Keeping along the theme of reviewing great new things this week, December’s book review is all about Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. Poehler’s book is all about life, love, career, being a woman, being a mom, accepting yourself as is, and blah blah blah all glued together by a strong bond of humor. She’s a comedy genius and if you don’t know this it is likely you’ve been under a rock instead of under the oaks. [See what I did there? Reading books about comedians automatically makes you a comedian yourself.]
Poehler writes about her experiences on SNL, improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, filming Baby Momma, and of course the popular NBC show Parks and Recreation. She shares stories about all the great comedians she’s had an opportunity to work with and if you listen to the audiobook, she even has some of them co-narrate like Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Patrick Stewart, and Kathleen Turner. As a reader you get a very deep sense of comradery between comedians. In fact, one of my personal favorite Amy Poehler moments (that she writes about as well) is when her and 5 other comedy geniuses met each other on stage during the 2011 Emmy’s to accept the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Comedy.
While I enjoyed listening to stories about improv, improv groups, and all of Poehler’s career experiences, I also greatly valued her life lessons spread throughout. Poehler discusses our inner demons, our ego and learning to apologize, being a mother for the first time, finding humor and light in going through something serious like a divorce, and the inevitability of change and learning how to ride the wave of life versus trying to stick your feet to the ground.
A few of my favorite lines from Poehler …
“I’d already made a decision early on that I would be a plain girl with tons of personality and accepting it made everything a lot easier. If you are lucky there’s a moment in your life where you have some say as to what your currency is going to be. I’d decided early on it’s not going to be my looks.”
On the key to success …
“Either way we both agreed that ambivalence is key to success. I will say it again ambivalence is key to success. You have to care about your work, but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.”
And on telling someone to “relax” …
“Relax is a real tough one for me. Another tough one for me: smile! Smile doesn’t really work either. Telling me to relax or smile when I’m angry is like bringing a birthday cake into an ape sanctuary. You’re just asking to get your nose and genitals bitten off.”
Is this a read I recommend? Yes, please! I’ll warn you in advance if you are not a huge fan of improv, she talks a lot about improv. If you are a huge fan of laughing, enjoy. I would also recommend that you listen to the audiobook because I feel my experience would have been very different had I read words from a page.
What have you been reading lately? xoxo ‘n lols, crystal