Sunday, January 18, 2015


 MJ:  WOW, this blog is really going to start rocking now! Remember, ladies, if you want to write about a woman who inspires you, just email me at and we'll make it happen together!! Now without further delay, here's new author Katie Labovitz on an inspirational woman in the entertainment industry.

Mindy Kaling is best known for her work on The Office and The Mindy Project, but people might not realize she has more to do with both shows than her roles on camera. Kaling started her work with The Office as the lone female writer on a staff of eight. She then earned a supporting role on the show as Kelly Kapoor, Dunder-Mifflin’s talkative customer service representative. While on the show, Kaling continued to write and produce, becoming one of the show’s Executive Producers and directing two episodes.

From The Office, Kaling created her own series, The Mindy Project. She not only stars as Mindy Lahiri, a smart but sometimes selfish NYC OB/GYN, but is one of the writers and Executive Producers of the show. 

Kaling is one of few women of color headlining a primetime television show. She also wrote a best-selling book of comedic essays, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and has another book, Why Not Me?, coming out in 2015. Her candid interviews and contribution to popular culture over the past decade have brought awareness to topics like gender and ethnic stereotypes, body image and how she and comedy are a perfect match.

 In a 2012 interview with Vulture, Kaling said, “I never want to be called the funniest Indian female comedian that exists. I feel like I can go head-to-head with the best white, male comedy writers that are out there. Why would I want to self-categorize myself into a smaller group than I’m able to compete in?” She’s funny because she’s herself, and she’s herself because that’s how she was raised.

 Reading her book of personal essays, I felt like I was reading the diary of a close friend. I laughed so hard I was in tears, but I wasn’t laughing at Kaling, I was laughing at myself because her stories are so relatable. It’s comforting to read that Kaling is so grounded when the image we are presented from a lot of celebrities is how glamorous and untouchable they are.

 I am continually inspired by Kaling because of both the quality of her work (The Mindy Project is among my favorite television shows of all time) and her work ethic. I follow her social media accounts and am constantly amazed by the hard work she and her crew puts in, as well as the real sense of community they have created. 

 In her interview with Lena Dunham for Rookie: Yearbook Two, Kaling said, “I’m tactile and affectionate, and that is part of how I am on set with the actors, the crew, and the writers… And I'm a feminist who wants to work with other feminists. I would wager that only a masochist sexist would want to work at a show with an opinionated female lead and showrunner. So I work with people who love women. That's a nice thing.” I love that being kind is something Kaling is determined to maintain in a cutthroat industry like television production. 

I might not aspire to star on my own television show like Kaling, but I do hope to follow in her footsteps as a successful author and champion of feminists everywhere. 

MJ says:  Katie, thanks for providing the inaugural entry for Women Who Inspire Us! Come back any time for a visit! Excelsior!!

Here's Katie!

Katie Labovitz has lived all over the Midwest but presently resides in NYC because she always wanted to live there. (As cliche as it sounds, she literally packed up her car and moved there in 2012... mostly because she wanted to be closer to Broadway/Off-Broadway theater.) She earned a BSC in Telecommunications ('06) and a MS in Journalism ('11), both from Ohio University and has written articles for various print and online entities over the past several years. In December 2014, her debut YA novel (Out at Home) was published as an ebook. In addition to working on more YA books and some unfinished screenplays, Labovitz is a guest theater blogger for IN New York. Follow her on Twitter (@klabovitz), read her blog (Two Degrees and Separation), or check out her author page on Goodreads.

Out at Home is a young adult novel that combines gay themes with sports and high school relationships. 

Caleb Hanson and his newly single mom pack up their car and drive from the only home he’s ever known in New York City to his uncle’s house in middle-of-nowhere Kentucky. In NYC, Caleb was the star pitcher of his high school’s baseball team and openly fooled around with his best friend, Jackson. 

In Kentucky, Caleb opts to stay in the closet, but is forced to sit the bench because the Bullfrogs’ roster is already full. When Caleb is paired up with Danny Thompson, the team’s distractingly attractive catcher, to throw batting practice, Caleb realizes that being stuck in small-town America might have some perks after all. 

Something clicks between the boys, though their newfound friendship is soon challenged when signs are misread and accusations are made. Caleb and Danny rely on each other to work through their insecurities and find themselves growing closer on and off the field. But will small-minded teammates and the pressures of being someone other people expect you to be be enough to break Caleb and Danny's burgeoning relationship, or can their love of the game take them and the Bullfrogs to another State Championship?

Out at Home is available on Amazon. Click here for more information!


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