Review by Allison Haskins
If you don't already know, Rachel recently had a baby. Thankfully this "new side" I saw wasn't the eight month bump, bare mid-section, magazine cover side that we all know and loath.
This book shows that in her real-person life, she is not always in character as that creature with a baby arm coming out of its head. She is not always Denise from Bahstun, or even Debbie Downer. As amazing and uplifting as comedians can be, it's also nice to see a comic show their not to funny side. In Girl Walks..., Rachel reveals herself as a caring, genuine, sometimes serious person with problems just like the rest of us.
Some people view anyone who has ever been in the public eye for any amount of time as a Rock Star. Many people think of people on TV as leading a life they could never imagine, just flitting around doing as they please and getting everything handed to them on a daily basis. For a rare few, this may be true. However, even for "A-List" celebrities, their fame and fortune often fades over time. It is hard and continuous work to stay in the game at all.
Now, I don't want to give it all away but basically what goes down in this book is Rachel reveals her real life from her SNL days to current, which includes explaining the never-ending questions "What happened to you?" and "Why aren't you on 30 Rock/SNL anymore?"
The answers are pretty simple. Her time at SNL was up. 30 Rock went in a different direction than originally planned. It happens. Rachel still does work on projects for TV/Movies when she can get them, but frankly, it's hard out there and Rachel knows and acknowledges this fact.
Something positive that I took away from this book was how even in what seemed like the worst of times, Rachel stayed pretty damn positive. A snippet to throw in your bag when you are feeling like you can't crawl out of your black hole of a career: "'No' leads to dead ends, and 'yes' leads to possibilities." That is some Debbie Upper type stuff right there.
However, Rachel probably has less time to audition for projects these days because of aforementioned baby. (That she had at 44! Unplanned and with a casual boyfriend! Ahh!)
In regard to her feelings at the time about the sneaky little bundle of joy, "If you looked at my Internet history that day, it would read: 'menopause,' 'menopause symptoms,' 'signs of menopause,' and then 'effects of alcohol consumption in early pregnancy.' Classic.
I consider myself a professional when it comes to reading every single comedian's biography/memoir/tell-all and this one really gives off a different vibe. Don't get me wrong, it is super funny throughout. Yet you will find yourself thinking about the issues and views of pregnancy later in life (or ever), finding and keeping work, feeling like you will be single forever... things we all know and deal with throughout our lives.
One of my favorite quotes from Girl Walks... would be, "I realized that as we grow older, we adjust and roll with what we have in the present, though it may not be the future we had dreamed up for ourselves in the past."
Rachel definitely shows her readers what a little determination, good will, and positivity can do for you no matter what stage of life you may be kicking through. A splash of comedic relief along the way never hurts either.
Allison Haskins holds a Journalism degree and is a freelance writer. In her spare time, the Massachusetts native attends as many stand-up shows as possible and listens to every comedy podcast she can get her hands on.
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