Many know about the casting switch involving Dratch on 30 Rock (For those that don’t: She played Jenna in the original taping of the pilot, only to be replaced by Jane Krakowski before the show even aired). If you’re looking for a bitter and gossipy tell-all, you will not get it from her. She discusses the situation with grace but more so to placate the curiosity of the reader (and random people who ask her on the street), trying to shrug it off quickly as, “That’s show business!”
In fact, her entire history from grade school, through college, her sketch comedy beginnings, and up to her end with her good friend’s sitcom takes up roughly one-quarter of the book. This is not a memoir about her career; this is a memoir about what was happening while that…wasn’t.
Dratch shares a tale of dating past what is supposedly your “prime” and the impending doom of missing your chance to have a proper family. I heavily identified with the stories of anxiety to put herself out there to meet people as someone who also hates to go through the motions associated with dating and would much rather stay in my comfort zone. It can be a rough ride, and you gain the experience to know when it’s right through a mix of working for it and just letting it happen.
Throughout the book, Dratch calls on the improv rule of “Yes and”, meaning to accept the situation presented by another actor in a sketch and build upon it. The rule led her to career decisions, a relationship and a baby, and it will continue to guide her decisions as new acting gigs and situations come her way.
This is a quick read (it took me about 5 hours to finish), and it is so fulfilling. While she can dip into cynical territory, Dratch remains primarily upbeat with a positive outlook on her overall life experience. It’s not what she ever expected, nor how she would ideally have it, but she finds the joy and blessings in it.