Suzy Soro really, really knows Hollywood
Suzy Soro knows Hollywood in a way few others do.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Soro is connected with the heaviest of heavy show business hitters or that she is someone you see on television or the big screen all the time.
However, she has performed stand-up in 24 states and eight countries. She has acting credits that include parts on “Seinfield” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” And she has had, and likely will continue to have, interactions with everyone from Muhammad Ali to Angelia Jolie and she has chronicled many of these in her recently-released book, “Celebrity sTalker,” which you can buy here.
The book is funny. Soro is funnier and I’m thrilled she agreed to answer my questions for this week’s Inside Jokes. Our relationship goes back to when I drunk direct-messaged her to get her thoughts on Carrot Top and my proudest Twitter moment to date happened when she retweeted one of my tweets that included math, cockroaches, my absentee dad and limp celery.
Don’t ask. Let’s move on.
TC: Is “You’re funny” the greatest compliment of them all?
SS: For a comedian, yes. For a mortician, no.
TC: I read your book in a week. Thoroughly entertaining and insightful. Have you had many (any) celebrity run-ins since the book came out?
SS: No run-ins since the book launched. Instead, friends who’ve read it are letting me know which celebrity encounters I omitted. These are the same people who can’t remember what time to meet me for lunch, yet are now suddenly hooked up to sodium pentothal drips. It appears I left out the incidents with Sharon Stone, Tyra Banks and Mary Hart. I saw a friend over Christmas and he asked, “Why didn’t you write about the time you met Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards? Remember how embarrassed they were after that stupid thing you did?” So I guess there will be a sequel and also, how have I not been arrested?
TC: Your interactions with stand-up legends like Richard Pryor and George Carlin were particularly interesting to me because I once waited for nearly an hour after a Doug Stanhope show for an autograph and a photo, both of which Stanhope happily gave me. Have you found that comedians are more approachable than other entertainers?
SS: I think anyone who is in show business and isn’t famous, which is about 99.9 percent of us, is approachable and likes the attention, including comedians. I’ve never met a comic — famous or otherwise — who didn’t take the time to talk to someone who approached them. Of course, this always ends with one of them telling the comedian a story about their crazy family or their wacky office and how we can “use that if we want to.” Meanwhile, “Modern Family” and “The Office” beat them to the punch(line).
Famous entertainers are trickier, as evidenced by my run-ins with Diana Ross and Lucille Ball. I assume they’re tired of people telling them how great they are, or of hearing how big a fan someone is. It’s a shame because without those fans, those celebrities wouldn’t be celebrities. And those stars were lucky; they had longevity. Today, the statistics claim a pop star gets roughly three years of fame and a newcomer to TV or film gets less than that. Obviously I’m not talking about reality stars. Those people will haunt us forever. I’m looking at you, Snooki.
My philosophy is that if someone has paid good money — or even bad money — to see me perform, I feel like a timeshare and that they’ve temporarily rented a piece of me. Not a good piece, like an arm, but maybe an earlobe. I just ask that they laugh in all the right places if they want their deposit back.
TC: The sidebars and Amazon reviews that appear often in “Celebrity sTalker” are informative and funny. Since it is obviously a unique way to write, did you ever second guess those ideas or wonder if they would work?
SS: I’m a big fan of TV shows with judges and lawyers. I love the part when the judge calls the attorneys to the bench and says something that can’t be heard by the rest of the court, which is referred to as a sidebar. It’s always slightly relevant to the case but in reality I assume the judge is just asking them if they know a good place to get sushi. I had been using ‘sidebar’ to separate paragraphs in my blog posts for many years even though the sidebar is actually the long column on the side of a blog. So it was a natural progression to put them in my book.
Sidebar: I’m very stubborn. Who knows a good place in LA to get sushi?
As for the fake Amazon reviews at the end of each chapter, I wanted to mock the real ones, which are often cruel or stupid or both. It’s always the person calling out another reviewer for having bad grammar who spells grammar with an e. After my sister read the book, I asked her if she liked those parts. She demurred a little and finally admitted she didn’t know me as well as she thought because I was taking the criticisms “really well” and that “people who didn’t even know me were incredibly mean.” I told her the reviews weren’t real and remembered she could deconstruct calculus but couldn’t figure out the reviews were fake? Where are my parents now? When I can point this out to them and make my sister wrong?
I never second-guessed using both the sidebars and the reviews. I’d never seen anything like them in any other books, especially humor ones, so I thought I was pretty clever. This wore off after six weeks of writing and became, “Dear God, why did I ever think I was clever?”
TC: What kind of feedback have you gotten since the book’s release?
SS: The book has only been out for two weeks and so far, I’ve received only positive feedback. The only negative comment came from my mother who said, “I think the cover’s too busy.” So I asked her to show me the cover of her book so we could compare.
And that conversation, as they say in Hollywood, was a wrap.
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) January 2, 2013
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