It’s been awhile since I’ve last posted! Work has been keeping me extra busy this week, but fortunately, my last day is on Monday! Woohoo! Justin and I are planning a little shindig to celebrate before the school year (and my new job!) gets started on the following week.
One perk of working extra much is that I find myself riding the bus more often…which I don’t really enjoy in and of itself, but it can be nice when I have a great book with me to read.
Many of you know that I am a huge fan of the Gilmore Girls, which is why I nearly fell on the floor when I discovered that Lauren Graham has written a novel (and a young adult novel at that!) based on her experiences trying to make it big as a young actress.
The novel is called Someday, Someday Maybe, and it centers on Frannie Banks (what a name, right?), an aspiring actress in her twenties who is living in New York City in the year 1995. She’s given herself three years to reach her goal of becoming a successful actress, and when the story opens, she is getting dangerously close to her deadline with nothing but an embarrassing Christmas sweater commercial on her resume. Will she achieve the fame she’s been hoping for, or will she return to her hometown a failure, and settle for marrying her very boring ex-boyfriend and taking on a very boring, non-acting career?
I have to tell you, I was a little bit nervous when I cracked open the first page of this book. I love the character Lorelai Gilmore on the Gilmore Girls, but I am not deceived–I know there are highly skilled comedic writers providing Lauren Graham with her witty commentary on every day life. I worried about whether or not the real Lauren Graham would be very funny, or a very skilled writer.
Let me just tell you friends, I was pleasantly surprised. I was left hoping that Lauren’s debut novel is not her last.
There were a few things that I really enjoyed about Someday, Someday Maybe:
1. The 1995 time-warp. Lauren Graham has apparently really taken to heart the phrase, “Write what you know.” What she knows is what it’s like to be a struggling actress in the mid-nineties. I’m sure the process of breaking into the acting scene has changed quite a bit in the last nearly twenty years, so she doesn’t pretend to still know what that’s like. She writes about it as she remembers it. And I like that.
It also gives her a chance to litter her novel with references from nineties pop-culture, which was very Gilmore-Girl-esque for me, and I really enjoyed it. Because of course the wedding reception Frannie attends would be playing songs like “Whoop, There It Is” and the “Macerena.” (Ew, I had tried my best to block out memories about that last one.) And of course Frannie’s father, who knows nothing about the acting scene, would suggest that Frannie try out for Friends or ER, because he hears that those are very popular television shows. And of course Frannie would find herself often rushing home, eager to listen to the messages on her answering machine. And of course Frannie would be impressed with James Franklin, the “real” agented actor in her acting class who is so important that he carries around a beeper so that he can be reached at all times. And of course Frannie’s go-to footwear would be her black, chunky Doc Marten boots….well, you get the idea.
2. The variety of media provided. We don’t just hear Frannie’s narration of the story from her first-person point of view. We also get glimpses of her (heavily doodled) Filofax calendar, in her own handwriting, so that we can see what she’s up to and what she’s looking forward to. I thought it was an interesting way to solve time gaps in the story without having to write, “So a couple of months passed by, and then…” Also, whenever Frannie races home to listen to the messages on her answering machine, we hear them exactly as she hears them, with the BEEP and everything. This really brought back memories of me racing home from school to listen to the messages on my answering machine, and occasionally saving a special one (like, for instance, if a boy called), until my parents got tired of it and made me erase it. I also liked the fact that every time Frannie has an audition, we get to read a copy of her script. It made her auditions seem much more legit, when I can actually see what she has to work with.
3. Real-life insight on the process of becoming an actress. This story was very realistic–so much so, at times, that I forgot that I was reading a novel and felt like I was reading Lauren Graham’s autobiography. Of course, there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the novel (as there is in all fictional novels) assuring the reader that this book is a work of fiction, and any similarities to real people or situations is entirely coincidental, blah blah blah. But I bet Lauren Graham, or at least some of her actor/actress friends, experienced a lot of these situations at some point or another. I had no idea that actors sometimes get called back again and again and AGAIN to re-audition for even the smallest roles–what a pain! Throughout the book, we see Frannie dealing with real-life issues like jealousy of more successful colleagues, working out money problems when no acting jobs are coming in, choosing the right agent, and struggling with whether or not to appear nude on screen. By the end of the story, I hadn’t just enjoyed an entertaining novel, but I’d learned a lot about the process that newbie actors go through when they’re trying to make it big.
Overall, I really enjoyed Someday, Someday Maybe. And I recently read that the CW is working on buying the rights to have this story made into a television series–how exciting! Have any of you read this book yet? Tell me what you think! 🙂