If you haven't seen Late Night yet, go see it!
Two weekends ago, I watched the witty movie at the Landmark theater, and the screening ended with a Q&A with our Indian American Queen - Mindy Kaling! It was so inspiring to be in the same room and about four rows away from her. Especially because when I was younger, I shared my dream to work in sitcoms, people would always respond, "like the girl from The Office!" Mainly because they're racist, just kidding, but really.
Watching the movie felt surreal because it almost felt like watching my dream come to life on screen. Like Molly, I am also from Pennsylvania and my background is also science. While I have not worked in a factory, I have worked in boring corporate IT, which is just about the same level of mundane. I also do stand up as a way to work out my jokes. These past few weeks I've been getting calls and texts from my friends and family speaking about how they felt like my life is parallel to Molly’s, which has been an endearing coincidence. I have many similarities with Molly except I don't work in a writers room yet.
A few years ago, I learned that Mindy's big break came from writing the play Matt & Ben, so I too wrote a play - The Deed is Done and showcased it in a New York theater. While I did not get immediately hired to write for a show, the play did get featured on Fusion TV. If it sounds like I was trying to copy Mindy, I totally was! I was trying to follow her footsteps to break into the white boys' club.
I would be a liar if I did not admit that sometimes in her earlier works it felt like Mindy didn't embrace her Indian background and assimilated too much into White America. But that was not the case with Late Night. This movie stirred a lot of emotions in me, I actually cried watching it. My comedy dream felt so close to reality watching Molly Patel, but the strongest emotion I felt was HOPE. Hope that people who haven't graduated from Harvard or had family members in the industry, still stand a chance to be part of the writers' staff. Hope that maybe even if it's the diversity hire that gets you into the room, it's really your talent that keeps you there. Perhaps the end justifies the means in a way. Getting into a writers room is the goal by any means necessary, but once in the coveted position, change can be effected from within.
Thank you Mindy Kaling for writing and starring in the movie and Nisha Ganatra for bringing it to life! Almost forgot, Emma Thompson is an incredible actress with impeccable comedic timing. Go watch the movie, and support dope women creating hilarious and heartfelt content!