What I Learned from Tina Fey
Tina Fey is my lady heroine and I don’t mean I want to smoke her and listen to jazz. I recently got to attend a Q&A with Tina Fey at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, talking about her new book, Bossypants, and discussing her creative processes. She’s an amazing lady—funny, smart, and she’s not afraid to be a nerd. Between her talk and her new book, I’ve learned a few things.
A writer is a writer. During her Q&A, the moderator asked her what it’s like working with mostly male writers at SNL and then 30 Rock. Her response, “Have you seen male comedy writers? They’re not strong,” made me laugh out loud, because it’s true (ahem, I am married to one.). The lesson? Don’t be intimated by other writers. Even if they’re dudes.
Negative comments about you are only fodder for comedy. Fey dedicates a whole chapter of her book called “Dear Internet” to writing back to commenters online who called her an ugly troll, said she wasn’t funny, or made fun of her scar. She “writes” back to them in with such wit and humor, it totally disarms these negative comments. I love it. So often, there are crazy negative comments online from Facebook, blogs, Twitter, it can make you sick. But by making fun of it, it makes it more hilarious.
Make statements. She has a great section in her book about using what she learned in improv comedy and using it in real life. For instance, Make Statements in improv are when you speak in statements rather than apologetic questions. She writes, “Make statements, with your actions and your voice.” So instead of saying, I think I’m a writer?”, say “I am a writer.” Get it?
Lastly, when having a bad day, watch some 30 Rock. Tina didn’t say this, but this is exactly what I do. Whether I’m feeling ill or just need a pick-me-up, I throw on my DVD set of any season of 30 Rock, and hit Play All. Bad day, be gone.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Bossypants yet, go now!