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Tina Fey Quotes

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey

Tina Fey quotes: on writing, comedy, confidence, committing fully to your craft, and more.

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it.  You have to go down the chute.”

“Every kid has something they’re good at, that you hope they find and gravitate toward.”

“There are no mistakes, only opportunities.”

“You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it.”

“It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated.”

“Your work is what you really care about because your work is your craft and your craft is your art.”

“You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible – oh, this is impossible.’  And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”

“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions.  Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

“When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: is this person in between me and what I want to do?  If the answer is no, ignore it and move on.  Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way.  Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”

“This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice.  People are going to try to trick you.  To make you feel that you are in competition with one another.  ‘You’re up for a promotion.  If they go for a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.’  Don’t be fooled.  You’re not in competition with other women.  You’re in competition with everyone.”

“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out later.”

“Sometimes if you have a difficult decision to make, just stall until the answer presents itself.”

“I believe in process.  I believe that having a really difficult process is more valuable than a good outcome.”

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.  Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

“Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions.”

“You have to let people see what you wrote.”

“Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion, just thinking foolishly that you will be able to do what you want to do.”

“Don’t be afraid to contribute.  Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion.  Your initiations are worthwhile.”

“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.”

“The idea of being in control for the sake of control is not really important to me.  If everyone is sharp and doing what they’re doing well, you don’t really need to be in control all the time.”

“I do like to start on time; I like to set the bar high for people.”

“I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities.”

“I was a very confident little kid.”

“I don’t want to be somebody else.”

“I don’t like a tremendous amount of conflict.  I don’t think that fighting and passion are the same thing.”

“I’ll be ready for it to happen and that way it won’t happen.  It’s a burden, being able to control situations with my hyper-vigilance, but it’s my lot in life.”

“The only way I could get comfortable around people was to make them laugh.  I was an obedient girl, and humor was my one form of rebellion.  I used comedy to deflect.  Like, ‘Hey, check out my zit!’  You know, making fun of yourself before someone else has a chance to.”

“Somewhere around the fifth or seventh grade I figured out that I could ingratiate myself to people by making them laugh.  Essentially, I was just trying to make them like me.  But after a while it became part of my identity.”

“When humor works, it works because it’s clarifying what people already feel.  It has to come from someplace real.”

“I dreamed of being an actress when I was a little kid because you don’t know then that the writer writes everything the actor is saying.  But as I got older, I got into college and became more aware that writing is another option, and I started getting into it, too.”

“After college, I knew I wanted to work in comedy, so the first thing I did was go to where the comedy was.  I moved from Charlottesville to Chicago, because that’s where The Second City and Improv Olympics are.  You have to go wherever you need to go to study what interests you.”

“I’m more of a writer than an actor, and I used to say that I’m mostly an improviser, though I haven’t improvised in awhile.”

“If you want to be a screenwriter, take an acting class to get a sense of what you’re asking actors to do.  Learning other skills will help you communicate with people and respect what they do.”

“Sometimes people expect that I’m going to be tough.  It’s not a bad situation.  People treat you better.  People are on time.”

“My work is my work.  I take my work seriously but I don’t take myself too seriously.”

“I work, and then whenever I have any other time, I’m with my daughter, and then I go to sleep.  I think you basically have to abandon the dreams of having any other adult activities in your life.  You have to go to sleep whenever your child goes to sleep.  That’s basically how we’re doing it.”

“I really love cursing a lot.  But as I get older, I realize it’s a little unseemly for women of a certain age.  But then once you pass 65, you can hit it full tilt again and it’s charming.”

“People say that Hillary is a b*tch.  Let me say something about that: yeah, she is.  And so am I.  And you know what?  B*tches get stuff done.  Get on board.  B*tch is the new black.”

“If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: ‘Who cares?'”

“Some people say, ‘Never let them see you cry.’  I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry.  It terrifies everyone.”

“Most of the time you’re too busy to think about it.  But every now and then you say, ‘I work at Saturday Night Live and that is so cool.'”

“I became immersed in the cult of improvisation.  I was like one of those athletes trying to get into the Olympics.  It was all about blind focus.  I was so sure that I was doing exactly what I’d been put on this earth to do, and I would have done anything to make it onto that stage.”

“Life is improvisation.”

“I’m unstoppable because I don’t know how to stop.”

“And I can see Russia from my house.”

“I am constantly amazed by Tina Fey.  And I am Tina Fey.”

Next, Kathie Lee Gifford quotes.

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