|Do you think my friend will notice that the cover is ripped on the book she lent me?
I love Felicia Day! I think she's smart and funny and talented. I love that she does the whole geek thing with gusto. She's also a redhead (although potentially not naturally? She references hair dye at least once in the book), which I have always wanted to be. All-in-all, thumbs up from me to Felicia.
So I was very excited when her book came out and my friend lent me her copy, and then I promptly put it on my bookshelf and didn't read it for months. Now have finally, actually read it, and I want to talk about it.
A few things that stood out for me:
One: at one point she talks about meeting with a group of women who were more "together" than she was, as evidenced by the fact that she was wearing jeans she hadn't washed for the past week, and they probably weren't.
Do people wash their jeans more often than once a week??? Or even once a week??? My jeans do NOT get washed that often. Not nearly. Confession: I am always a little worried that I am gross, and this made it worse.
Two: This gal had a weird childhood, and clearly if she wasn't naturally brilliant she would be a yokel. A yokel with excellent (as she put it) geisha skills.
I'm also not sure if talking about singing and dancing and other arts-and-crafts training as geisha training is unintentionally racist or not - I think probably it's okay because that is basically what geisha training entailed, although maybe it could be considered cultural appropriation or insensitivity or something. But I think Felicia is cool enough to have at least considered the implications of using that term while writing the book.
Three: It's a bit hard to have sympathy for the insecurities of someone who went to college at age 16, aced (actually) a double major in advanced mathematics and concert violin, and then went on to move to LA to become an actor and quickly began booking commercials and bit parts (something many actors struggle for years to achieve). I mean, I get that objective success doesn't actually help get rid of insecurities when they're based in other issues, but even coming from someone who had a ton of her own unfounded crippling insecurities, it's still hard to feel her pain at times.
(Full disclosure: it's probably partially jealousy that keeps me from feeling her pain. I am bright but not quite as bright as she seems to be, creative but not acting on it as much as she is/was/did, and when I have acted on it, I have found only a mini fraction of her success. Plus, I've always wanted to be a redhead.)
(Sub note: I am referring only to her early insecurities, not when she actually goes into a full-on depression/anxiety spiral which is a totally different problem that I completely have sympathy for.)
Four: No one can argue with this girl's work ethic.
Five: Speaking of work ethic, one of the keys to all this success? Don't have friends, at least not while you're growing up. Seriously. Friends ruin a good work ethic. The time that most people spend with friends, Felicia Day spent working her face off (or playing World of Warcraft, which at first was a dangerous addiction, but wound up being the source material for her later success). And now she seems to have been able to make friends in her adult life, so it's all good!
Six: People on the internet are the worst. It's scary for the world.
Seven: I like how romance is clearly a thing in her life, but she barely touches on it. Her story is one of career-building, not love-building. This is exciting because most women's memoirs wind up focusing quite a lot on the love-building because we are socialized beings and that is what we're taught is the top value of our lives.
Sure, she tells the occasional hilariously awkward dating story, but then she moves on. Later, there are passing references to a boyfriend now and again, and you don't even know if it was the same one and it doesn't matter because that's not the point of this story. Go Felicia!
Eight: Despite my own insecurity-driven jealousy, I would totally want to be BFFs with her.
Nine: She talks a lot about some issues with her mom in the book. I always wonder when people do that if they have extensively talked to their parent about those issues and it's all cool now, or if they just hope the parent won't really notice those parts of the book. Because her mom totally comes off as a well-meaning, loving, supportive, crazypants.
Ten: Once I was out for brunch on Granville Street and I thought I saw her walk past the restaurant. I almost tweeted at her to see if she was in Vancouver at the time, and then I thought that might be creepy, so I didn't. Now I am realizing how much she's probably been up here for shooting and having some crazy trails of thought: "that was probably her! I should have tweeted her, we could be friends by now! / No, Andrea, it would not have been less creepy if she was actually here. / Maybe if I tweet her now and say I saw her back then? / Oh right, I'll just say that I saw her on the street like two years ago, maybe, so now we should hang out. That's not creepy either, right? / Ugh, I just want to talk to her about writing and self-producing and what colour I should dye my hair and musical comedies and Buffy and has she ever played DnD and has she read The Name of the Wind because it will change her life, but she's probably already best friends with Patrick Rothfuss because, well, they would be. Sigh."