This year might just be the best year of Sherri Shepherd's career. The comedian/actress/talk show host can now add three more titles to her resume: Emmy winner, producer and author. The eclectic co-host of "The View" will be signing copies of her book, "Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break," this Friday at The Grove.
It wasn't long ago that the outspoken funny lady was riding the bus through Los Angeles in between stand-up and acting gigs. For years she worked as a legal secretary while trying to break into the biz.
"When people think 'Oh you're on TV, it's so glamorous'… they don't know you did that episode a year ago," said Shepherd. "That's just another way to pay your rent another month."
Shepherd, 42, was a series regular on nine short-lived sitcoms during her years in L.A.
"God never let me get a big head because every time I tried to get a big head they canceled my damn show," Shepherd joked.
In "Permission Slips," she details crashing on a fellow comedian's couch in The Jungle (54th and Crenshaw). Her friend was both a psychic hotline and phone sex operator. Needless to say, answering the phone was an experience.
"The next thing I heard was either a prediction or a moan," from "Permission Slips."
Shepherd, not one to censor herself, said she had no reservations about being so candid in the book. Whether it's a broken marriage, struggles with diabetes or caring for a sick child -- she doesn't hold back. Still, Shepherd's comedic flare encompasses every story.
"It's not just an autobiography where I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in the poor shack," said Shepherd. "It's made to make people laugh."
The Chicago native also hopes to help women let go of some of the everyday stresses of motherhood and marriage. The title, "Permission Slips," comes from Shepherd's daily routine of writing notes that encourage her to ease up on pressures to be perfect.
"I have to do it every day. Especially, I have to give myself permission to just say 'no,' because that is very hard," said Shepherd. "I found that when you say 'no' the world does not come to an end."
Shepherd is currently producing and starring in her own sitcom, "Sherri," on Lifetime, as well as in the critically acclaimed film "Precious." In between filming she's been jetting cross-country to promote her book, all while balancing a full-time gig alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters on "The View." All her dreams are coming true, but Shepherd said it's hard to wrap her head around such success.
"It has been surreal. Sometimes I look and think 'Who is that girl? I'd like to meet her,'" said Shepherd.
Sherri's "Permission Slips" Tour Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
189 Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 11, 2009 @ 7 p.m.