Lady Parts

Lady Parts

by Andrea Martin


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A hilarious, entertaining, and often moving memoir, from the multiple Tony and Emmy-awarding winning actress and comedienne, and SCTV alum, Andrea Martin

Whether lighting up the small screen in her new TV series, Working the Engels, on NBC, or stealing scenes on the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, or starring on the stage in her recent Tony award winning role as Berthe in Pippin, Andrea Martin has long entertained audiences with her hilarious characterizations and heartwarming performances. Martin has worked stages, sets and even trapezes across North America, playing to houses packed with adoring fans, all of whom instantly recognize the star who has entertained us for nearly forty years.

In Andrea Martin's Lady Parts, Martin, for the first time, shares her fondest remembrances of a life in show business, motherhood, relationships, no relationships, family, chimps in tutus, squirrels, and why she flies to Atlanta to get her hair cut. Martin opens up her heart in a series of eclectic, human, always entertaining and often moving essays. Lady Parts will make you giggle and may make you cry. This is a powerful collection of stories by a woman with a truly storied life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062387288
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/23/2014
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Andrea Martin was cast in the 1970 American touring company production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, in which she played Lucy. During the tour, she visited Toronto, fell in love with the city and moved there. Soon after, she was cast in the legendary Toronto production of Godspell, with fellow performers Victor Garber, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Gilda Radner, Jayne Eastwood and Paul Shaffer, the musical director. Martin has appeared in numerous theater and television productions around the world, including Toronto's Second City stage show, which led to the critically acclaimed SCTV. She has also been recognized with many awards, especially prized among them her two Emmys, two Tonys and from Canada, her two Geminis and four ACTRAs. After winning the 2013 Tony for creating the role of Berthe in the revival of Pippin, she returned to the stage in April of this year in Act One, for which she won the Outer Critics Circle award. This fall finds her once again on Broadway for 24 special performances of Pippin before packing her trapeze and taking the show to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Her next film, Night at the Museum 3, opens December 19.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1

Perky Tits 5

It's My Roots, Johnny 10

Armenia 21

My One-Year Diary, 1958 33

Afterbirth 44

Birthdays 50

Dating #1 54

Dating #2 58

My Mustang Convertible 67

Why I Fly to Atlanta to Get My Hair Cut 73

Mommy 94

Secrets 107

Part 2

My Writing Process 119

Here Are Some Other Things I'd Rather Do Than Write 123

Someday My Prince Will Come 125

Television vs. Books 131

Chimps in Tutus a 136

My Gynecologist 145

You Are So Beautiful 151

My Astrologer 156

Astrology Follow-Up 167

Part 3

Old Lady Parts #1 173

Crazy 183

Some Things I Think About but Don't Say Out Loud 189

Why So Angry, Ms. Martin? 191

The Graphologist 201

Wherever You Go, There You Are 204

Part 4

Parapharyngeal Abscess 213

Emergency 221

Multi-Tasking 225

Squirrels 235

My Pine Tree 242

The Train 249

My Lost Youth 251

Part 5

My First Head Shots, Circa 1970 265

Yes! 266

Old Lady Parts #2 272

SCTV, or "What Do You Think of This?" 293

Everything Must Go 343

Epilogue 347

Acknowledgements 349

Credits 351


Barnes & Noble Review Interview with Andrea Martin

In Lady Parts, , actress and comedian Andrea Martin looks back on a career that has stretched from SCTV to Broadway.

What is your earliest memory of writing a story?

I was eleven. I wrote a story for my English class that won an award. I still remember how it began: "Once upon a time, in the land of many more, lived a maple family by the name of Douglas Door. And this Mr. Douglas Door was just as happy as could be, because he had been chosen from the tallest maple tree."

When and where do you write? What does your workspace look like?

I write at my desk, both in New York and Toronto. My desk is neat, the room bright. There is no music playing, no distractions, except for the incessant chatter in my own head!

Your new book, Lady Parts, is dedicated to Canada: "My marriage. My children. My career. Justin Bieber." You write that you fell in love with Toronto in 1970, on the first day you visited the city. What drew you so strongly to Canada as a newcomer to the country?

Directly after finishing college, I left for New York, the city every aspiring musical comedy performer flocks to. New York frightened me. I was ambitious but not as fearless as I thought I needed to be in the Big Apple. Toronto had a flourishing entertainment industry, and was more manageable for a young girl who had spent her childhood in provincial Portland, Maine. Toronto afforded me a safe and welcoming place to perfect my craft and had endless opportunities for an actress starting her career.

You had a unique experience as a writer-performer on SCTV, writing comedy by committee: how does writing comedy with a group differ from writing strictly for yourself?

It's less lonely.

What was the last great book you read?

The last entertaining book I read, I bought at Indigo in Toronto. . . . I think it was one of "Heather's Picks" (Who is Heather, by the way?). It was called Mary Coin, by Marisa Silver. It is a novel based loosely and inventively on the life of Dorothea Lange and her female subject in the famous photo she took of the migrant mother in the Depression.

While writing a book is in many ways a solo performance, you've been a member of some superb casts and companies. What makes for a great ensemble? What is needed for actors to work well together?

Generosity. Playfulness. Dedication. Discipline. Curiosity. Commitment.

You're an incredible impressionist, and on SCTV you had some highly unique impressions in your arsenal: Alice B. Toklas, Indira Gandhi, Brenda Vaccaro, Pauline Kael, Patti Smith. Where does an impression begin for you? A physical trait, a voice, a mannerism?

It's different all the time. Indira Gandhi came about because I wanted to do a parody of Evita. Brenda Vaccaro came about because her Tampax commercial that ran in the '80s made me chuckle. Oftentimes I have chosen a person to impersonate, because frankly, I'm able to physically resemble them. But all the women I have impersonated, I have had great affection for. It has never been my desire or ridicule them. I think impersonating someone is the highest form of compliment.

In addition to your work in film and TV, you're a highly accomplished stage actress. What are some of your favorite plays and playwrights, either to perform or to read on the page?

I adored playing Serafina Delle Rose in The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams. I love playing the part of Berthe presently in Pippin. Frau Blucher — following in the footsteps of Cloris Leachman — and working side-by-side with Mel Brooks in Young Frankenstein on Broadway, was a dream for this comedic actress.

What do you do to relax? I ride my bike. I meditate. I watch reality television.

What is the best career advice you've received?

Take nothing personally. It's a business.

October 13, 2014

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