Monday, April 18, 2011


There are really no words for last Thursday night. Funny doesn't cover it. Neither does surreal. There's no room left for eloquence between trite and hyperbolic to say how amazingly amazing Tina Fey is. Normally, Thursday night is simple to describe: Me. To TV. Glued. Cheese. But for a couple of hours at the Sixth and I, I sat only a few feet away from Tina Fey as she discussed her show, life, and recent memoir, Bossypants. To describe that...well, requires the overuse of the word "awesome" and an abundance of preceding expletives.

After a conversation with NPR's Michel Martin, and a short Q&A, everybody lined up by numbered tickets to get their books signed. There was a dessert buffet in the synagogue's fellowship hall while everyone waited for their batch--200's, 300's, etc--to be called. After roughly 10 kosher brownies, I went back into the sanctuary, took a seat a few pews from the stage, and decided to read a chapter or two of Bossypants. I laughed out loud several times. Embarrassing. But every time I'd look up from my book, there sat Tina Fey. The real actual Tina Fey. Then I'd dive back into anecdotes about her childhood or her eyebrows or her love of the gays. I'd throw my head back to laugh or swoon, and there she was again! Oh my god! It's Tina Fey!

By the time my batch was finally called up--I was 359--she undoubtedly had writer's cramp, and she'd already made trips to the bathroom--she is pregnant, after all. And I still hadn't come up with anything clever to say. So instead, in my 2 seconds in front of Tina Fey--2 seconds out of my whole entire life when I should have been incomparably cool--I failed miserably. I said "Stutter stutter" and she said "Awkward laugh." and that was it. Now, if the exchange had actually occurred exactly like that, verbatim, it would have been classic! Sadly, it did not. And I felt like an ass. Why didn't I compliment her shoes?! They were great shoes! It'd be different, yet flattering! See, I know how to talk to a lady. Every lady loves to be complimented on her shoes. Oh, well. The good news is that the assy feeling fades after a few hours, and euphoria returns. That's a lesson to take with you if you're ever starstruck by a celebrity. Also, remember the thing about the shoes.


  1. It's fun, isn't it when one gets to see a celebrity, esp. if you enjoy his/her work. I posted a photo today of one of mine, mystery writer Donna Leon, whom I admire enormously because of her novels. Too busy taking photos to try to carry on a conversation. Now I'll have to get Fey's book, based upon your recommendation. Different genre, but try Leon, too!

  2. I would probably be this way with Larry Bird.

  3. Great shots of Donna Leon, Kate! I read a lot of Victorian books about Venice; this summer I'll add one of Leon's to the stack.

    Normally, I don't get starstruck. I've had conversations with my favorite writers and intellectuals, my biggest celebrity crushes, and immensely influential world leaders. But it took Tina Fey to turn me into a blithering idiot.