Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh Tina Fey, how do I love thee?

Just the word 'writer' conjures a heart skip for me. And I'm still struggling allowing myself to slip on that label with only mediocre publishing, blogging, and a name brand-less graduate school on my resume. So if you add respected, successful, well off and well known, and 5'4" brunette with bangs and glasses, before it, I'm basically on the road to myocardial infarction. But wait, it's not me everyone's talking about. It's Ms. Fey. And I'm talking too.

Inspiration. Motivation. Role model. Wife and mom. Not obese. Which seems to happen while you munch away pounding out vampire novels. Hm. That actually sounds pretty good. Ah, but then you meet the stars of your book-turned-feature-film, and the idea of being an attractive, respected writer fuzzes a bit.

When I start counting the ways about Tina, or more adoringly Lemon, comedic writing flashes forward, even before her signature frames and endearing scar. She also gets almost equal points for being able to act out those comedic lines. Why is it some of us are given no apparent gifts that will lead to individuality in a good way and fortune, and others given multi-tasking-worthy talent that goes beyond the fastest "to do" lists in the west and freakish frugality?

Her creation and execution of laugh out loud SNL sketches, and characters like Liz Lemon and her 30 Rockefeller Plaza cohorts, makes their visits to our television like beaming up a new box of Hot Tamales. Fresh. Spicy. Even the movie Date Night, which could have transmitted blandly--even with the King Midas that is Michael Scott--served up a clever plot, her trademark, charmingly goofy words and phrases, and the washboard abs of Marky Mark that just can't go un-applauded. Not really though. Stop clapping in movie theaters. They can't hear you!

Utter some Lemon language instead...

Lizaster. Or lizazing?
Mind grapes
Human Macarena  -  a description of a woman with a promiscuous past dating back to 1996. Ex. "She's like a human Macarena: something everybody did at parties in 1996."

So, while I'm enjoying becoming fluent with the Liz Lemon lexicon, and basking in the shadow of this accomplished, petite, exploding writer and icon, one of my favorite Tina Fey moments isn't with Jimmy Fallon or Ellen or even her improvisational approach to life. But Lemon with Oprah in a fall 2008 episode; she writes and acts that she meets Oprah on a plane back to NYC from Chicago jury duty after a forgotten address change (Ha!) and asks the talk show host to pretend to introduce her Oprah show-style. Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizz Lemmonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Brilliant. Observant. My coworker brought this to my attention as I have to admit I was a 30 Rock late-bloomer. But how can you not ease a bad bood or grin just a little, or get a heart skip, with that intro playing even just inside your own head.

Allyyyyyyyyyyyyy Lawwsoooooooooooooonnn. The next great American writer to be our book club's book...

Is it a bad sign Oprah's retiring? Sniff. I guess I just need to find my Jack mentor. Homage:

(Lemon) "Why are you wearing a tuxedo?"

(Jack) "It's six o'clock; what am I a farmer?"

Here's a great place to learn more about Fey and writing for True Believers - and how she's living proof to us writers of our own potential.

Images courtesy of The Hangover blog and, respectively.

No comments: