Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up

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9780399184987: Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up

Funny and deeply personal, Sorry Not Sorry recounts Glee star Naya Rivera's successes and missteps, urging young women to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let past mistakes define them.

Navigating through youth and young adulthood isn't easy, and in Sorry Not Sorry, Naya Rivera shows us that we're not alone in the highs, lows, and in-betweens. Whether it's with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from early childhood stardom, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez on Glee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons:

Sorry:
-  All those times I scrawled "I HATE MY MOM" in my journal. So many moms and teenage daughters don't get along--we just have to realize it's nothing personal on either side.
-  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them.
-  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person.

Not Sorry:
-  That I don't always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I'll take that over being fake any day.
-  Laughing at the gossip instead of getting upset by it.
-  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own.

Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, "There's still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who's never sure of my own self-worth." Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Naya Rivera is an actress and singer from Valencia, California. For six seasons, she played Santana Lopez on the hit show Glee. As a child, she appeared on Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Royal Family. She now lives with her husband, son, and two dogs in Los Angeles.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’
The Glee Years
 
WHEN I AUDITIONED for Glee, I was an­noyed. This wasn’t super surprising, because at this point in my career, I hated auditions (still do, actually), but this one also involved driving out to a music store in Van Nuys to buy sheet music. Annoying errand aside, it did seem like one of the cooler au­ditions I’d been to in a long time because it involved singing. If I booked the role, it would be really awesome to be able to combine the two things I loved the most, but that was a big “if.” I’d gotten really familiar with “if” over the last few years and wasn’t counting on anything anymore. In fact, I so wasn’t counting on it that I stood outside, smoking a ciga­rette, right until it was time for me to go in and belt out Destiny’s Child’s “Emotion” (my choice) with all the runs included.
 
The character I was auditioning for—who would turn out to be the unforgettable Miss Santana Lopez—didn’t have any lines in the pilot, so I auditioned by reading Mercedes’s lines. It was a whole bit about how hard it was to get stank ass out of polyester, and I made sure to add extra panache.
 
Even after I booked it, I still wasn’t that excited—it was just a small role, and in a pilot episode. There was no telling if the show would be picked up or if I would be asked back if it was. When I showed up for the first day of filming, I walked into the production office and noticed that there were Nip/Tuck posters hanging everywhere. I was a huge fan of the show, and during one of my stints of unemploy­ment, my mom and I had watched every episode together.
 
“Why are there Nip/Tuck posters everywhere?” I asked the kinda cute guy (who I would later make out with) be­hind the desk.
 
“This is Ryan Murphy’s office,” he said snidely.
 
“Who’s Ryan Murphy?” I was clearly winning him over.
 
“The creator of Nip/Tuck. This is his show.” I sucked in my breath, and ran outside to call my mom. Now, in spite of my best efforts to remain cool and not get too attached to the show, I had to admit that I was more than just kind of excited.
 
It’s crazy now to look back and think about how much time we had to rehearse in the early days, when a lot of the cast was just getting used to doing choreographed numbers. We’d work on one song for an entire week, whereas by the final season of the show, we’d run through it just a few times and then be ready to roll. Since Santana wasn’t part of the glee club in the beginning, she wasn’t in the iconic opening number—a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” that blows their teacher, Mr. Schuester, away. The actors who were a part of that number had already been rehearsing together for a while.
 
I remember watching them as an outsider (much like my character would later in the show), and being kind of jealous of the bond they’d clearly already formed—they had all these inside jokes, like about how Cory couldn’t dance. My feeling like an outsider changed quickly, though, when I met Dianna Agron, who played my fellow cheerleader, Quinn, and who also hadn’t met anyone else yet. Dianna and I had all our scenes together, and we were instant friends. The trailers on set during the pilot were super small and divided in two. Dianna and I shared one, and we soon decided to take down the partition that separated it so we could make a bigger shared space.
 
I tried to think of ways I could make Santana stand out, even though she didn’t have any lines. I figured that if she was the bitchy sidekick, then I was going to make her a megabitch with extra kick. There was a big scene in the choir room, with a bunch of students sitting in chairs, and I was rolling my eyes and popping my neck at every joke. And I guess it must have worked! Ryan Murphy shot the pilot, and between scenes one day, Dianna and I were walking in our Cheerios uniforms when Ryan came up to us and said, “You should learn ‘I Say a Little Prayer.’”
 
“Okay!” I said. “What’s that?”
 
“A song. You might be singing it in the next episode.” Then he walked off.
 
Dianna and I turned to each other, eyes open wide, but tried to play it cool. Next episode? That meant I was coming back! And not only did I have lines, but also an actual song!
 
At first the show used two real high schools, one in Long Beach and one in Burbank, as stand-ins for McKinley High, so showing up to shoot felt like actually going back to school, with the football fields and linoleum-tiled hallways lined with rows of lockers. When wardrobe first handed me the cheerleading uniform, I was stoked. One, because I’d never played a cheerleader before, and two, because I was relieved that I got to wear a costume that made me look hot. I re­member trying it on and doing a little jump when I looked in the mirror. I had no idea that I’d be wearing that same damn uniform for pretty much three years straight! My first scenes were all classic mean-girl shit, making fun of Rachel. My first line was a snide, tossed-off “get a room” as I walked by Will and Emma talking in the hallway.
 
Then the rest is bitchy history.
 
From the very beginning, we all knew that there was something special about Glee. For one, there weren’t any huge names attached to it. It wasn’t a show that just banked on an established star’s personality, and that meant people who watched it got to know the characters first and the actors second. I think that’s why Glee resonated with so many people. The show’s acceptance of all types of characters who lived all types of lifestyles made kids in real life feel more accepted. For a lot of people, I think Glee was the first show that made it possible for them to turn on the TV and see someone who looked like them or who was dealing with the same kinds of issues they were dealing with. Plus, we weren’t just a bunch of actors playing a band of misfits on TV—we really were a band of misfits. And we were inseparable.
 
LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOPEZ
 
We were all super young when we started—like twenty-one or twenty-two, and baby Chris Colfer was only nineteen—and for all practical purposes, we were still kids. Going to work was like going to school, except we got paid to be there, and there were real consequences if we skipped. Oh, and I had people to talk to, rather than spending every free mo­ment on the phone with my mom so I looked popular.
 
Our call times were often brutally early in the morning, and everyone quickly fell into the routine. Some people would be in a horrible mood because it was so early, and others would be disturbingly cheerful. As soon as we hit hair and makeup, we’d start talking to one another, and no one would shut up for the rest of the day. Actors tend to be ex­troverts, and at least twenty times a day someone would do something that would have me laughing so hard that I’d be red in the face and unable to catch my breath.
 
Kevin McHale would always make weird faces. He did this one character he called Phil, where he’d contort his face until he looked weird and creepy. In the middle of scenes, Kevin would have his back to you, but then he’d turn around and there was Phil. Every time he did it, I thought Jenna Ushkowitz would pee her pants she laughed so hard. I also have video of Mark Salling skipping across the choir room, clapping his hands, and chanting, “Eat your veggies, kids! What makes you different makes you special!” because he thought our show had the morals of an after-school special.
 
Glee was quick and colorful, and shot in a way that was snappy and in-your-face. Everyone loves teen drama, and Glee pulled it off with a twist. All the characters had surpris­ing sides to them, and the dialogue was laced with witty one-liners and double entendres. In what other show would I get to play an underage cheerleader who tells John Stamos, playing a dentist, “You can drill me any time”?
 
When the show first started, we’d have an entire week to rehearse dance numbers and get the choreography down. We’d rehearse at this dance studio on the Paramount lot called the Tin Shed, and a shed was just what it was—the AC once broke and we still had to spend two days dancing in that sweat box, rehearsing for an episode with Kristin Chenoweth. Lea Michele kept threatening to call SAG about the unsafe working conditions. For once, Lea and I were in total agreement. Zach, our choreographer, has video of me where I turn around and stare straight into the camera with sweat dripping down my face. “I hate this dannnnccccceeeee . . . ,” I growl.
 
“It’s not even a dance, Naya,” he says. “It’s just eight counts!”
 
Heather Morris and Harry Shum were the best dancers by far, since they were professionals, but it was hard to pick who was the worst—because there were so many of us who were just really, really bad. Cory would get super frustrated, and I remember one year when we were rehearsing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” for a sectionals perfor­mance, he huffed and puffed his way through it and kept threatening to throw up. Luckily for him, he was often the lead, so eventually they’d just let him stand there and sing while everyone else danced around him.
 
Kevin was a pretty amazing dancer, even in a wheelchair—go figure. Chris Colfer was good at picking up choreography but didn’t have the best rhythm, so he eventually convinced the choreographers to let him use props, like brandishing a sword or swinging from the rafters in a cat suit.
 
Singing and performing in Glee was exhilarating and ex­hausting, especially for me, because I still get stage fright. Being on stage was usually fine, but performing in the choir room was actually far more nerve-racking. It’s 6:00 a.m., you’ve only been awake for an hour, and you’re the first per­son up. Some people are still scarfing down eggs, or sleeping while sitting up, and you’re there to belt out a really emo­tional song. And I knew that they were all secretly judging because—duh—that was exactly what I did too.
 
The first major song I got to perform was a duet of “The Boy Is Mine” with Amber Riley, and the whole thing stemmed from a joke. Ryan Murphy was a big fan of my Monica impression—I’d sing the song with all the warbling sass that she had, and Ryan was always randomly walking on set and requesting that I do it.
 
I made him laugh enough that he finally wrote it into the script. “Do you want me to sing it like me or sing it like Monica?” I asked, and we settled on half and half. It’s still one of my favorite numbers. Long live nineties R&B.
 
On-screen, Santana bedded Brittany, Finn, Puck, and Quinn (though the cameras only showed them cuddling postcoitally). In the Madonna episode, Santana took Finn’s virginity to “Like a Virgin,” and seduction to a song was about as awkward as one might imagine. Cory and I didn’t know each other that well at that point, but I had to crawl up his leg and pull his shirt and throw him on the bed and start grinding. He was supposed to chase me around the bed and pick me up and spin me, but I think he was a little hot-and-bothered/nervous about the whole thing, because ev­erything was a little off. Instead of a slow spin, he picked me up awkwardly and turned around so fast that I practically got whiplash. “Oh, okay . . . ,” Zach would say. “Let’s try that again . . .”
 
But by far the worst scene I ever filmed was when Santana had to kiss the kid who had mono. One: we were shooting first thing in the morning. Two: they kept spritzing him with glycerin so he’d look extra icky and sweaty. Three: actual, real DNA-containing spit kept transferring from his lip to mine on every single take, and I swear he was doing it on purpose.
 
In the beginning, Santana and Brittany, Heather’s char­acter, were just allowed quick pecks, because the writers had to assure the network that they were just dipping their toes in the gay pool. But as their relationship progressed, hookup scenes with Heather could also be pretty uncom­fortable (though she never spit on me), especially when we were supposed to be in Love with a capital L, making out and then dropping jokes like, “Oh ha-ha, isn’t scissoring just great?” And at this point, Heather was a mom . . .
 
The biggest kiss we ever had was in a scene right before Santana and Brittany’s wedding, where the stage direction in the script said something like, “They share a kiss they can’t have in front of everyone else.” Brad Buecker, who was direct­ing the episode, came up to us beforehand and gave us this bit of direction: “You know,” he said, “just really go at it.” I guess I did it right, because my mom screamed when she watched the episode and thought I really had stuck my tongue down Heather’s throat. (FYI: I didn’t. The trick is you go in with an open mouth, then close it as soon as you make contact.)
 
Like many things that went on to become major plot lines on Glee, Brittany and Santana’s relationship started out as a joke. Late one season, Brittany made reference to the fact that she and Santana had hooked up. It was a casual line, and later I asked Brad Falchuk, who’d written the episode, if Brittany and Santana really had a thing. “Well, I don’t know,” he said. But when we came back from hiatus, he’d figured it out: Santana was a lesbian.
 
At first, I was just happy that she was getting a story line (because, hello, more screen time for me), but as that story progressed, we all started to see how much it was resonating with people. It was no longer a joke or a way to spice things up but something that we should take seriously. As each new episode aired, I would get tweets from people thanking me and telling me how important the story line was to them. The writers would get similar praise—and also the occa­sional death threat from a lesbian warning them that they’d better not mess this up. I think we did a pretty good job; Santana and Brittany were able to show that a gay relation­ship was just that—a relationship, with no less or more of the ups and downs that happen in any relationship.
 
With Santana, I hit my stride after season two. In the be­ginning, she was super young, so her mean streak and catti­ness were very typically high school—her insults were pointed and she looked for obvious weaknesses, like when she tells Rachel, “Nobody ever tells you anything because (a) you’re a blabbermouth, and (b) we all just pretend to like you.” Ouch.
 
I think people connected with her because everyone loves a good “tell it like it is” person, the only one who says what everyone is thinking. The more Santana’s character devel­oped, the more she started to toss off insults casually, saying them as if she didn’t care if they hit their mark. This effect often made them funnier—and even more insulting.
 
Being from Lima Heights Adjacent, she was hot-tempered and emotional, but as she grew up, I learned how to show that she internalized pain—no sobbing necessary. I felt like I was growing up with the character because offsc...

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Funny and deeply personal, Sorry Not Sorry recounts Glee star Naya Rivera's successes and missteps, urging young women to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let past mistakes define them.Navigating through youth and young adulthood isn't easy, and in Sorry Not Sorry, Naya Rivera shows us that we're not alone in the highs, lows, and in-betweens. Whether it's with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from childhood stardom onThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Family Matters, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez onGlee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons:Sorry:-  All those times I scrawled "I HATE MY MOM" in my journal. Moms and teenage daughters will never get along--we just have to realize it's nothing personal on either side.-  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them.-  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person.Not Sorry:-  That I don't always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I'll take that over being fake any day.-  Boob job. People have a lot of opinions about plastic surgery, but more than 10 years after I got my boobs, they still make me happy when I look in the mirror. It might have been the best $8K I've ever spent.-  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own.Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, "There's still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who's never sure of my own self-worth."Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us. Bookseller Inventory # 5363406

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Funny and deeply personal, Sorry Not Sorry recounts Glee star Naya Rivera s successes and missteps, urging young women to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let past mistakes define them. Navigating through youth and young adulthood isn t easy, and in Sorry Not Sorry, Naya Rivera shows us that we re not alone in the highs, lows, and in-betweens. Whether it s with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from childhood stardom onThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Family Matters, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez onGlee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons: Sorry: -  All those times I scrawled quot;I HATE MY MOMquot; in my journal. Moms and teenage daughters will never get along--we just have to realize it s nothing personal on either side. -  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them. -  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person. Not Sorry: -  That I don t always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I ll take that over being fake any day. -  Boob job. People have a lot of opinions about plastic surgery, but more than 10 years after I got my boobs, they still make me happy when I look in the mirror. It might have been the best $8K I ve ever spent. -  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own. Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, quot;There s still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who s never sure of my own self-worth.quot;Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780399184987

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