need to be.”

Hollywood does offer “a ton of opportunities,” says Sayed, who was raised on “stage.”

A few years earlier, Sayed produced, directed and acted in a play titled, “Fat Pig.”

“I love stage, that’s where I was raised, essentially,” she said. “I’d love to do that but right now I’m focusing on TV and video because I’m in a city groomed for that, but I would love to be on Broadway someday.”

Sayed said when she auditioned for “Partners,” she as actually at the casting director’s office intending to audition for a completely different show. But when they asked her to stay around and audition, Sayed made the time.

“My life is all about acting, but it takes a very long time to get there,” she said. “I, like many other people, have a day job, too,” she informs. That job is as a senior communications specialist for Legal Zoom, an online resource for legal documents or assistance with attorney services.
The job, she said, is a good fit as she pursues her acting dream.

“They’ve been so generous and so nice to me through all of this,” she said. “Because acting is a very fickle business.”

Sayed says her dream role is yet to be created.

“It’s not out there yet because it would be my own multi-cam comedy,” she tells. “It would be my show and it doesn’t exist because it would be written for me.”

But until that role does exist, Sayed continues to pursue her dream. “I’m living the dream and definitely trying to make Brandon and South Dakota proud,” she says.





Tracey Sayed, a 1998 graduate of Brandon Valley High School, can be seen on primetime TV at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25 on the FX sitcom, "Partners." Sayed scored a co-staring role as a secretary at a sperm bank in the show which stars Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer. Sayed is pictured on the Paramount Studio grounds near Stage 29, where she filmed an episode of "Thunder Men," which has yet to air, she said. Submitted photo



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