I'M KIND OF A BIG DEAL by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor


and Other Delusions of Adequacy
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A tell-too-much, say-too-little collection of autobiographical essays about one woman’s B-grade brushes with stardom.

The latest from Hollywood writer and producer Wilder-Taylor falls well short of satisfying. The first two-thirds of the book deal with her many mishaps along the road to something like fame. After graduating from high school, she went to New York City with vague ambitions of becoming an actress. But her stage career began and ended in an Italian restaurant where, as a singing waitress, she demonstrated her total lack of vocal skills. In Los Angeles, she found her way as a dancing extra in a Bob Dylan-Dave Stewart music video that quickly “fell off into oblivion.” Later, Wilder-Taylor auditioned for a dating show called Studs, only to find herself paired with a man who “looked like a bisexual pirate.” Ever in search of celebrity—or at least, of a way to be near it—the author briefly drove limos for the likes of such minor screen luminaries as Lolita Davidovich and Justine Bateman. The narrative, which moves rather disconnectedly between episodes, displays even more disjointedness in the final third of the book. Wilder-Taylor, now an established figure in the entertainment industry, struggled to cope not only with the demands of her career, but also motherhood, all while trying to deal with an drinking problem that had been present since her teens. In between snarky “letters” she writes to Angelina Jolie about the actress’ too-perfect maternal image and to David Hasselhoff about their common “crazy love of booze,” the author offers maddeningly brief glimpses of real emotional poignancy in her depiction of her alcohol and codeine-dependent father and their rocky relationship. Wilder-Taylor’s often self-deprecating candor is the book’s greatest strength, but also its greatest weakness. While she freely provides gossipy tidbits about her life and adventures, her capacity to move beyond the superficially funny and into the meaningfully humorous is lacking.

Kind of a waste of time.

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7657-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2011


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