NYWIFT Blog

#SummerHours Summer Reading: Tina Fey

Goodbye, winter caps—hello, summer hats! It’s that glorious time of year where many of us can switch from content creators to content consumers. NYWIFT members Mellini Kantayya and Kathryn O’Kane have put together #SummerHours, a series of fun summer books, movies, and TV shows by or about women.


By Kathryn O’Kane

Start with a yes and see where that takes you.”

— Tina Fey, Bossy Pants

bossypants tina fey

Tina Fey (NYWIFT Muse Honoree ’05) is a triple threat: writer, producer and performer with a cutting sense of humor. In 1999, she became the first head writer on Saturday Night Live. She created and starred in the Emmy award-winning comedy 30 Rock. Her portrayal of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election was an instant classic. Ms. Fey most recently created and starred in the show Great News on NBC. Her film Mean Girls has been adapted for the stage, which is currently running on Broadway.

In her 2011 book Bossypants, Ms. Fey recounts stories of her childhood; from her tough father, for whom most of the worlds ills can be described as “defective” and “inexcusable,” to her awkward teens and college years, which no doubt shaped her sense of humor and weltanschauung. She also recalls her rise to head writer on SNL, her connection to Sarah Palin, what she learned from Lorne Michaels (producing is about discouraging creativity) and the differences between male and female comedy writers (the men urinate in cups).

Tina Fey1

Ms. Fey’s advice to women in the workplace:

“As a female producer I have a tacit ‘No Hotheads’ policy. For years to be considered a genius in comedy, people had to be considered dangerous and unpredictable…I hire the most talented of the people who are the least likely to throw a punch in the workplace. I don’t ever want to get punched in the face over a joke.”

And those, my friends, are words to live by.

 

(Cover photo by Bridgette Matthews)
PUBLISHED BY

busyk

busyk Kathryn O’Kane is a director and producer with over 20 years of experience in television and advertising. She directed season 2 of the Emmy nominated series The World According to Jeff Goldblum for Disney+. She was the showrunner of the James Beard award-winning Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and she produced six seasons of the Emmy award-winning series Friday Night Tykes. Her episodes of Iconoclasts for Sundance and Oprah Presents Masterclass for OWN have won NAACP Imagine awards. Kathryn has crafted short form narratives as diverse as Mission Juno for NASA, segments of AMC’s Talking Dead, and commercial assignments for Apple, Meta, United Airlines, and SAP. Kathryn served two terms on the board of New York Women in Film and Television, championing equal pay, diversity and inclusion, and safety in the workplace. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and Television Academy. Learn more at www.busyk.com.

View all posts by busyk

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