As you might have read in my December Reading Goals Update, I absolutely loved Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between. Graham seems so down-to-earth, witty, and smart. And at times, I felt like I was reading Lorelai Gilmore’s prose instead of Graham’s, which just goes to show how intertwined the two are.
In this memoir, Graham details various scenarios during her career as an actress. She goes through her struggle to get into the Actors’ Equity Association and continues into her small television and commercial roles, until reaching her major role in Gilmore Girls. She then takes the reader through her time spent on Parenthood, and finally, as the subtitle suggests, finishes with a section based entirely on her experience filming the reboot of Gilmore Girls. No matter the situation, Graham’s take is funny with some honest wisdom thrown in as well.
Graham’s prose is so down-to-earth that I felt as if I was having a conversation with a friend–obviously a one-way conversation, but one I loved being part of nevertheless. I think she did a great job of using a conversational tone in her prose without going over the top. It didn’t seem like she was trying too hard to be funny or throwing things at you where you just wanted to be like “woah, back up, I need some space here.”
As I previously mentioned, sometimes I felt like I was reading a narrative by Lorelai Gilmore rather than Graham, but I’m just wholly interested in this–not critical. I think she mentions this at some point, but I can only imagine that after playing a character for so long, that character’s personality and quirks become part of your own. And now I can’t find that quotation, so I feel like I’m going crazy. But here’s a couple of quotes that I thought kind of went with this sentiment:
“To me, Lorelai was equal parts Gal About Town and The Mom, plus a magical mix of smarts and humor that made her totally unique. I read somewhere that Christopher Reeve said one of the ways he knew a part was for him was when he couldn’t stand the idea of anyone else doing it. I know that exact feeling. There’s a sort of manic recognition that happens very rarely when I read something I want so much that I go briefly but totally bonkers. That feeling is a combination of ‘Hello, old friend’ meets EVERYONE GET OUT OF MY WAY SHE’S MINE ALL MINE.”
“In another scene, I had trouble getting through the simple sentence ‘My name is Lorelai Gilmore, and I’m from a little town in Connecticut.’ All I’m doing in that scene is giving some strangers basic information. Still, for some reason, tears. I guess I was overwhelmingly happy to get to say her name again.”
I think some of my favorite parts were about Graham living in New York, trying to make ends meet, and auditioning for commercials and small TV parts. I think these moments sometimes get lost or overlooked during actors’ stories, and these details are why I love these kinds of books/memoirs so much. It’s easy to think actors were always successful, so such details act as a great reminder that we all start somewhere.
Although I’m a Gilmore Girls fanatic, I was happy to see that other aspects of her life and experience were also included. I honestly didn’t know much about Graham prior to reading this memoir (which is strange since I usually devour an actor’s Wikipedia and IMDB pages if I love them in a show or movie), so it was great to learn more about who she is in a first-hand account.
To read or not to read?
I would recommend this memoir to anyone who enjoys a good sense of humor, matter-of-fact writing, and (of course) Lauren Graham and her work.