Tina Fey was born in 1970 in a suburb of Pennsylvania. At the age of five, a stranger came up to her while she was playing in her yard and slashed her face with a knife. She still has the scar, but she never let that incident define her.
After earning a degree in drama from the University of Virginia, she moved to Chicago and joined Second City to work on her comedy chops.
Soon she was hired at Saturday Night Live as a writer and after working there for a few years she became the first female head writer on the show.
Although talented behind the scenes, some critics said she didn’t have the looks to be in front of the camera. However, she didn’t listen to the naysayers. She ended up co-anchoring and writing Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update to great reviews. But it was her portrayal of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin that got the world to take notice.
Her hysterical autobiography Bossypants was on the New York Times Best Sellers list. She wrote the scripts for Mean Girls and 30 Rock. She’s starred in multiple movies and shows, won eight Emmys, two Golden Globes and five Screen Actors Guild Awards. She hosted the Golden Globes with her friend Amy Poehler and got incredible ratings. Rolling Stone ranked her as the third most important Saturday Night Live cast member behind John Belushi and Eddie Murphy.
Pretty good for a small town girl who was told she would never have the looks to be a comedic actor.
Tina has said, “Confidence is 10 per cent hard work and 90 per cent delusion.” She said, “I would not trade any of these features for anybody else’s. I wouldn’t trade the small thin-lipped mouth that makes me resemble my nephew. I wouldn’t even trade the acne scar on my right cheek, because that recurring zit spent more time with me in college than any boy ever did.” And she said, “When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way.”
Tina Fey is a comedic genius. But she didn’t wake up one morning where she is today. She was told no. She was told she wasn’t right for the part. But she never gave up.
She knew she liked comedy. She said, “Somewhere around the fifth or seventh grade, I figured out that I could ingratiate myself to people by making them laugh. Essentially, I was just trying to make them like me. But after a while it became part of my identity.” The difference is she didn’t just keep it as a hobby. She went after it. She pursued it. She got up when she was knocked down. She brought her gift to life. And because of that, we get to be entertained by one of the funniest, wittiest women in the world through her movies, books and television shows.
Do we know what our gift is? And do we have the courage to take a step every day to transform our day dreams into dreams come true? I think we do.
P.S. I’m off on an adventure and will continue posting my weekly blogs shortly.