Tuesday, 13 January 2015

POWER LADIES #1: Amy Poehler

Hello again and welcome to a new segment on lotteforever I like to call ‘power ladies.’ In these posts I will be writing about powerful, determined, inspiring and badass women and why I love them/what they’ve done which has made them such top chicks. So enjoy and read on to hear more about my first power woman: Amy Poehler.

If you don’t know who Amy is, you probably haven’t laughed properly yet. She is a comedian, actress, voice artist, director, producer and writer. Best known for her work in the hit TV show Parks and Recreation as well as Saturday Night Live, and various talk shows and sketches, Amy is one of my biggest heroes. You might have seen her co-hosting the Golden Globes, as she did again this year with her partner in crime Tina Fey. Or most likely you’ve seen her play Mrs George in Mean Girls, a film written by the glorious Tina Fey. 

Amy is one of the most hilarious and smart actors and comedians alive. She’s long been modestly outwitting (and being way funnier) her male counterparts, just watch an episode of Parks and Rec (6 seasons down and it only gets funnier), and you’ll see what I mean. She has worked so hard to get to where she is now - proving herself on hundreds of episodes and sketches, impressing and challenging directors and writers wherever she goes. She writes her own brilliant material and never fails to make an audience howl with laughter. She’s been doing stand up and improvisation (she co-founded the influential improv school, The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre) for a good 20 years, and really knows what to do when it comes to comedy. She's bloody smart. She knows what makes the perfect sketch or the best scene or that one great line - and she writes like a comedic genius. 

She is so hilarious it's not funny (hah). Her jokes and impressions and acting and commentary could keep me laughing for days. And the fact is, she’s not trying to prove that she’s the ‘greatest comedian’ or whatever. She’s being herself, working really hard and seeing what comes next. As a girl who loves comedy and acting myself and perhaps wants to pursue it, seeing someone like Amy pioneering the way is really important and special. 

As well as being a hilarious and extremely talented actor on many TV shows and movies, she has written a hell of a lot. Many episodes she’s starred in she’s written and has even published a autobiographical type book entitled ‘Yes Please’ which explores her life as a writer, actor and comedian whilst also bringing up children. She is also an executive producer on 'Broad City,' a webshow turned tv show about 2 women in New York living and having a good time (please watch if you don’t already). Basically, she's done it all. 

“Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready.” - Amy Poehler, 'Yes Please'

One of Amy’s biggest achievements is her work to do with promoting women’s rights and empowering young girls. Her website Amy's Smart Girlsis a hub for young women to learn and be part of a community. The show ’Smart Girls at the Party’ (the series that the website is based on) is focused on interviews with young women who are "changing the world by being themselves.” The show has it’s own Youtube channel and will develop into something huge, I’m 1000% sure. 

"Girls, if boys say something that is not funny.. You don’t have to laugh."

And in her YouTube series Ask Amy, Poehler gives advice and answers questions from fans. I wouldn’t usually recommend an advise video or anything like that, but what Amy says is pure truth - coz she’s battled sexism and self-doubt and everything else so you can trust her 100%. When she gives advice it’s not in a dialogue that’s formal or structured, it’s real and it’s good. She's for pushing women to achieve their goals and to find out their passion - what a legend. 

If we step back from the ‘feminist icons’ society is now selecting (e.g Taylor Swift) and look at someone like Amy who has wisely been breaking barriers in the comedy, film and tv arenas for years, it’s not hard to see who the real feminist icon really is. You know those people who just make you feel powerful whenever you read about/ hear about/ look at/ listen to them? Yeah that's Amy.

She's pretty much the coolest person I can think of and I want to be best friends like right now. Although I could never write enough about how amazing she is and all the cool stuff she's done - I just hope you're as big as a fan as I am.  

She is all for self-belief and trying everything out, taking risks, being bossy and pursuing what you love + she's super gorgeous - what’s not to love about Amy Poehler?

p.s a little anecdote from Tina Fey

“Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers’ room, waiting for the Wednesday night read-through to start. […] Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and oud and “unladylike”,  Jimmy Fallon […] turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, “Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it.”
Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. “I don’t fucking care if you like it.” Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit. With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.” - Tina Fey, Bossypants


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnwd4AmHbuY -> listen to her book being read by her
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0688132/ -> her imdb
http://www.oystermag.com/see-21-glorious-seconds-of-tina-fey-and-amy-poehlers-upcoming-film-sisters -> link to her upcoming film trailer with Tiny Fey!!

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