I’ve made it no secret about loving Felicia Day in the past. And I’m more than proud admitting that I’d give away my entire Superman comic book collection for a date with Felicia Day (Sorry, Kal El, Amazonians before Kryptonians), so buying a memoir about Felicia Day’s life, and rise to fame was an easy sell for yours truly. Felicia Day, for the uninitiated is a very prominent character actress and web celebrity who has appeared in shows like “Supernatural” and “Eureka” and gained acclaim in the early aughts for her web show “The Guild,” one of the earliest web shows to every premiere online. Since then she’s been a consummate web celebrity and red haired geek Goddess, and she finally lets fans see a new side of her beyond the cameras, and convention booths. After consuming every page of “You’re Never Weird…,” I admire Ms. Day so much more now than ever.
“You’re Never Weird…” is partly an auto biography, partly a memoir of how Felicia Day struggled to fit in in her life, and mostly about how she’s dealt with the overwhelming need to be perfect her entire life, which is connected to a severe mental illness. Day acknowledges that constantly and uses “You’re Never Weird…” to convey inner monologues and her own feelings of self doubt that seem all too familiar to me. “You’re Never Weird…” is a very personal and funny memoir with an undercurrent of sadness that lets you get intimate with Felicia Day without earning a restraining order. Thankfully the red haired pixy a million fan boys and girls love is as interesting and unusual in her personal life as she is in public. She’s incredibly intelligent, has earned literally everything in her life, and yes is just as flawed a human being as her fans are.
Day opens up about a lot of interesting and funny moments in her life, which include her mother’s need to get her to experience her first kiss, nearly being knocked unconscious while performing in a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and her inevitable terrifying obsession with “World of Warcraft” that led to a near nervous breakdown. While a lot of the memories range from laugh out loud funny, to just surreal, most of Day’s anecdotes are prefaced with her having a panic attack, or sobbing in her car or in a corner to herself. Day stresses her battle with mental illness and how it almost nearly destroyed her life. Day admits with a bittersweet series of recollections how she battled depression, anxiety, and OCD, and ultimately never really won. For folks with a mental illness, the battle is ongoing, and Day is a person you’ll root for, even though you know how she’s fared of late.
There’s no real antagonist in her rise to fame except herself. She becomes addicted to “World of Warcraft” sabotaging her career, almost like a subconscious fear of success, and spends most of the book bashing herself even when she becomes a huge celebrity at major comic book conventions. She’s definitely someone whose own tendency for self sabotage threatens her livelihood at every turn, but like anyone with a mental illness, she’s doing battle every single day and by the end of the memoir seems to be trying hard to soak it all in and appreciate it. She’s definitely appreciative of her fans, but still can never quite get over her tendency to undermine every accomplishment she’s ever had. Felicia Day is one of the first legitimate internet celebrities, completely defied stereotypes that women were not gamers, and was one of the very first people who transformed the internet in to a valid platform for a television show.
Before big corporations began creating their own shows and reviving classic shows, Felicia Day was there picking through garbage to decorate her hit web series “The Guild,” and asking for donations to continue her show before Indiegogo or Kickstarter were common place for independent artists. What’s daunting and heartbreaking is reading about her confrontation with her own mortality and having her life almost destroyed during a debacle in 2014 involving online stalkers that add a human stroke to Felicia Day, who is often seen so cheery and welcoming during conventions and appearances. Cheery and welcoming she prides herself in being, but she’s also human and flawed. “You’re Never Weird…” is a funny, earnest, and very entertaining memoir, and should be read not just by fans of Day, but by aspiring artists, aspiring web celebrities, and most of all, sufferers of mental illness.