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I Don't Know What You Know Me From: My Life as a Co-Star [Format Kindle]

Judy Greer

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Excerpted from the hardcover edition. 

Chapter 1

i grew up in a suburb of detroit, michigan. no, not Grosse Pointe. Not 8 Mile. To everyone who is not from Michigan: there are more places besides Grosse Pointe and 8 Mile in the Detroit area. Grosse Pointe is for superrich people, of which I was/am not. And 8 Mile is a road, not a place. It is a long road that goes from Eminem-­land all the way to McMansion-­land. I am from Livonia. It’s basic. It’s clean and there are no tall buildings that I can remember, maybe the city hall, or the hospital, but I’m only talking eight floors, tops. There are a lot of strip malls and two-­story colonial houses and many good public schools. It is your typical midwestern suburb.

In Livonia our high schools were named after foreign statesmen, the junior highs were named after poets, and the elementary schools were named after presidents. I went to Kennedy for elementary school, Frost for middle, and Churchill for high school. But I hated school. I pretty much hated every second I had to be there. I can’t really remember why I hated it so much, but I think some of it had to do with having to leave my house in the cold so many months out of the year. It was always so cold, and there was a lot of snow. I took the bus to high school, but most of elementary and all of junior high I had to walk. It was a particularly long walk across a huge field to get to Frost, and in the winter that field was covered in snow. There were no trees or buildings to stop the freezing-­cold wind from tearing through my jacket and sweaters in order to get to the very center of my bones, where it would stay until spring. No, it wasn’t uphill both ways barefoot, but still, those mornings and afternoons were rough. Sometimes my friend Nicole and I would “borrow” change from our classmates and stop at the donut shop on our walk home, and we’d cross the field almost happily, thinking of the cinnamon roll and hot chocolate we were about to inhale. And for one week during the summer I forgave that field because it would morph into a magical carny wonderland called the Livonia Spree. For one week I lived a block away from the Tilt-­a-­Whirl, the merry-­go-­round, the Matterhorn, game tents, a fun house, a house of horrors, and my favorite attraction, the Budweiser Clydesdale horses. I really looked forward to those horses coming to my town for a visit. I think that’s why I cried so hard during that Super Bowl XLVII commercial. You know, the one about the horse trainer who sent his horse away to Budweiser once it was trained but then drove out to visit it during a nearby parade. And in the end the horse broke loose and ran back to find his trainer? Shit. Now I’m crying again. I sobbed after seeing that commercial. Like, sobbed. My husband was worried about me. I was worried about me; I wondered if people ever died of suffocation due to uncontrolled sobbing, because I thought I might. Anyway, as a kid I loved seeing those beer horses and marveled at their size. I always wondered if they liked being on the local carnival circuit and was slightly disillusioned when I found out there was more than one team of Budweiser Clydesdales. For years I thought I was meeting the stars of all those commercials. The day I found out differently was a real coming-­of-­age moment for me. Maybe that’s why I cried so hard . . . 

Before I ever went to Kennedy Elementary, I went to Gibson School for the Gifted, a private school for “gifted” students, as named. I like that they didn’t mess around when naming it. So many private schools beat around the bush with names like Dalton and Spence, why not just say what it is? Crosley School for Rich Kids, or the Teeter School for Troublemakers, Lionsfront Last Chance Before Juvie Academy. Aren’t we all thinking it anyway? At my gifted school for gifted students, we went to school until about 6:00 p.m., when they started to lock the doors and call the parents who hadn’t picked their kids up yet (maybe they should have named it Gibson School for Children with Busy Parents). It was an ethnically diverse school; most of the students had divorced parents or came from households where both parents worked (me). I remember that my friend Chris and I were always the last ones to get picked up. I hated leaving Chris when my mom got there first because his parents were divorced and he could never remember which one was supposed to show up, but I hated it more when I was the last one, mostly because I was eight years old and eight-­year-­olds aren’t usually that self-­sacrificing. Chris could also be a little bit naughty. One day he wanted to start a gang, but since I was the only one left hanging around with him at the end of every day, it was just the two of us. He named us the Punk Rock Pick Lockers, and we managed, one time only, to pick a lock in the cafeteria and steal a mini carton of chocolate milk out of the refrigerator. I felt pretty cool after we picked our first lock but also completely scared we would get caught. And even though it was fun that day, I was certain that eventually Chris was going to get me in a lot of trouble. I couldn’t be in a gang with this boy, that was not a “gifted” thing to do. I tried a phaseout, but it was hard since we were still the last two kids to get picked up after school every day. Shortly after our one and only gang activity, Chris came to school with a homemade puzzle and tried to give it to me. I refused, trying to make my motives clear. We could still hang out in the bookbinding corner after class, but accepting handmade gifts was where I drew the line. I could tell I hurt his feelings when I marched away from him, but I didn’t care. I needed boundaries if I wasn’t going to pursue a life of crime with him. That night when his dad finally came to pick Chris up, his dad found me and gave me the puzzle himself, telling me that Chris spent a lot of time making that puzzle for me and I should keep it. I put it together when they left and it said “I love you” on it. I felt terrible. I didn’t know Chris loved me. I thought we were just friends and fellow gang members. Now what do I do? I thought. Do I have to love him back? Or make him a puzzle that says, “OK . . .”? When my parents pulled me out of Gibson after third grade, I didn’t talk to Chris again until he magically showed up late in high school dating a tiny dancer I knew from the arts program. I was so happy to see his face, and happier to see that he didn’t end up in jail, but we never really picked up where we left off and lost touch for good when I moved to Chicago.

I didn’t want to change schools when I was at Gibson—­that was my parents’ idea. Even though my new school was just a short walk from our house, I did not want to go. I had friends at Gibson, they were all different colors, and probably brilliant and gifted and talented, but I didn’t care about that stuff—they were my friends, and I didn’t want to leave them. Everyone at public school seemed so average and white to me. My parents promised if I hated it, I could go back to Gibson, but they lied. Now that I’m an adult, I can’t really blame them—­it was expensive and a long drive—­but still, for the record, they lied.

Once I left my special school, I never liked school again. It was all so normal. There were desks in rows, lesson plans, bells, after-­school clubs that you had to be invited into. What’s that all about? See, at Gibson we were told we were all amazing artists, that we were smart, creative, good writers, basically that we were special, but that we were equally special. I’m not saying this is how it should be, but it was hard to suddenly find out, at nine years old, that I didn’t necessarily have all the talents I thought I did. For example, at my public school, there was an art club, and I didn’t get invited to be in it. That was so confusing to me. Why couldn’t anyone be in it if they wanted to, not just if the horse you drew actually looked like a horse? And how come in class we sat in desks instead of on couches or giant pillows? Why weren’t there pets in every room? Why did I have to raise my hand to ask to go to the bathroom? Why didn’t we call our teachers by their first names? It was a hard transition for me. I was graded for the first time in my life. I wasn’t athletic, and I had weird hair, a combination that I blame for being a loner for a while. Is there some connection between “gifted” kids and weird hair? My old friends and I all had some crazy-­ass hair, but at my public school everyone seemed to have great hair.

I thought since I was at a special school for special kids, public school would be a breeze for me, but it wasn’t at first. (Of course I shouldn’t rule out the possibility that I was in a school for weird or slow kids, but was lied to by my parents.) Eventually, I settled in and made friends, and even had some teachers who really inspired me. I resigned myself to not being popular but finding that one special friend who would always have my back. Her name was Nicole. She was pretty and smart and had great hair, of course. She was funny and just weird enough that she understood me and didn’t think I was a spaz. She was also a great artist, so I always partnered with her to work on class projects (she totally got invited to be in art club, so we couldn’t walk home together on Wednesdays after school). I was thrilled that we would go to the same junior high together so I didn’t have to start from scratch again and find new friends. Nicole and I walked through that freezing-­cold field together, side by side, and she stayed my best friend all through high school. This time we commuted by bus, unless one of us could con our parents into driving us instead. 

I think that Nicole could have totally left me behind in junior high and been one of the popular girls, but she didn’t. She looked like Grace Kelly when we were thirteen, and the boys really noticed her. I remember a boy asking me for my number, only to then call and ask for Nicole’s. She went to homecoming with him, and I was 70/30 happy/jealous. I know I should have been 100 percent happy, but I was a teenage girl, for Christ’s sake! And I am the John Hughes generation. I was waiting for my Blane, my Jake Ryan, and I am not a saint, I’m sorry, but I was a little jealous when Nicole got to go to a dance while I stayed home, wrote in my diary, and watched my VHS tape of Pretty in Pink again. In fact, the only high school dance I ended up going to was prom. I had my first boyfriend at that point, and Nicole had hers. We went together, naturally, and had a ball, kind of. My dad borrowed a fancy car for us to drive, and we got clearance to all spend the night at Nicole’s date John’s house because he had a cool apartment-­style bedroom. I don’t know how that became a winning argument with my parents, but they caved and that was the plan. I will just tell you right now I don’t have a good prom story. It’s hazy at best. And not hazy due to alcohol consumed that night, but probably more likely due to alcohol consumed since. I bought eight prom dresses, but none of them were right, so I ended up making my own out of a pattern from the 1960s I bought at a thrift store (hello, Pretty in Pink much?) and used my dress budget on fabulous shoes. Nicole bought her dress at a vintage store, and I thought we looked so cool I made my parents take our prom pictures in black and white to really capture our vintage vibe. Prom was in a fancy restaurant/venue in Dearborn (where the Big Three car companies used to live). I have to admit it was a little bit of a letdown after watching all those John Hughes movies leading up to it. Yes, it was beautifully decorated, and we all looked appropriately dressed up, but when I stepped into the room, there was no hush in the crowd, no one was shocked at my prom makeover, I didn’t look better than the popular bitchy girls, none of them gave me a hesitant encouraging smile, there wasn’t anyone apologizing for misjudging me the last four years, and worst of all Jake Ryan and Blane were nowhere to be found. But most shocking was I didn’t care. We sat down for a few minutes, we danced for a few songs, then John went missing, and when we found him inhaling helium out of the decorative balloons in the corner, we decided to take off. We went to prom. Milestone checked off the list. We drove back to John’s house, changed into our jeans and T-­shirts, and watched Sixteen Candles until we fell asleep.

The best thing to me about growing up in a suburb of Detroit was going into Detroit—­there was always great stuff to do there when I was a kid, and I actually did it. I am so happy, looking back, that my parents didn’t hide out in their little suburb, that they took advantage of all the Motor City had to offer. There was a zoo, an awesome art museum with the most beautiful Diego Rivera mural you’ll ever see, this gorgeous painting of an assembly line that is such a perfect representation of what Detroit was built on. A science center. The Red Wings played downtown, as did the Tigers. While I was in high school, they were renovating some old theaters in the city, and my first date with my first boyfriend, Eric Campbell, was to see Casablanca downtown at the Fox Theatre. It was the first time I’d ever seen the movie, and it was especially thrilling to see it on a big screen in a theater that it most likely played in the first time around. When I was little, there were lots of picnics, boat races, and Belle Isle, a little island/giant park that was connected to downtown by a bridge. But when I was old enough to go downtown with just my friends, I really fell in love with Detroit’s music scene. There were great little bars and venues that local and touring bands would play in, and I tried to catch them all. I had a fake ID and I used it! There were great record stores, and with Ann Arbor about twenty minutes away in the opposite direction we Detroiters had great music at our fingertips.

Revue de presse

"The most fun thing in the world is sitting with Judy Greer and talking about her life while drinking perhaps a touch more wine than you'd intended. If you can't make that happen, the second most fun thing is reading her book. While you over-pour and drink the wine."
     --Jennifer Garner (Judy's co-star in 13 Going on 30)

“Will make you wish Greer was your wacky best friend.” —People
“A hilarious, heartfelt memoir.” —InStyle

“Intimate and frank. . . . I Don't Know What You Know Me From proves what [her fans] have always suspected: Judy Greer shines in the starring role.” —The Daily Beast
“Finally this perennial co-star gets to confound Hollywood’s expectations and take center stage in a role that’s every bit as hilarious, delightful, and brutally honest as the comedienne herself.” —Mitch Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development

“If you’ve heard Judy speak even once you can hear her voice all through these wonderful stories, because she writes like she talks and what she says is so much fun to listen to. My only complaint was how much I missed her when the book was over—but that’s how I always feel after a long stay with a good friend.”
     —Jim Parsons, star of The Big Bang Theory
“The book is so funny it might make her a household name.”
     —Ladies’ Home Journal
“She's nothing if not honest—sometimes brutally so.”
     —Los Angeles Times
“Her book is just as honest, witty, and observant as she actually is. From her early life and her experiences in love and friendship to the weird world of Hollywood, she candidly spills the beans and consistently entertains. So now is your chance—you too can be friends with Judy (sort of).”
     —Rashida Jones

"I read it in one sitting. Then I flushed."
     --Zach Galifianakis
“Charming. . . . [Greer’s] bubbly best-friend personality and self-deprecating anecdotes will have readers rooting for her.”
“Greer is an engaging and witty storyteller, at turns wistful and unsparingly honest.”
     —Kirkus Reviews

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4775 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 257 pages
  • Editeur : Anchor (8 avril 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°86.461 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  199 commentaires
41 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Light but entertaining look at one woman's road in Hollywood 20 mars 2014
Par A. Reid - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I know Greer from quite a lot, and there's a pretty good chance you do, too - she's been appearing in television and films since at least 1997 and in the past 10 years has been in some big ones. She always stands out to me (in a good way), so I was quite pleased to have a chance to read and review her memoir. I like memoirs; I like Greer - good combination.

Memoirs, of course, come in varying types. There are the earth-changing ones that talk about Really Important Stuff, where people reveal the highly dramatic and often tragic experiences they've lived and leave you inspired (or maybe even just really happy to be alive). There are the high-level observational memoirs where people launch sharp and witty critical commentary on some or many aspects of life, that provoke you to think about things in a new light and perhaps even leave you a better person.

And then there's this. This is not and does not pretend to be "important" - it's a segmented look back at the life of an ordinary (if talented) woman who is working in an interesting industry. She doesn't seem to be aiming for Universal Truth, but seems candid in discussing her own situation. She comes off as warm, witty, self-deprecating, and, to me, genuine. If you're interested in reading about life in the industry (and the road to it) from the perspective of a firmly established and steadily employed insider, this may be the book for you. if you're looking for Really Important Stuff, cynical bon mots, or even a ton of celebrity gossip, it really isn't.

As for me, I enjoyed.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Kind of like a wine-fueled chat with your goofiest friend 28 mars 2014
Par Maine Colonial - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I've always had a thing for co-stars and character actors, from screwball comedy greats like Edward Everett Horton, Eugene Pallette, Eric Blore and Thelma Ritter, to voices and faces you see everywhere in today's movies and TV, like Christopher Waltz, Brian Goodman (who seems to specialize in cops), Jayne Brook (look her up on imdb.com; she's great!)---and Judy Greer.

I've liked Judy Greer for years, since Arrested Development and 13 Going on 30, and today I love her scene-stealing voice work as the crazed sado-masochistic heiress/secretary/country singer Cheryl/Cherlene in the FX network's animated espionage comedy, Archer. So I figured: Why not read her book and find out more about her? Sure, the book is no cure for cancer and you might wonder why anybody would care to read the "confessions of a co-star," as she subtitles the book, but I was curious.

It turns out, Judy knows how to write a breezily entertaining memoir. Well, memoir in the sense that Tina Fey's Bossypants is a memoir. It's really a collection of entertaining stories about her childhood, breaking into show business and current life and career. She's from suburban Detroit and has that low-key, self-deprecating humor you often see in midwesterners--only a little edgier, a little goofier.

She writes as if she's talking to you on the phone. She rambles a little, she jumps from one topic to another; it's not very polished feeling, and there isn't anything deep or particularly meaningful here. And yet, it's an enjoyable way to pass some time. Her reminiscences about her childhood and her stories about her rescued, flatulent bulldog, Buckley (whom she describes as constantly judging her), are often laugh-out-loud funny.

When Judy talks about her career and her husband and stepchildren, she pulls back, though. Those stories are only slight-smile amusing, and I have a theory about that. She writes a couple of times about good advice she's received over the years, and one is her (former nun!) mother's sage advice (just like Cher's mom's in Moonstruck): "Don't [take a dump] where you eat." I suspect Judy didn't want to be too real about show business or her marriage and stepchildren, since she has to live and work in those worlds every day. Smart move, but it makes those portions of the book just a little deflated when compared to the inspired loopiness of the chapters about Buckley and her life before Los Angeles.

All in all, though, it's an entertaining read and makes me think that next time Judy Greer is between jobs she should start writing a comic novel.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great celebrity memoir.... 14 avril 2014
Par Scott Herzig - Publié sur Amazon.com
I purchased this book before a long coast to coast flight the other day. After a long week of work I wanted nothing more than an insightful and intriguing easy read, filled with exciting celebrity tales, insights and Hollywood anecdotes. However, what I got with this book was a perceptive, fascinating and extremely funny view of what it’s like to be Judy Greer, one of the most recognizable “second bananas” in Hollywood. This book flows well and it turned out to be a great way to spend 6 hours in the air. A definite “two thumbs up!”
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Lot of Fun! 17 juin 2014
Par Yolanda S. Bean - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I’m definitely a fan of Greer’s so I excitedly picked up this book. Though I admit to not knowing much of anything about her personal life, I have always enjoyed picking her out of her varied roles in films and television. This all added to make me not know quite what to expect of her “Confessions of a Co-Star.” I know I definitely did not expect it to be as funny as it was, or to be written in such a casually intimate way. Greer offers plenty of details about her personal life that will make readers easily connect with her - from dating boyfriends for too long, teenage obsessions, her love her dog, being an only child - all make it easy for a reader to see how easy “Hollywood’s Best Friend” could become their friend, too, were they to bump into her. She writes with a lot of honesty and plenty of genuine emotion. And lots of humour!

The pictures add to the book’s intimacy and I can also see how an audio version (narrated by Greer, of course) would also be a fun way to experience this book. I suppose that I did want a bit more behind-the-scenes details for some of her roles, but it’s an entertaining and interesting read that only makes me more eager to recognize in her something new!
30 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Cute and Amusing, But Is It Worth Buying...? 5 avril 2014
Par Daniel V. Reilly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Judy Greer is one of those Hollywood faces that you see in a movie or TV show, and immediately think "Who is that girl..? She's in EVERYTHING...." She's been in more TV shows, movies, and commercials than even she can remember. Personally, I've always thought she was cute, so when I saw she had a book out, I figured "Why not?"

I was expecting more of a humorous autobiography, but I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW ME FROM *CONFESSIONS OF A CO-STAR is attempting to follow in the successful footsteps of Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler, and it's comprised of short "Essays" that cover various subjects and eras from Judy's life and career.

I'm not sure what the finished product will look like, since I have two separate advance review copies, a paperback and a digital edition, and the chapters are in slightly different order, so the book still seems to be in flux. The early chapters are a fairly linear timeline of Judy's life, but after that things get slightly choppy as the essays jump around, so you don't get a real feel for when the events she's describing are happening.

Judy seems to be a nice girl, so don't expect a lot (Read: any) dirt about co-stars or jobs that she's had. The question that you need to ask yourself in regards to buying this book, or ANY book that's comprised of the wit and wisdom of fill-in-the-blank, is this: Does this person have anything to say that I need to know, or anything to say that is amusing enough that I need to spend twenty bucks on it? In this case, the answer is no. I found Judy's stories to be cute and fun, and I laughed a few times, but I was also really looking forward to the book ending, because it was not really anything that I needed to read.

I also found it endlessly amusing when I read about how she worries about feeding her family healthy food, yet she smokes. I'm also easily annoyed, so I found it weird at first how she continually refers to her husband as "Dean Johnsen" over and over again. Then it stopped being weird and started to annoy me. I was also annoyed by her constant reference to "Dean Johnsen's" kids as her "stepkids"...I get it. They're NOT YOURS, I get it, I get it. I'm a stepfather myself, and this sentence is the first time I've ever used "Step" in regards to my relationship with my daughter. Yeah, she was here before I met my wife, but I consider her to be my kid, and I would never say otherwise. That's just a pet peeve of mine. Like I said, I'm easily annoyed.

I had a decent time reading this book, but I honestly couldn't say that anyone needs to spend money on it.

Doubleday provided a review copy.
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