Monday, April 02, 2012

Dawn, day, life; old, new, brave

I've heard nothing but rave reviews for Tina Fey's Bossypants; so I started it a few weekends ago at Thuters' cabin. It was already in my library queue and set to arrive any day, so I figured I'd get a head start.

I struggled to get through the first half of the book - it was made up mainly of autobiographical vignettes that provide context for a comedienne coming of age. It seemed a bit disjointed, though: the chapters go almost immediately from Fey's scraping together a life in theater in the Midwest to suddenly being the head writer for Saturday Night Live. It didn't flow very smoothly, but once she got the reader to where they recognize her, then I thought it was a better book.

The parts I loved and thought were hysterical in the second half were all about the sudden popularity of Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impersonation. I also appreciated her many insights into sexism in the field of comedy and how women like her are changing the industry and the perception of women in comedy. I loved all of that. I disagreed with her analysis of Photoshopping women's bodies for magazines as completely harmless - but aside from that I cheered for all of her blatantly feminist statements.

But my absolute favorite part was her breakdown of improv comedy, and how it boils down to an attitude about saying "Yes" to the world put in front of you. In order for the magic to happen onstage, improv actors have to be flexible and open to all possibilities; they have to then contribute and create with that same open-mindedness and willingness to embrace any situation as an opportunity to build something new.

What a great philosophy! After reading that, and inspired in part by Thuters' fashion advice à la Queer Eye, I ran out and finally started to update my wardrobe for the first time since ... uh, before grad school. *Cough*

Also, I've made this my new anthem:

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