Sherri Shepherd releases new book titled â€œPermission Slipsâ€
Sherri Shepherd signing copies of her new book
( Brandon I. Brooks for Sentinel)
By Brandon I. Brooks
Sentinel Entertainment Editor
â€œPermission Slips: Every Womanâ€™s Guide to Giving Herself a Breakâ€ Available in Bookstores Now
Sherri Shepherd, Emmy-winning co-host of ABSâ€™s â€œThe Viewâ€ recently released her hilarious and honest memoir, â€œPermission Slips: Every Womanâ€™s Guide to Giving Herself a Break.â€
This past Friday (December 11) in the midst of her nation-wide promotional book tour, Shepherd made a special appearance in Los Angeles at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore, located in the world famous Grove shopping center.Â She spoke to audience members sharing her strengths, triumphs and everything sheâ€™s learned along the way to becoming one of Hollywoodâ€™s most sought after personalities.Â
Friday evening proved to be a challenge for many anxious patrons as rainy and stormy weather caused for heavy traffic delays. Even though the event was delayed it did not take away from the overall book signing experience as Sherri Shepherd did what she always does and thatâ€™s make people laugh and forget about their daily struggles.Â
The Sentinel was able to catch up with Shepherd during the book signing in Los Angeles and ask her a few questions about her newly released book in addition to her new Lifetime sitcom â€œSherri,â€ which is Executive Produced by Shepherd and loosely based on her life and standup comedy.Â The show airs on Lifetime on Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT and had the highest rated original comedy debut on lifetime in over 10 years.Â Â Â
Sentinel:Â Tell me how this book came about and how you ultimately jumped on with the project?
Sheri Shepherd: It was my first week on â€œThe Viewâ€ and we were debating creationism versus evolution and I was really nervous because everything that scares me I have to do every day on â€œThe View.â€Â I heard somebody say, â€œEarth round the flatâ€ and you know I zoned I zoned out.Â I was trying to figure out how I bounced a check earlier that week.Â I donâ€™t remember but they said I said, â€œI donâ€™t know, I just have to take care of my son.â€ So when the show was over Barbara Walters said, â€œDear the earth is round,â€ and I said, â€œI know!â€Â It turned out I was the second most Googled person in the country.Â Everybody said Barbara made a mistake hiring me, I wasnâ€™t Star Jones and I was so upset.Â I felt so guilty and I went to work the next day and Whoopi (Goldberg) and the lady said, â€œIf we didnâ€™t think you could do this you wouldnâ€™t be at this table, its ok.â€Â Â And I realized I had to give myself permission to say, â€œitâ€™s okâ€ and cut myself some slack. The worldâ€™s not coming to an end, I still have a job and I have since said some crazy stuff and gotten in trouble for it but you know what itâ€™s ok and thatâ€™s how that came about.
Sentinel: In your book you describe â€œPermission Slipsâ€ as a pass through life similar to when a teacher gives a student a hall pass and it would give the child freedom to be out of class and permission to do what they normally wouldnâ€™t be allowed to do in school.Â Can you indulge more into the title of your book and exactly why you chose â€œPermission Slips?â€Â
SS: I just felt like women take a lot on.Â We try to be perfect for everybody, we try to do everything for everybody and underneath the smile we are breaking apart and itâ€™s manifesting itself in us getting sick and strokes and high blood pressure.Â Itâ€™s like we just have to say, â€œIâ€™m going to give myself permission to say no to people, to take care of my body.â€Â And I have a few stories in this book about things in my life that happened where I had to let go.Â Being diagnosed with diabetes and having to give myself permission to go to the gym and eat healthy so that I could be alive for my son.Â Diabetes is one of the number one killers in the African American and the Latino community and we donâ€™t even acknowledge it, we call it the â€œSugarâ€.Â So we donâ€™t even call it for what it is.Â Thatâ€™s a disease you can stave off the affects and the signs of diabetes if you just eat right and exercise but we donâ€™t like to go to the gym, especially black woman.Â Sweat out our hair (laughs)!Â But itâ€™s like we have to because we are leaving a legacy of nothing for our children and so we have to give ourselves permission to say I am going to take of me first.Â And I have it in there, itâ€™s a funny story about diabetes because Diddy (P. Diddy) asked me, â€œShorty how you lose all that weight,â€ and I said, â€œItâ€™s the do I want the cheesecake or my foot diet.â€Â I just tell different stories and they are funny in nature.Â Itâ€™s not a book thatâ€™s going to make you sad.Â
Sentinel: Would you consider this book just for the female audience?
SS: I think everybody can read it but because I am a woman, and I have just this affinity towards womanhood, I geared it towards women but I am finding that a lot of men go, â€œYou know what, you are saying some funny stuff and you are saying some real stuff.Â
Sentinel: I feel the book gives men a great perspective.Â Itâ€™s kind of like a window into a womanâ€™s mind.Â
SS:Â Yes, so if you want to know what a woman is thinking because in there I do talk to woman and I go, â€œYou know if you are single read this book and if you are married put this book down and go put on some black lingerie and get busy with your man (laughs).Â
Sentinel: What I really appreciate about your career is seeing how you have manifested and maturated over the years.Â Tell me one of the highlights or some of the moments for you that you keep with yourself every day that keeps you motivated and pushing through?
SS: Every day I look up to my right and I am sitting next to my idol and thatâ€™s Whoopi Goldberg.Â And I just think wow, in my wildest dreams I never would have thought I would be going to work every day with Whoopi Goldberg and hanging out with her. Another one is like Laurence Fishburne who is another person who I looked up to and he sat on the couch and he remembered meeting me when I was just this little actress on a plane on United and he told the story and I broke down and cried because I couldnâ€™t believe he remembered something like that which meant so much to me.Â I did Monique show last week and we looked at each other and went can you believe where we are, we use to be struggling comics.Â
Sentinel: Tell me about your new sitcom â€œSherriâ€ and tell me how your reality show differs from all of the other reality programs?
SS: Well itâ€™s based on my stand up comedy of my husband cheating on me with another woman and she got pregnant but itâ€™s how I am now a single woman and how I am moving on with the help of my girlfriends.Â And that happened in my real life and I started doing stand up about it because it was a painful part of my life.Â But how I move on and how I forgive, itâ€™s in my book too, I had to give myself permission to forgive.Â Itâ€™s funny because I was talking to the other woman, we call her the â€œQuiz-Hoâ€ because she worked at Quiznoâ€™s Subs and I think that was a very fitting name.Â But I had called her and said if you are woman enough to cheat call me and she called me and I was saying, â€œHow could you do this to me,â€ and she said, â€œSherri, you are too funny,â€ and I said â€œDo you know who I am,â€ and she said â€œOh my gosh, I saw you on Ellen I saw you on Beauty Shop, Iâ€™ve been following your career, I am such a fan,â€ and I said â€œThank you so much!â€ Because you always want to keep your fans (laughs).Â Even if they are the other woman.Â And thatâ€™s one of the things that I write in my book, is we have to give ourselves permission to forgive in order to move on.Â
Sentinel: Tell me advice you would give to youngsters trying to make it in the business?
SS: I would say, â€œDo it scared.â€Â If the desire is in your heart, donâ€™t let anybody tell you, you canâ€™t do it.Â Keep pushing, get ready, and be prepared because when the opportunity presents itself then you have to be ready to jump in.Â And if you are trying to be an actress, get prepared because you are going to be in a room with me auditioning and I know what I am doing.
Sentinel: Whatâ€™s coming up next?
SS: I will be working on a film with a big African American director this spring, and I am pitching some movie ideas to people and still promoting my book and I am doing â€œ30 Rockâ€ again.Â I will continue to do â€œThe Viewâ€ and being mommy to my three year old.Â
For more information on Sherri Shepherd please visit www.sherrishepherd.com or follow Shepherd @sherriEshepherd on twitter.Â