Career and life lessons from the would-be president of the "old girls club."
After 40 years of writing, producing and performing comedy, Leifer (When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror, 2009) offers advice on succeeding in both life and show business. Rather than a career guide written by a suit who connived, hurt others or gleefully conquered them, Leifer's stories of turning failures into successes demonstrate how persistence and optimism—not to mention parents who supported her decision to drop out of college and pursue a career in stand-up comedy—have created opportunities that continued to propel her forward. The author reworks such workplace aphorisms as "Learn from the masters" and "You never get a second chance to make a first impression," into "Respect Your Yodas" and "So I Stole Soda From Aaron Spelling.” Throughout the book, Leifer comes across as your "Auntie Carol," the funny one who tells stories about the sweethearts and schmucks she has worked with throughout her career. She presents her early experiences in her stand-up career as a procession of cautionary tales and mortifying blunders, such as when she challenged a heckler in a dive bar to come up on stage if he thought he had better material—unaware that he was in a wheelchair. ("Not exactly the kind of 'rolling in the aisles' that a comedian dreams of.") She follows every story with its moral—a cornball technique, perhaps, but a surprisingly effective one, as is this memoir by a major Hollywood player filled with advice and heartfelt encouragement.
An amusing, amiable read. Leifer wants you to love what you do and learn to move on from failures and rejections—and please, always shower before a job interview.