Posts Tagged: tina fey

One Chance Isn’t Your Only Chance

Nobody puts John Mulaney in the corner.

Nobody puts John Mulaney in the corner.


Recently, I read an article about NBC’s decision not to pick up John Mulaney’s sitcom (don’t ask me why I’m reading months-old articles on Splitsider–we all just have to live with our decisions). The article basically said that it was a dumb decision for NBC to not pick up the show because John Mulaney is going to be successful whether they have a hand in it or not. The other example the article used was Tina Fey. She wasn’t successful, Splitsider asserted, because NBC let her have a show; she was successful because she was always going to be successful, and that would have happened whether or not she had 30 Rock. If it wasn’t 30 Rock, it would’ve been any number of other shows on any number of other networks, all leading to the same result: Tiny Fey being one of the most beloved comedians in the world.

This realization hit me like a ton of self-help books: if a person works hard, practices their craft, and is talented, they’re going to be successful. In other words, one lost opportunity isn’t the end of the world. It’s so, so easy for us (or, um, me) to assume that if one opportunity doesn’t work out, then we’ve blown our chances at ever being successful. Or, when we’re facing down what feels like The One Big Chance, it’s tempting to see it as our only shot to succeed. No pressure, right?

Thinking back over the past few years of my career, I can think of so many times I’ve thought, “This is the big chance. This is the gamechanger.” I mean, I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count all the times I’ve thought that. And when those opportunities have worked out, yes, it’s been amazing. But, just as many times, the “big opportunities” haven’t worked out. I mean, that’s what being a writer is all about…constant rejection. And while it always stings to “miss out” on something, I can’t think of a single time that a better opportunity didn’t pop up to take its place.

Just remember that it isn’t luck that makes successful people successful…or, I guess it is luck, if you define luck as “being at the right place at the right time but also being extremely prepared by working hard at your craft for years and years.” Then, yeah, total luck.

Basically, as inspirational refrigerator magnets the world over tell us, the harder you work, the luckier you get. One lost opportunity isn’t the end for you. One big chance isn’t the only big chance you’ll get. After all, John Mulaney’s sitcom got picked up by Fox. If you really, truly believe that talent and hard work always win out, you’ll realize that you never just have one chance.

Tina Fey in Entertainment Weekly


My parents have an Entertainment Weekly subscription, and reading each week’s issue is one of my favorite parts of visiting them. Well, not really, but it is pretty nice. This week, Tina Fey was on the cover, all decked out like Audrey Hepburn. The whole article is great if you want to pick up a copy, but otherwise you can read a bit about it on EW.com.

Among the topics discussed:
-The lameness of “women aren’t funny” articles
-Tina Fey’s response to criticism of Liz Lemon’s sex negativity.
-Her tactics for writing weird SNL sketches that didn’t often make it to air.
-Much, much more!

It’s a great article, and it’s several pages long, so it’s actually worth spending your money on the magazine. Tina Fey is the best!

Lady Inspiration: Mindy Kaling (again)

“This is going to sound strange, but I’ve always been very inspired by Tyler Perry. I think it’s because the first acting job that ever got me any attention was playing Ben Affleck in Matt & Ben, and Tyler Perry got such a huge following playing his character Madea. I just thought it was so original and so strange and so weird that he made this dynasty off Madea as his launching pad. Obviously, Larry David and Tina Fey are other people whose careers I really admire, but Tyler Perry is the one whom I feel the most affinity for.” – Mindy Kaling, from Bust Magazine, again. You guys, have you bought this yet?

Fictional Characters I Identify With

1. Liz Lemon

Recently I found out that a certain brother of mine said I remind him of Liz Lemon.
“That’s nice!” said H, who’s long had a crush on Tina Fey.
“I don’t remind him of Tina Fey, the gorgeous, successful, hilarious writer and actress,” I said. “I remind him of Liz Lemon, the frumpy, awkward sandwich enthusiast.”
Liz Lemon is a certain kind of person exaggerated for comic effect. And that kind of person is me. I often sing songs about what I’m eating, a la Liz’s rendition of “Workin’ on My Night Cheese.” I own a Snuggie (no Slanket, but close). Most strikingly, we share a wardrobe; on two separate occasions, Liz has worn a shirt that I own. Not a similar style of shirt; the exact same shirt. Like this one:

Liz’s wardrobe is often mocked, so this isn’t a point of pride.
The one thing Liz Lemon has that I don’t? A successful career!

2. Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids

I know the point of this character is to make us say, “She’s just like me!” But really, she’s just like me. Unfortunately, this isn’t a character anyone really wants to be like.
Her creative dreams are frustrated and she’s having a hard time pursuing them. Her best friend is getting married while she’s so far removed from that world that she doesn’t even know you have to make reservations at a fancy bridal shop. Everyone around her seems to have their lives together while hers is, basically, in shambles. I really coveted her hairstyle, then I read a review in Entertainment Weekly that referred to it as “disheveled.” Then I got that haircut anyway, because suck it, Owen Gleiberman!

3. Linsday Weir, Freaks and Geeks

It’s probably not good that I identify with the uncertainty of a high school girl, but I do. Lindsay Weir is constantly trying to figure out who she is and she makes the wrong decisions about half the time. Also, she wears a pretty sweet army jacket that reminds me of the green army jacket I’ve worn since my freshman year of high school.

Lady Inspiration: Tina Fey

“When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following questions: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”
-Bossypants