*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A young woman in a man’s world takes on the media industry. Can she hit the heights of her dreams, or will she fall flat on her face?
Sydney 1981 Alison Ripley Cubitt couldn’t wait to make her mark. Having escaped her fractured New Zealand family only to end up dying of boredom behind a Mad-Men-era reception desk, she was determined to shatter the media’s glass ceiling. Thrilled to score an unpaid television internship in London, she still needed to survive alone…
Climbing her way up the career ladder, only to fall down again, Alison’s life-changing moment finally arrived when she landed her dream job at Disney. But after a documentary presentation to the masters of animation ended in disaster, the driven young woman refused to let her march to the top miss out on a spectacular finale.
In this entertaining true tale of the reality of working in the cutthroat world of show business, Alison shares the highs-and-lows of chasing bold goals. Navigating a patriarchial industry with wit and determination, her straight-to-the-point style will have you laughing out loud, and in awe of her courage.
Misadventures in the Screen Trade is a dazzling peek into one woman’s climb from rural New Zealand to Tinseltown. If you like fiery heroines, self-deprecating humour, and insightful tales from backstage, then you’ll love this spirited memoir.
This fascinating account of Alison Ripley Cubitt’s career takes us from waitressing and reception duties, all the way to The Big Breakfast and Disney and encompasses all sorts of different roles in the writing/TV/film trades before eventually alighting on the ups and downs of authorhood (always a subject to tickle my bookworm tendencies!)
So many of the anecdotes are relatable to anyone working in any ordinary office or PA job – transferring files, endless meetings, office politics and the bottomless email pit – but then up pops a casual celebrity reference – Michaela Strachan, Keith Chegwin, Dudley Moore Jennifer Aniston – to remind us of the more magical side of the author’s star-studded career path. (You would think that hobnobbing with successful authors via my blog might have accustomed me to the idea that such people are still ‘ordinary’ people, but nope, I still fangirl with the best of them!)
My main takeaway from this book though, was my utter admiration of the author’s adventurous and optimistic spirit, and the way she tackles every setback with good humour and calm common-sense. She takes us on a tour of the globe, past famous places and faces, and yet never loses that chatty style that makes us feel part of her inner circle and in on the jokes. Plus there is, of course, the inspiring tenacity and grit required to make it as a woman in a field that is still relatively male-dominated.
An excellent resource for anyone looking to start a career in the ‘screen trade’ and an entertaining account for anyone with even a casual interest in the field, read this for a peek behind the curtains of the big and small screen!
‘I don’t know anybody who works in advertising, broadcasting, newspapers or radio, so there’s no one to ask for guidance or advice. Mum and Dad have a network of friends and relatives, but none of them have jobs that involve writing or performance. Now I’ve found out that there is such a thing as a career in the media, I know what I want to do with my life.– Alison Ripley Cubitt, Misadventures in the Screen Trade
I guess it’s time to start paying more attention in class.’
About the author
Alison Ripley Cubitt left New Zealand with an arts degree and the ability to make a white sauce without a recipe, carry three plates at once and ride a horse (though not at the same time). Before she started writing memoir, non-fiction and screenplays, she received an MA in Scriptwriting from the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University.
She lives in a world of her own with her trophy husband. On occasion they co-write thrillers, writing as Lambert Nagle.
For the past two years, she has divided her time between home and the shops—all within the permitted five-kilometre radius. But in 2022, she hopes to travel further afield and finally get to use at least one of her three passports.
In her downtime, Alison volunteers with St Kilda Doggy Daycare and is a fully paid-up member of the Organisation for Australasian Insomniacs.
Keep in touch with Alison via the web:
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!