Hi! Remember me? I used to write a blog called “Death To Hollywood” and then I got busy or lazy or something and haven’t written in a long time. However, Joan Rivers death inspired me to write again because I have, what I think, is a really cool story about her.
When I started doing stand-up, I read a lot of books having to do with comedy. Whether it was books about stand-up or comedians autobiographies, I read anything and everything that I thought would help me be good at it. One of the books I got was Joan Rivers, “Enter Talking” and read almost the entire thing on a flight from the East Coast to the West Coast. I could not put it down…and it’s a really long book by the way, close to 400 pages.
Whether or not you are into comedy or even whether or not you’re even a fan of Joan Rivers, I highly recommend this book. Not only is it entertaining, but her absolute refusal to give up until she became successful in the entertainment business was absolutely inspirational to me. I started doing stand up pretty late compared to when most people start doing it, and although I had a lot of performing experience prior to that, I started doing stand up just because I like live performance, and had no idea how different (and hard) it was going to be compared to all the other performing I did. I thought of throwing in the towel many times, but after I read that book, I was so moved by her persistence and determination, I thought, “Well then, you just keep going until you get what you want.” But more than that, I was so moved by her honesty and how hard she worked, not to mention the guts she had for pursuing stand-up comedy at a time when it was more of a boys club than it ever has been since she arrived on the scene, that I decided to write to her.
I gushed so much to her in this letter telling her how much I admired her and what an absolute pioneer she was for women in comedy and blah blah blah…I went on and on! Since I didn’t know where she lived and couldn’t hand-deliver the letter to her (or stalk her), I looked up her management company and mailed the letter to them, never expecting to hear anything, especially since I didn’t know if she would even get it. But I didn’t care because I had to at least attempt to tell her how this book changed my whole outlook on the entertainment business and the determination that is necessary to succeed.
About 2 months later, I received a package in the mail. I LOVE getting packages in the mail, I mean, who doesn’t? But this was an especially special package because in this package was a book. The late, great Joan Rivers sent me an autographed copy of her second book, Still Talking, with a hand-written note recognizing my gushing letter and addressing me by name. Now, in my opinion, that’s a classy lady! Maybe you wouldn’t think that from listening to her act, but to take a few minutes out of her day to respond to one of millions of fans who gushed like a 13 year old girl meeting that douchebag, Justin Bieber, meant the world to me! I just think that’s a real star, and that was all she ever wanted to be according to her book, a “star”.
I want to thank Joan Rivers for being the inspiration she has been to so many comics, especially female comics. She was a one-of-a-kind, a true pioneer, a ballsy broad, and I’m grateful for the books she wrote that helped me to keep on keepin’ on! Her star will continue to shine on!
Thanks Joan! 🙂
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