Books

Felicia Day Bares All (But Not That) in Her Precocious Memoir

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a frank and funny look at how Felicia Day's unconventional formative years set her up to become the talent she is today.


You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

Publisher: Touchstone
Length: 272 pages
Format: Hardcover
Price: $25.99
Author: Felicia Day
Publication date: 2015-08

For anyone who loved the web series The Guild or enjoys the YouTube channel Geek & Sundry, this is a frank and funny look at how Felicia Day's unconventional formative years set her up to become the talented writer, actress, and gamer she is today. It's not all unicorns and long raids with gamer pals; Day writes very honestly about tough times balancing the good, the bad, and the Internet trolls. Being in her early 30s means it's a bit soon for a "memoir", but I hope we won't have to wait half as long for the follow up as I am sure Day has loads more creativity, fun, and humour in store for her fans.

The casual reader may be amazed to learn that Day was homeschooled (I’m using the term fairly lightly), and never completed high school, yet went on to achieve nearly perfect SAT scores, a full scholarship to university, and a double major in math and music, to boot. Day is driven to please, and when she chose math and music she was trying to make specific family members happy, plus satisfy herself with nothing less than a 4.0 GPA.

It was only upon graduation that Day realized that a 4.0 means almost nothing when you want to get a job and become self-sufficient. Her next move? Head to LA and become an actress. Day is nothing if not ambitious, and possibly a bit impractical, as well.

It’s no surprise that the next part of the book is about how tough it is trying to get off the ground in Hollywood. Day’s first paid acting gig never amounted to a dollar -- she got hired by a porn director trying to make something a little more artsy than his usual fare, and by the time she tried to clear her check the entire operation had evaporated. In her words, "The first dollar I ever made acting never existed." What can one do but frame the bad check and move on?

Fans of The Guild will absolutely love the section that goes behind the scenes and tells of how the show got started, from not paying the actors, to not feeding them very well, to not having the funds to pay for proper filming permits, and shooting many scenes out of Day’s apartment. Day was adamant about complete artistic control of her project, which meant it was really hard to get funding. If you ever thought a web series would be a cinch to pull off, I’d definitely encourage you to read about the obstacles of script writing, actor-recruiting, and general dumpster-diving, here, to get raw materials for creating sets in tiny spaces. It’s not for the faint of heart, and will make you appreciate the six-season web series all the more as Day clearly poured her heart and soul into the effort.

One of my favourite parts was about Day’s growing popularity at comic conventions and her litany of stories about running into sci-fi and fantasy celebs and having a tough time talking with them, just like a normal person likely would. It's easy to see her as a super successful Internet entrepreneur, but this memoir offers a serious look at just how much legwork she had to do to sell DVDs and finance projects on a shoestring budget. Day is the ultimate do-it-yourselfer.

The tone of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) turns decidedly dark, as Day bares all about her two year gaming addiction for World of Warcraft, plus difficulties staying focused, and getting caught up in destructive patterns that kept her from the productive, creative work she clearly loves. Body image issues and deep depression factor in, as she struggled to stay in control of her intellectual property, her online image, and her health.

Day punctuates her writing with photoshopped images from her childhood, among other sources, and snarky superimposed text to drive points home. (For those who get to see the digital edition of this book, you’ll be treated to full colour photography.) Day is self-deprecating to a fault and yet so naïve and sweet that it’s not hard to believe that this hard-working woman has managed to pull off all that she has.

As each new project launches, Day writes about how caught up she would get into trying to perfect scripts and maintain those all-important connections with her fans, all without annoying or alienating a single person. She’d read through all the comments on any video she ever posted, making the same ridiculous mistake we all tend to do: focusing solely on the loner negative comments when the vast majority were positive and supportive. As she notes, when you get to the stage in a project where everyone is tired and cranky and people start to say, ‘It’s good enough’: “I hate that point. It’s either perfect, or it’s the worst thing ever made and everyone is an artistic failure, including myself.” No pressure!

Indeed, Day is a very public personality in an age when sharing increasing amounts of detail about yourself online is the new normal. Her memoir doesn’t hold back, describing not only all she has learned and accomplished, but the high cost of achieving those goals. Any reader will finish this book with a new appreciation for how hard she works for her creative vision, and how lucky we are to have a wonderful, weird personality like Felicia Day working to change the face of online entertainment.

7
Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Television

Padma Lakshmi's 'Taste the Nation' Questions What, Exactly, Is American Food

Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.

Film

Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".

Music

The Greyboy Allstars Rise Up to Help America Come Together with 'Como De Allstars'

If America could come together as one nation under a groove, Karl Denson & the Greyboy Allstars would be leading candidates of musical unity with their funky new album, Como De Allstars.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Music

Porridge Radio's Mercury Prize-Nominated 'Every Bad' Is a Wonderful Epistemological Nightmare

With Every Bad, Porridge Radio seduce us with the vulnerability and existential confusion of Dana Margolin's deathly beautiful lyricism interweaved with alluring pop melodies.

Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.

Music

John Fullbright Salutes Leon Russell with "If the Shoe Fits" (premiere + interview)

John Fullbright and other Tulsa musicians decamped to Leon Russell's defunct studio for a four-day session that's a tribute to Dwight Twilley, Hoyt Axton, the Gap Band and more. Hear Fullbright's take on Russell's "If The Shoe Fits".

Music

Roots Rocker Webb Wilder Shares a "Night Without Love" (premiere + interview)

Veteran roots rocker Webb Wilder turns back the hands of time on an old favorite of his with "Night Without Love".

Film

The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.

Music

July Talk Transform on 'Pray for It'

On Pray for It, Canadian alt-poppers July Talk show they understand the complex dualities that make up our lives.

Music

With 'Articulation' Rival Consoles Goes Back to the Drawing Board

London producer Rival Consoles uses unorthodox approaches on his latest record, Articulation, resulting in a stunning, beautiful collection.

Film

Paranoia Goes Viral in 'She Dies Tomorrow'

Amy Seimetz's thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, is visually dazzling and pulsating with menace -- until the color fades.

Music

MetalMatters: July 2020 - Back on Track

In a busy and exciting month for metal, Boris arrive in rejuvenated fashion, Imperial Triumphant continue to impress with their forward-thinking black metal, and death metal masters Defeated Sanity and Lantern return with a vengeance.

Books

Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' Reveals the Other Kind of American Exceptionalism

By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.

Film

Anna Kerrigan Prioritizes Substance Over Style in 'Cowboys'

Anna Kerrigan talks with PopMatters about her latest film, Cowboys, which deviates from the common "issues style" approach to LGBTQ characters.

Music

John Fusco and the X-Road Riders Get Funky with "It Takes a Man" (premiere + interview)

Screenwriter and musician John Fusco pens a soulful anti-street fighting man song, "It Takes a Man". "As a trained fighter, one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is to walk away from a fight without letting ego get the best of you."

Books

'Run-Out Groove' Shows the Dark Side of Capitol Records

Music promoter Dave Morrell's memoir, Run Out Groove, recalls the underbelly of the mainstream music industry.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.