Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
by Lauren Graham
Published: November 29th 2016
Genres: Humor, Memoir
Format: Hardcover (209 pages)
In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.
In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).
In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.
Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).
Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.
I knew I had to get the audiobook for Talking As Fast As I Can because it’s read by the author, Lauren Graham. Who wouldn’t want to spend four delightful hours listening to Lauren Graham talk about her life? It was as enjoyable as I hoped it would be. However. Photographs are integral to the story and are referenced frequently in the audiobook. The digital audiobook I got from my library came with a PDF with all the photos but opening it proved to be as impossible as Rory Gilmore keeping a job. Lots of emails to Overdrive tech support later, I still couldn’t open it. So GRRRRR. I felt lost in the story without being able to see, for example, the photo that got her the nickname “Hair Head.” Instead of more pointless emails to tech support, I went old school and just got the physical copy from the library to look at while I listened to the audiobook. Sometimes technology SUCKS. Long story short – if you get the audiobook, make sure you get the photo file with it.
Lauren Graham’s writing is full of personality and self-depricating humor. Her personality is so similar to the character Lorelai that I’m not entirely convinced that they aren’t the same person. The short biography at the beginning of her life about parents, school, and growing up was never boring. I enjoyed the fun and creative ways she came up with to talk about her life, like a phone call with her dad to talk about her early years living on a house boat.
Talking As Fast As I Can might look fluffy with it’s cute cover, but I walked away with some lovely insights. Her very relatable experience of going against her instincts on what she was comfortable doing in her acting career and how broken it made her feel. About how life is a journey and not a destination. Sometimes it’s good enough to talk about getting a tattoo instead of actually doing it.
Often, waiting reveals the truth about something, and not responding to your every impulse can save you the heartache of waking up in the morning with a sense of regret, […] with a lot of tattoos on my upper butt area that I’d then changed my mind about.
-Lauren Graham, Talking As Fast As I Can, pg 157-158
The loveliest of insights was why the character of Lorelai Gilmore is so compelling. Lauren talks about various roles she had done in her career that were either a girl on the town or a mom. Lorelai Gilmore was a delightful combination of both. That character broke the sterotype that women are either one or the other. It’s so true and it’s so easy to see why so many women (including me) love that character.
There’s a section in Talking As Fast As I Can where Lauren gives opinions and behind the scenes on all the seasons of Gilmore Girls, including the newest one, A Year in the Life. I have seen that show so many times that even though I was listening to this in the car while my husband drove way too fast on the freeway, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Please continue with your lovely commentary, Lauren.
Besides the commentary, my favorite part was Lauren talking about becoming an author. Her writing advice was awesome and I have been using it with a lot of success to resurrect this blog. She calls it Kitchen Timer and it’s a variation of the Pomodoro technique. If you are a writer, get this book immediately, write down the entire Kitchen Timer technique in a notebook, and follow it religiously. (It’s on pg 144-148. I would type it here but that’s a lot of quoting. Besides, why don’t you want her wonderful book??)