Tina Fey’s book, “Bossypants,” was published in 2011 but I just got around to reading it this year. I like Tina Fey. I loved her impression of Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential election. She also co-stars in one of my favorite movies, “Date Night,” with Steve Carrell. Tom and I watched several seasons of 30 Rock. I find Tina Fey to be an intelligent, down-to-earth person who understands her influence as a media star.
The book, “Bossypants,” is not a great book. It is a combination of humorous essay and autobiography. Tina Fey talks about her life but understands that her biggest problem would not even appear on the radar of problems for much of the world. She knows she is blessed and has a dream life and great family. But she has also worked hard for these and does not take them for granted.
The book spoke to me in Tina’s voice. I felt like she was sitting next to me talking. If you enjoy Tina Fey talking this is a good thing. If you don’t – I can’t imagine why you would read the book! She clearly describes the struggles of balancing a successful career with being a wife and mother: nothing ever gets enough time.
My favorite part of the book was the section on “The Rules of Improvisation,” included in the book under the chapter on being in the Second City Improv troupe. I think these might be good rules for our lives:
- Always say YES. Be willing to try something different or new. At least try to go along before you stop someone’s scene. Respect what your partner has created. Always saying “no” is no way to live.
- Say YES, AND. In improv you agree and then add something of your own. We need to do this in life also. Don’t be afraid to add something to the conversation. Your contribution is worthwhile.
- Make statements. Don’t ask questions all the time. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Don’t point out what is wrong – find a way to help. This is especially true for women: don’t be afraid of your voice. State what you want instead of taking a weaker stance and giving someone the impression you don’t matter.
- There are no mistakes. At least in improv. There are mistakes in life. But we can focus on the mistakes and get stuck or we can go on to create something wonderful from the mistakes we made. It might seem hard to understand right now, but keep working the scene and eventually it will make sense.
“Bossypants” is not the best book I have ever read. But it was a book I enjoyed, written by a smart and strong woman. Tina Fey has learned to let her voice be heard and she is trying to make a difference in the world – one joke at a time.