One of my favorite people ever is Mindy Kaling. (I tried to write her a fan letter once, but seriously could not find a fan-email address to send it to. So if ever we meet, I thankfully will not have to get around the fact that I may or may not have introduced myself already in a fan letter…) Not only is she an Indian, female successful writer, but a comedy writer! And a former writer/actress of The Office. (One of my favorite shows of all time.)
I’ve read and loved her book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, and Other Concerns“, and I think just all-round, she has awesome hustle. One message that I loved from her book (although there is a lot of great life wisdom, and many comforting insights) is that if you can’t find a job or a project in your field, CREATE YOUR OWN dream project. Keep making amazing stuff, especially if you think no one is going to see it. (It gives you so much more freedom!) She got her big break after her and her roommate submitted a joke-play that they had been improv-ing for fun in their tiny apartment. It was about how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote “Good Will Hunting”, and had her playing Ben and her friend playing Matt. Oh how I wish I could’ve seen this play. Anyway, they compiled their improv-ed material and submitted it to the New York Fringe Festival and, of course, it was an instant, long-running success.
She is triple-threating-it right now by writing, producing and acting in her own show, “The Mindy Project”, and although just light and chick-flicky, I just love the humor in it and that she has so clearly found her specific style of humor. She is girly, and a bit ditzy, but also smart, and jokey and pop-cultur-y, honest, and totally gross. I love a lot of female comedy writers, but I find most are SO girly, or SO totally gross-homebody (“Every human has hair on his or her face, some of us just have more. I think it’s nice to occasionally splurge on a straight razor shave. If you’re running low on laundry a bathing suit makes perfectly acceptable underwear. Bandanas are a fun, sexy fashion accessory. Put potato chips on a sandwich!” here) but I think she creates a fine balance between hard-ass, girly, smart, gross, pop-culture-y, ditzy humor. Such a fine balance.
Anyway, if you haven’t, definitely check out her book! (I know this is definitely blasphemy, but I read Mindy’s book right before reading “Bossypants“, and I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it more! I think I just felt like Mindy shared more of herself than Tina did, and it sold me. Tina, if you’re reading this, I love you more than doughnuts.) Mindy, if you are reading this, I love you more than a gourmet cupcake.
Listen to Mindy on the Fresh Air Podcast here.