If I Were Famous Would This Be Funnier?
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
HOST: So this is your first Emmy nomination and win!
ME: Yeah, it’s been amazing.
HOST: So people are kind of thinking of you as an overnight sensation but that’s not really true.
ME: No not really. I mean I’ve been working as an actor and writer since I graduated college.
HOST: Right, you’ve been in voiceovers for a long time.
ME: Yeah I’ve voiced a lot of cartoons and commercials. Getting to do voices for Sponge Bob Square Pants and Family Guy was amazing but my favorite is still probably the cartoon I created myself. Seeing an idea go from my head to paper to screen has been like a dream come true.
HOST: And then you’ve done a lot of writing and guest appearances for other popular shows as well.
ME: Yup Yup, I’ve written for SNL and then was lucky enough to get to be in some of my own sketches. I got to guest star on Curb Your Enthusiasm and VEEP. Julia Louis Dryefus has always been an idol of mine and someone I wanted to follow in the footsteps of so getting to perform with her was amazing I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it was actually happening.
HOST: And now the Emmy for best leading actress in a new Comedy Series. And you’ve just written a book.
ME: Yeah, I’m so grateful for all these opportunities. Being able to make a living doing the things I’m most passionate about is really wonderful, I feel very lucky.
I know I’m funny. People have always told me I’m funny, and not just my loved ones, the thing is I think I’m forgettable or something. The head of the drama department at Emerson College my alma mater told me during one of my evaluations that maybe I should try comedy “There’s a great improv and sketch comedy troupe on campus, maybe get involved there” “ Yeah I know” I said “I’m president of it.”
How can a person be that funny and yet get forgotten? I always seem to get passed over, always the call back but never the part. There are tons of things, reasons I can find that are to blame. I know I don’t have that “look”. I’m short but not that short and I’m not skinny but then again I’m not fat, like fat fat either. I was once actually told that I either needed to gain 40 pounds or lose 40 pounds because I wasn’t skinny enough to be an ingénue but not chubby enough to be a character actor. I’m not blond with translucent or glowing skin but I’m not ethnic enough to be exotic or exciting. I’m just me. Just blah brown haired, brown eyed 5’3 1/2”, size 10, funny but not memorable me. Maybe if I lost a ton of weight I could be like a Mila Kunis, maybe I could fit that “slot”? I’m funny, I do voiceovers, if I were that skinny my eyes would appear bigger, maybe I’d have more Hollywood sex appeal? Maybe I’d be a tiny little spitfire comedian that would grab Lorne Michael’s attention? The thing is I don’t want to lose that much weight…does that mean I don’t want a successful career? Hells no. I want it, but I want it as me. I wan to come home from winning my Emmy and have a burger. Maybe have a pint of Ben and Jerry’s after a long creative day and a show. I want to be healthy don’t get me wrong I exercise, I know moderation is important but moderation isn’t starvation and to be hollywoodable, (my own term), I think I’d have to walk the starvation line … at least what would seem like starvation to this Italian gal who loves a good meal and a cupcake every now and then.
I had hope when I saw Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey hit the air. I thought ok, here are two regular looking broads who are funny and talented and that’s getting them places. Rachel even has big boobs just like me, a fellow short, big boobed lady… but then I saw less of Rachel Dratch and I saw Tina start getting skinnier and prettier, more glamorous if you will. Now I’m not dawgin’ on Tina Fey…she’s amazing, she’s brilliant, she’s beyond talented, she more than deserves her success, she worked hard for it and continues to but I guess I felt the self created camaraderie I experienced in my head faded a bit. Tina was no longer fellow female comedian, real and clawing her way through the entertainment industry, she was now something to aspire to something I’m not sure I can ever be.
Mindy Kaling is pretty hot right now, can she be my new self created and imagined best buddy my “sister”? Will she set a new trend, along with the chick from HBO’s GIRLS, for female comedians and actresses with that “real” look? Probably not. Mindy is beautifully ethnic and the girl from GIRLS is so edgy and hipster, I’m too mainstream…too blah.
Here’s the thing… It’s not about any of them and how they look, it’s about their drive, it’s about them not waiting around for the right part, they write parts for themselves! They made it happen by offering so much that no one could miss it. So with that realization I start my journey.
Now if I’m being totally honest, which I will try my best to be as I chronicle my experiences and share my stories, I’ve actually known all of this for some time now but I’m a scaredy cat. I am lazy, I am scared and lazy. I am scared to work for something that may not pan out. I’m afraid to fail – sort of. The actual failing one time and learning from it and rising above it to ultimate success is fine with me. It’s the kind of failing where you do something and nothing comes of it…not ever being recognized for all my hard work is the kind of failure I am petrified of. I don’t want to be the tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. By the way, that is the answer to that age-old philosophical question about the tree falling…yeah, the tree makes a noise but the tree isn’t famous so the noise doesn’t matter and no one cares.
In her book Tina Fey brings up a situation where she was asked to share the moment where she first realized she was a woman…I then tried to think of mine…I don’t have one. I still, at 34 years old with a husband, don’t feel like a woman. I want to do things and be praised for it, I want to eat cake for breakfast but only if I can do it secretly and get away with it and I still want to play pretend, I want to play pretend and make people laugh all the time and get approval by getting paid for it. That’s not a woman, that’s a kid, that’s me and that’s pretty much what’s been true during every stage of my life. Until now wanting all those day dreams and and making a career playing pretend and making people laugh has been ¾ dream ¼ reality but it’s not enough … I don’t feel like a woman and for sure not a successful one yet. This is going to chronicle my journey to take a life full of dreaming and sort of doing to succeeding and being that woman I want to be.