Saturday, May 20, 2017

Talking As Fast As I Can (Lauren Graham) Book Review

2017 Reading Challenge

2. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.
In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).
In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

My Review:
Gilmore Girls is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I also think that Lorelai and Rory are relatable to almost every mother - daughter relationship. I have been fortunate to have a close relationship with my mom and like Rory, I have always loved to read. As far as Parenthood, I've only seen a couple episodes here and there.

Lauren Graham has been a class act. She has avoided controversies and the like in the media, one of the rare celebrities to do so. She has acted more as a role model in that respect. It was nice to read about how Lauren got started in acting. She proves that you can't gain success overnight and every role, no matter how small, counts. As in any job, you have to start at the bottom and work yourself up the ladder to success. 

Since I'm a Gilmore Girls fan, I appreciated how Lauren reflected back on the successful seven year run. And even though I haven't seen the new episodes (since I don't have Netflix), I liked her journal entries, as I'm referring to it as, on what happened behind the scenes while filming those four episodes and her thoughts on reprising her role. Since everyone was talking about the four final words, I am aware of what they are and honestly, I saw it coming. It makes sense to me. 

Her look back on Parenthood was good, too. I love the fact that she created an alter ego as a way to give advice on life and such to the kid/teen actors on the show. It was creative. I kind of feel like she was closer to the Parenthood cast in a different way than the Gilmore Girls cast.

While I enjoyed Lauren's thoughts and advice (as well as her sarcasm and wit at times) throughout the book, I really enjoyed the chapters 'Someday, Someday, Maybe You'll Believe My Novel Wasn't Completely Autobiographical' and 'Kitchen Timer'. She talked about the process of writing her novel and this book as well. She admitted her struggles with procrastination and dealing with deadlines. Writing can be hard at times and that's okay. So she incorporated the strategy that Don Roos uses: the kitchen timer. The kitchen timer method is setting a time limit (an hour for example), having no distractions, and do nothing but write during that time. And then stopping no matter where you are after the said time is up and giving yourself credit when completed. It's all about keeping an appointment, so technically it's not necessary to write the entire time, but you still have to keep the scheduled appointment. Keep in mind, it doesn't matter if you write on an existing project or journal write for that time. 

I have one critique for the kitchen timer method. While I get that it's important to not have any distractions like not going on the internet or phone or doing anything else for that matter, there's one that I don't agree with. It's recommended that you don't have any music on, unless it doesn't have words or in another language than your own. Here's my problem with that: music actually helps me stay concentrated on what I'm doing and helps me think. Growing up, I would put music on if I was having trouble with my homework, like math, and it helped me to focus and get it done. 

Since I just said music helps me out when I get stuck, my question is:

What do you do when you get stuck or have a mental block?

Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!