Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Scrappy Little Nobody

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (2016), narrated by Anna Kendrick

I'm a huge fan of the Pitch Perfect franchise. Even though I hardly ever go to the movies, I've seen all three in theaters with friends, and we will continue right through Pitch Perfect 99 if they go that far. When Pitch Perfect 2 was about to be released, I organized a sing-along to the first movie at the library, which was attended primarily by library staff. But the important thing is that it forced me to purchase the Aca-Awesome Sing-Along edition on DVD, which now lives in my personal collection.

I also enjoy a celebrity memoir on audio, especially if it's nice and short like this one. But the truth is, I could have happily listened to a couple more hours of this.

Anna Kendrick is a fellow Mainer, which I didn't realize until I started this book (though for the record she's from Portland, which most of us don't consider to be real Maine.) She chronicles her early life, especially her high school years when she began getting into acting, and her later move to L.A. where she scraped by until she really got her career off the ground.

Her stories were great. She tells us about how her parents were supportive, but also had jobs, so after a few trips to New York for auditions when she was 12, they decided that her 14-year-old brother was a good enough chaperone and they sent the two youngsters off together. The day trip turned into a few days because of her callbacks, so the two kids stayed at a hotel and washed their underwear in the sink, and managed to explore New York a bit without any major mishaps. She talked about being outside of Maine in the theater world and not knowing which of those things accounted for the strangeness she experienced. She pondered "Is that what everyone outside of Maine is like?" (I've asked myself that same question.)

There was a point at which she became successful enough to have a stylist but not enough to be making much money and her stylist told her to buy $1000 shoes, which was far more than the rent she was struggling to pay. She still lived with roommates. At one point she ended up asking if she could downgrade her hotel room, and keep the difference because she needed the money. This aspect of her early success was fascinating to me. She attended the Independent Spirit Awards while still in high school and her classmates, teachers, and family were totally unimpressed because they were unfamiliar with that particular award.

She didn't really talk about making the Pitch Perfect movies - I think she only mentioned them briefly. She talked more about Up In the Air, probably because she was nominated for an Academy Award. Also, she was in the Twilight movies, which I didn't even realize. Oh, she also talked about some of her experiences with Into the Woods, which I liked a lot! But mostly she didn't talk a lot about her actual work. It felt more like an introduction to what she's like as a person.

I liked her already, but getting to know what an awkward, rule-following, anxietal person she is was really reassuring and made me like her even more. She doesn't take things too seriously (like fashion, which she reminds us is supposed to be fun) and is pretty down-to-earth for a person who has never had a normal job.

She narrates the audiobook herself, which made the whole experience feel like she was just telling me about her life. It was a lot of fun!

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