By Karen Siff Exkorn
I’m pretty sure it’s every woman’s dream to go on a date with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Or at least it was mine.
So there I was, at the Beacon Theater in New York City, attending an event to benefit autism called Night of Too Many Stars. Hosted by Jon Stewart, the evening featured Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Stephen Colbert, Harvey Keitel, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, Sting, and many more, including, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Jon Stewart announced that one of the live auction items was to “spend a date night as the new best friend of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.” The next thing I knew, the bidding began and I raised my hand high in the air. Cut to minutes later, I found myself onstage at the Beacon Theater—with another winning bidder and my new best friends Tina and Amy! After an intimate bonding experience in front of 3,000 audience members, we were whisked outside for a photo shoot that was later shown on a jumbo screen at the theater.
By spending a date night with these two incredibly talented and amazing women, I learned a few things.
5 BFF Secrets I Learned with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Ben Rider/ Comedy Central's "Night of Too Many Stars"
1. They have a special language
You know how most best friends can complete each other’s sentences or know how the other is feeling just by a glance? Well, Tina and Amy have that, and more! It’s almost like they relate on a psychic level. When we were backstage, they decided to come up with a skit that would involve us, only they didn’t want us to know what they were planning. They started communicating in what seemed like a combination of gibberish and charades. Even though we were seated right next to them, we had no idea what they were up to. Speaking very quickly, gesturing wildly, and giggling in agreement, Tina and Amy managed to create a spectacular skit in only minutes.
2. They are who you think they are
If you already guessed from their movies and interviews that Tina and Amy are fabulous, smart, funny women, then you’re right. These women are the real thing. Some actors just “act” like they’re nice, when they’re really not. A producer friend of mine interviews celebrities and shares horror stories of how some actresses are all “smiling and nice” when the cameras are on and all “bitchy and diva-esque” once the cameras are off. Tina and Amy could not have been nicer during the time we spent together. They not only treated us with love and respect, but they also treated the cameraman, crew and all of the fans who crowded around to watch us during the photo shoot with the same love and respect.
3. They don’t engage in “Tripping the Head Cheerleader” behavior
Being a woman in show business (or any business for that matter) can be a challenge. Business is competitive, and women not only have to deal with the competition from others, but also with that ever present glass ceiling. I should know. I’ve had my own management consulting business for over 20 years. Tina and Amy are in a business that’s typically controlled by men, and yet, they’ve risen to the top. Why? Because, instead of trying to beat each other up or engage in undermining behaviors (as I’ve seen many women do), they support each other and nurture each other’s careers. You’ve seen their work together on SNL and in the movies—these women are each other’s head cheerleaders. If more women could learn to support each other and cheer each other on, we could use that collective energy to break through that glass ceiling once and for all.
4. They’re both caring moms who care about more than just their own kids
Tina has her beautiful daughters Alice and Penelope, and Amy has her adorable sons Archie and Abel. You can tell they’re caring parents by the way they gush about their kids. But their caring goes beyond their own kids. They both generously donated their time and talent to appear at this benefit for autism education, and were interested to learn more about children with autism. Because of my personal relationship with autism, I shared our son’s story of recovery. We talked about the ongoing need for autism education as more and more children are being diagnosed. And we all wept while watching Katy Perry perform an incredibly moving duet with a young girl with autism whose dream was to meet her singing idol one day. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth watching on YouTube.)
5. They share lip gloss
In an attempt to lighten the mood (since I started getting teary-eyed writing my last entry), I’ve decided to share my last bit of insider information about Tina and Amy. Tina carries lip gloss. Amy does not. So Tina shared her lip gloss with Amy. And when Tina overheard me saying that I wished I’d brought my own lip gloss, she generously offered to share hers with me. Yes, it’s true. I shared Tina’s lip gloss. As I smeared the gloss on my lips with the wand that had just touched both Tina and Amy’s lips, I secretly hoped that their brilliance might rub off on me. I’m still hoping…
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Karen Siff Exkorn is an author who lives in New York. Her most recent book is Fifty Two Shades of Blue-ish (a parody). She donates a portion of the proceeds from book sales to autism organizations.