Title: Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between
Author: Lauren Graham
Published: November 2016
Summary: These personal essays cover Lauren’s early years as she began her acting career, then later what its like to work in Hollywood as a woman. She discusses her experiences working on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood as well as her take on the Hollywood scene.
Thoughts: If I gave out half stars, which I don’t because I can’t make a 1/2 star in HTML, this would be a 3.5 stars rating. I listened to this on audiobook as I am a HUGE fan of listening to books narrated by their author. I listened to this book in 1 day when I drove somewhere 2 hours away and then returned in the same day. I listened to it on 1.25x speed, which was ambitious given Lauren’s already fast-paced talking, but this made it the absolute perfect length for my trip. It could not have worked out more perfectly! This is a book that any self-respecting Gilmore Girl’s (GG) fan should pick up. It will feel like Lorelai Gilmore wrote and narrated this book. I can see why Lauren was picked as the character of Lorelai, she is fast-talking, pop-culture dropping, whimsy tangent producing all over this book in true Lorelai fashion. At times, the intense concentration of that was a bit grating (hence the star rating), but it was worth it to learn more about Lauren and about the shows I love. Hearing about Lauren’s journey to becoming a working actor and all that she endured in terms of working any job that would pay her made me feel like she was very relatable. I myself had a million part-time jobs before beginning my own career, and I loved how she says that she could easily imagine taking up any of those jobs right now just like she had 20+ years ago. I feel that way, too, when I walk into an establishment that I used to work at or that seems like something I used to work at, I think to myself that I could so easily just pick up where I left off. I absolutely loved that Lauren had that mindset. It also illustrates a sense of humility she has about her success. She doesn’t at all see herself as a Hollywood starlet. In fact, she spends a lot of time discussing how she feels like a fish out of water much of the time. Her Project Runway story was hilarious. She really portrays herself as a normal down-to-earth gal.
In addition to just really loving the characters Lauren has played (mainly Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman), I also picked up this book because I wanted to hear insight into what it was like to make GG and Parenthood, 2 series that are easily among my very favorite shows ever. The most satisfying part of this was hearing how much she loved working on these series and playing these characters. The relationships she built with the cast, the writers, directors, camera people, etc. made me understand better why the chemistry on the show was so fantastic and resonated with me so fully. Lauren sounded so grateful and aware of her fortune for having been part of these projects–again with that sense of humility. Listening to her reflect on these experiences really endeared her to me and also gave me an intense wave of nostalgia. The focus was mainly on GG as the reboot was about to be released as she was writing this. I learned from her book, that during the first run of GG, they shot season 7, but didn’t know that it would be the end of the series until long after the shoot concluded. She talked about this mourning for the end of the show and how they weren’t ever able to celebrate and wrap things up all together as an intact crew. Especially in light of Edward Herrmann’s death, there seemed to be a very big lack of closure that was greatly needed after spending that much time pouring into a project together. That made the reboot so much sweeter for her. I didn’t know this about the series and it makes me appreciate the over-the-top nature of the GG reboot episodes a little bit more. This time around, Lauren savored the experience because she knew now, having experienced more of life and a career in acting, that what they had on that show was rare. She kept a journal during their 70-day shoot and read excerpts so you could experience it with her. I just really appreciated the sentiment of her approach to this second chance at GG. She was so grounded in appreciating the good things and recognizing them. It almost makes me want to rewatch the new episodes. Almost. I really didn’t care for them, but maybe one day I will be ready to forget that and see them again with this new insight in mind.
After writing about and reflecting on this book I am wondering if 3 (and a half) stars was too little for how much I got out of it. I always rate right after I read so I can do it right after the experience and while I am still in the moment. I think the little, cheesy side notes to the reader, the random tangents, and sometimes overly self-deprecating tone makes me less inclined to give it the 4 stars. I just don’t want my rating to scare all you GG fans out there from giving it a read or a listen. Go for it, I think you will get a lot out of it!