Kristen’s Letter Essay #5: Yes Please


Dear Blog-reading Audience,

      I recently finished reading the novel Yes Please written by Amy Poehler. This autobiography is about Amy Poehler and the experiences that she had to go through to become the great comedian that she is today. I chose this book because ever since I saw the show “Parks and Recreation” where she was the main character as the ambitious “Leslie Knope,” I loved her sense of humor. By now, I have gone through all 7 season of “Parks and Recreation” twice and have seen almost all of her movies. This memoir contains everything from life advice to everything about Amy Poehler’s childhood.

      I was satisfied with how Amy Poehler was willing to share information with her readers that could not be seen on screen. For example, throughout the autobiography, Poehler reveals the dark thoughts that she had when she was younger and how to get through them. From watching people on screen, following a script, you think they are these happy people off screen, but Poehler shows that everybody deals with their own struggles and she is open in helping others through theirs.

      The structure of this book was put into three parts, “Say Whatever You Want,” “Do Whatever You Like,” and “Be Whoever You Are.” I believe that Poehler sequenced the autobiography like this because each section included different parts of her life and different advice. The first part was focused mainly on improv and how Poehler “fell in love” with it. She said that the key to becoming a comedian is not being afraid to say whatever you want, hence the name of the section. The second part, “Do Whatever You Like,” is about how she never followed anybodys rules while she was acting. Even if it cost her a job, she thought it wasn’t worth it if she couldn’t be who she wanted. The last part is about how being a comedian is all about showing who you are through the roles that you play in movies, tv shows and skits.

      I’d compare Yes Please by Amy Poehler to Tina Fey’s autobiography. I say this because Amy Poehler and Tina Fey grew to be great friends during their time on SNL. Adding onto that, the duo always play roles in movies together and even play siblings in the movie “Sisters.” Also, their sense of humor is almost identical.

      One of my favorite parts of Yes Please is the chapter called “Bad Sleeper.” I like this chapter because Poehler writes about how much trouble she has sleeping and I can relate to this part of the book the most.

      “The phrase ‘going to sleep’ has always given me great anxiety. I don’t like things I am bad at, and I have always been told since I was very young that I am a bad sleeper. As soon as I become prone, my head will begin to unpack. My mind will turn on and start to hum, which is the opposite of what you need when you begin to switch off. It is as if I were waiting the whole day for this moment. Trying to go to sleep is often when I feel most engaged and alive. My brain starts to trick me into thinking this is the moment it should turn on and start working overtime. It is a problem. I need some rest. I have a lot to do.” (pages 171-172).

      I would rate this book a seven out of 10 because it was cool to see one of my favorite comedians turn their lives into an auto-biography.

Kristen Kuczmarski

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