By Ellen Garnett
Three hundred and twenty nine pages of pure awesome — this is Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please.” If you have not yet fallen in love with Poehler through her seven seasons on “Parks and Recreation” or through her notable Hillary Clinton impersonations on “Saturday Night Live,” “Yes Please” will surely give you your fill of Poehler.
“Yes Please” centers on Poehler’s love of improv and how it has shaped her life and career as a comedian. Her book is broken up into three glorious parts: “Part One: Say Whatever You Want,” “Part Two: Do Whatever You Like,” and “Part Three: Be Whoever You Are.”
She ends her book with a chapter titled “The Robots Will Kill Us All: A Conclusion,” which is not too surprising, considering one of her other chapters is titled “Humping Justin Timberlake.”
Poehler uses her book to explore how improv has taught her to say “yes and” in her life— to be unafraid to put herself out in the world and indulge her curiosity. For those who are not familiar with the “yes and” term, this term is used to describe how an improv performer needs to accept and go along with the sketch that their improv partner frames for the two of them.
In her book, Poehler encourages people to be empowered by who they are and what they love to do. She likes to constantly challenge everyone’s perception of her by being honest and sticking up for herself, which is something she covers in her chapter “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry.”
She concedes that she says sorry a lot and that “it takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate.”
While Poehler dazzles audiences with her quick wit and her confidence in her abilities, she is also not afraid to admit where she has made mistakes. “Yes Please” is thoroughly enjoyable because Poehler has a way of breaking down overarching issues and giving down-to-earth interpretations of them.
Poehler talks about learning how to open herself up to change, especially after her divorce from Will Arnett. Being open to change is such a huge asset, as Poehler shows us with her book and her comedy, because it allows us to explore and experience.
If you want to read more of Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please,” you can pick up a copy in the Simmons Book Store—or at amazon.com.