Stardom (After 25 Years)

I love this piece on Leslie Jones and how it took her fame took 25 years to come together.

I particularly like this last line and it’s fully of perspective:

Her head was tilted back in a washbowl, her eyes closed, but her voice still controlled the room. “I’m glad this whole success thing is happening now,” she said. “I can’t even imagine a twenty-three-year-old Leslie in this position. They would have kicked me off the set after two days. I would have fucked half the dudes in the crew.”

She sat up and wrapped a towel around her head. “I was a less confident person back then. And damn sure not as funny.”

When I was 23 years old I had just gotten married, barely 2 months in, and a month away from discovering that my wife was pregnant, and only 6 months out of college. In addition, I had just gotten through being fired for the very first time in my life and was on the verge of having it happen again. As you might imagine, I was spiraling into another season of depression and was coming to terms with some of my clinical addictions.

I was not prepared for any type of success in any way, shape, or form. Honestly, at the time, I was just trying to find footing, any footing for that matter.

There are things in life that just took time and I was learning this then and I’m learning this now. The only difference is that I’m slightly more at peace with the “waiting periods” than I was back then.

Sure, I’m still racing the clock (just like you) because time is, quite literally, our true and unchanging mortal enemy, but I see it for what it is and not for what I think it should be.

After I got fired a second time I went out and got a job at Kinkos, getting paid a small pittance hourly to make copies for folks who weren’t entirely sure how to use a copier. I needed that job, for too many reasons to quickly share.

Perhaps, most importantly, I realized that I did, in fact, have grit, and that I could tough it out. I had heart and I could walk through suffering (especially self-imposed) and make it out on the other side.

Leslie’s got heart, attitude, and she understands what the struggle is. In fact, she understands and appreciates this more than I ever will.

And she’s funny as hell:

I know y’all already noticed that I’m a big bitch. . . . When I walk in a Payless, it gets quiet than a motherfucker. . . . I swear, men, if you can get past my big-ass feet and how tall I am, I’m a great fucking catch. . . . I’m fine. I can fuck. I can fight. Oh, I ain’t no damsel in distress, motherfucker. You can go get the car, baby, while I handle these three thug motherfuckers.