“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.”
After the joys of revisiting Amy Poehler’s memoir in audio-book form I sought out Mindy Kaling’s (actually I sought out Tina Fey’s but there was a waitlist- next time!) second memoir which was fun but I don’t feel like I missed anything extra charming by reading it instead of listening to it before.
Kaling is an acquired taste, Kelly Kapoor has forever tainted my husband’s opinion of her, but I think she is great. She is a smart, talented woman of color who is breaking down a lot of barriers in Hollywood while still appreciating fashion and frivolity.
In Why Not Me Kaling covers her college years at Dartmouth, and failed attempt at sorority life, as well as her jump from The Office to The Mindy Project where she became more well known. She is pretty famous now and only getting more famous every day closer we get to A Wrinkle in Time but there is an underdog quality to her. Perhaps because she is so earnest in her desire to be liked and respected in the industry.
Her strongest chapter is where she tells a young fan where she gets her confidence. A girl asked her where her confidence came from during a panel and Mindy gave a tired, impersonal response. She uses this book as a chance to right that wrong.
“People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work… I have never, ever, ever, met a high confident person and successful person who is not what a movie would call a ‘workaholic.’ Because confidence is like respect; you have to earn it.”
Mostly though I just kept wondering if she’d write a third memoir soon. One covering her new daughter and several chapters on Oprah.