Mindy Kaling & More Women in Television Offer the Best & Worst Advice They Ever Received
Fox recently brought together some of its funniest and fiercest women for a "Girls Night Out" Q&A panel, and man, oh, man did they have some stories to share. From The Mindy Project's Mindy Kaling talking about the "good looking men" her show has let her make out with to Family Guy's Alex Borstein putting out her own PSA about how Soul Cycle will suck your soul right out of your vagina (yeah, that happened), the ladies spent the night talking about their experiences in the entertainment industry. Kaling and Borstein were joined on stage by Chelsea Peretti (star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Liz Meriwether (showrunner of New Girl), Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa on The Simpsons), Jane Lynch (star of Glee), and Heather Kadin (executive producer of Sleepy Hollow), as well as the moderator for the evening, The Hollywood Reporter's Stacey Wilson.
When the women weren't telling jokes or talking about the challenges that come with their careers, the most insightful and empowering points of the night were when they thought back on some of the best and worst advice that they've ever received. As any of the women would probably tell you, navigating the industry can be a stressful experience, but by listening to words of wisdom or ignoring the B.S. that comes their way, they've been able to land on top.
As Lynch smartly noticed, “It’s a good time for women in television, maybe not so much in films right now. If you drive down Sunset Boulevard and you look at billboards for films, it’s all men with guns and a woman in the background looking worried for them.” So kudos to these women for being more than just the ladies in the background.
Check out some of the good, the bad, and the just-plain-weird advice that the ladies have heard over the years:
"I got advice, always when I first moved here, to choose another career," said Kadin. "It was literally like, run for the hills, just turn around and leave L.A."
Good thing she stuck it out, because now she's rockin' it out on Sleepy Hollow.
Peretti: I got advice to get headshots, and I feel like... they're stupid. I feel like I never got work because of a headshot, and I spent so much money, and I just have a box of them from the '90s, or something, whatever it was, and I never touch them."
Stacey Wilson: Can you put them on Ebay now? Because now they're valuable.
Peretti: No, I would never — I don't even like them. I don't know what to do with them. I did cut holes out of the eyes once, and wear my own face."
Hopefully you have a wonderful image of Peretti wearing her own face as mask in your mind right about now.
Kaling's mom always used to tell her to ask herself, "Why not me?" "When I was at The Office, I was number 14 on the call-sheet, there were plenty of reasons why not me," said Kaling. "And you just sort of have to be, 'Yeah, why not me?' because no one is going to tell you that you can do it, so you just have to let that thought bother you, and let the bother fuel your creativity."
You hear that, everyone? Just ask yourself, "Why not me?".
"I was given no advice whatsoever, except be on time. So, I am."
"Two sharpened number 2 pencils."
And then she quipped that she had brought them in her clutch.
Tracey Wigfield & Lang Fisher
Looking to write for television? Two of the writers for The Mindy Project happened to be in the audience, and they said that you should "say yes to everything" and "just write as much as you can." You've probably heard that advice before, but when it's coming out of the mouths of two seasoned writers like Wigfield (30 Rock) and Fisher (30 Rock, The Onion News Network), then you know it's definitely something you should try to do.