Mindy Kaling, the actress, writer, comedian and creator of the Hulu sitcom The Mindy Project, delighted her West Coast fans by participating in a live talk as part of her book tour for her current New York Times Bestselling Nonfiction, Why Not Me? last Sunday.
Fans, such as myself, lined up as early as five hours beforehand outside the Alex Theatre in Glendale for Kaling to take the stage with fellow Mindy Project Executive Producer, Matt Warburton, for an honest and humorous discussion about her new book, life, opinions and show.
The evening began with a quirky and personalized introductory video with a voice-over by Kaling where she introduced her latest book of personal essays, Why Not Me? The video tastefully concluded with an image of a mock book cover for Why Not Me? in which the title alternatively read: Style Tips for The Pear-Shaped Woman.
As Mindy took the stage, I was immediately struck by how truly personable and stunning she is. My other immediate reaction was to obtain a shameless keepsake – a selfie. (I did, however, climb on stage once the event ended to also obtain her water bottle and sit in her chair.)
Mindy first shared her intentions behind writing another book. Since her last book published in 2011, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns?), she shared that “so much has happened” professionally and personally that she did not want to leave out any stories. In addition, Why Not Me? is a chance for her to provide more thoughtful, lengthier answers to questions she is always asked in interviews.
The first loaded discussion of the night concerned Mindy and her approach to outside discouragement when trying to pursue projects and goals. Mindy disclosed that she had already been used to the hum of discouragement; as a high schooler she never fulfilled her ambition of landing a lead role in a school production. However, she credits her parents’ support and advice “to never worry about it” to prevent herself from dwelling on the matter.
Kaling highlighted that rejection and discouragement are two very distinct entities; discouragement is slightly harsher, less explicit and more ongoing as opposed to blunt, swift rejection.
“I’ve gotten around [discouragement] by just writing my own material,” said Kaling.
When asked about FOX’s decision to drop The Mindy Project from their network, she shared it “sucked” and was not a surprise as they sensed the decision coming. She, however, reassured the audience that their experience working with their new network, Hulu, has been “the best.”
Throughout the evening, several of Kaling’s responses themed around familial sentiments. She first confessed to her busy schedule stopping her from seeing her father often. In another question, a young female fan asked for advice on how to stop her parents from pushing an arranged marriage onto her. Kaling recommended for the girl to be open with her parents and talk about the situation. The star appreciatively highlighted that her parents were always very supportive, reasonable and loving which prevented frequent conflicts.
Mindy told the audience that we all usually underestimate our parents. She even pointed out how refreshing it is to know that if we were to ever go to our parents and ask them if they would be our friends, they would say yes.
“My mom was my best friend before she passed away,” said Kaling.
Ms. Kaling is the latest speaker in Live Talks Los Angeles ongoing series of on-stage conversations with writers, actors, musicians, humorists, artists, chefs, scientists and thought leaders in business.
The talk was a chance for Kaling’s fans to not only receive a signed copy of her new book and be introduced to its material, but it allowed for an intimate evening of genuine interaction; they were able to engage with and learn more about one of the most talented, ambitious, endearing, funny and stylish individuals in Hollywood.