Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey. Bossypants. New York: Reagan Arthur Book. Little, Brown and Company, 2011.

Fey wrote the screenplay to the movie “Mean Girls”, She researched this writing through attending a workshop on youthful bullying conducted by Rosalind Wiseman.

Fey was active in local community theater as a teenager. She acted and directed younger children. She then majored in Drama at college. Her first job after graduation was night box office manager of a theater in Boystown, Pa. She then worked with the Second City theater group in Chicago. She describes the incessant artistry in improvisational theater as cult-like. Fey enjoyed improvisational acting better than acting as taught in college following Stanislavsky’s. and others’, methods.

Fey advises improvisational across to agree with what the other actor on stage with you states, then add something to that, say things in statements rather than questions (which puts the scene back upon the other actor-, and look at each line as an opportunity, and never as a mistake.

Fey was hired in 1997 as a write to “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). She stayed for nine years. She learned that the show was full of creative people and other the producer had to control an excess of creativity into something manageable. She notes SNL has a good mixture of educated writers, mostly from Harvard, and improvisational comedians. This mixture blended with what makes SNL successful. Fey learned about writing for a visual show and allowing content to control styles in a showy manner.

Producer Lorne Michaels tends to promote existing personnel. When a position opened on the SNL for on camera work on the Weekend Updates sketches on SNL, Michaels hired Fey. She then started appearing in a few sketches when another female character was needed

Fey pitched an idea of a comedy series based on her writing a comedy show that NBC agreed to show, “30 Rock”. She learned doing a TV on film involved multiple takes on the same lines. Moving cameras to shoot new angles takes time. There are many 14 hour days.

When Sarah Palin was picked as John McCain’s running mate, it was noted Fey and Palin looked similar. Fey returned to SNL to portray Palin in sketches.

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