OK, full disclosure, I am not sure if Anna Kendrick was “Made in Maine” but she did grow up here so I’m using that convenient bit of trivia and the fact that I just finished her book scrappy little nobody to include her in my A to Z challenge this year.
I knew scrappy little nobody would be funny. Anna pops up regularly on those “People you should be following on Twitter” lists because her posts are hysterical. I recommend you take a minute to follow her on Twitter if you are not one of the six million who already do: @AnnaKendrick47.
What I didn’t expect was how relatable it would be because other than both being “Made in Maine” there’s not too many places where our life experiences intersect. She started in theater young and was performing on Broadway by age twelve bouncing between New York and Maine ultimately graduating high school early and then moving to Los Angeles on her own at age seventeen. It was a good decision. Other than a little ramp up time she has been steadily working.
While she certainly touches on the famous people she has worked with and shares some stories from being on theater and movie sets, this is not a tell-all or gossipy kind of book. It spends as much time talking about the more mundane, and less famous, aspects of her life and when she does talk about Hollywood and stardom it’s just one part of her story not the only part.
Pitch Perfect hit when I had two girls just the right age to appreciate it to the fullest. We owned the movie and still do. It’s probably been played in my house over 100 times and often more than once on the same day. I had seen Anna in Up in the Air and the Twilight movies of course, but Pitch Perfect is the one that will remain forever seared on my brain with her rendition of the Cups Song on repeat. There are worse things that my girls could have obsessively watched. It was fun to learn more about the person behind Beca.
The book is a quick, easy ready. I finished it in a morning. Her writing style is much like her twitter feed. It flows easily and is filled with her signature sense of humor. I laughed out loud many times. She is especially good at conveying the truth in situations, and her well crafted stories show that she can handle more than 140 characters.
One of my favorite sections is called “On being nice” where she talks about the double standard for men and women, which I think extends beyond Hollywood. If you’re not “nice” then you’re labeled difficult, or worse. That label is placed far too often on women, and not men, for the same behavior which is often nothing more than standing up for yourself. An actress she met for the first time said she had asked around about Anna and was told that she was “ten percent defiant”. I love that! Below is one of my favorite quotes from this section:
“I gave up on being Nice. I started putting more value on other qualities instead: passion, bravery, intelligence, practicality, humor, patience, fairness, sensitivity. Those last three might seem like they are covered by “nice,” but make no mistake, they are not. A person who smiles a lot and remembers everyone’s birthday can turn out to be undercover crazy, a compulsive thief, and boring to boot. I don’t put a lot of stock in nice. I’d prefer to be around people who have any of the above qualities over “niceness,” and I’d prefer it if that applied to me, too.” (Page 194)
I remember when they were doing the press for Up in the Air which occurred during the height of the Twilight hysteria. I’m not knocking Twilight. I loved those books. At that time, everyone wanted to know if you were Team Edward or Team Jacob. George Clooney answered the question by saying he was Team Anna. If you weren’t already, I’m sure you’ll be Team Anna too after reading this book.
Have you read scrappy little nobody? Do you have a favorite celebrity book?
|things to know|
|Book Title||scrappy little nobody|
|Number of Pages||275|
|Website||scrappy little nobody|
|Anna on Twitter||@AnnaKendrick47|
|Favorite ♥||On Being Nice|