Carla Collins, once an entertainment reporter for a Toronto television news station, then a stand-up comedian, seems to have disappeared for several years. Now she has popped up as the author of Angels, Vampires & Douche Bags, a part memoir, part “comedic motivational” book. The memoir side is more interesting, but probably only to people who remember her from TV.
Collins is now in Los Angeles, in her second marriage, having filmed a show called “Carlawood.” The memoir traces her life from childhood as a tall, gangly black-haired girl in Sault Ste. Marie to her maturity as a tall, dyed-blonde woman with breast implants in Hollywood. While criticizing L.A. for being the “Mecca of looking good at all cost,” Collins seems to feel the need to follow this practice in order to be accepted as an entertainer.
Some of the language in the book makes it the sort you don’t want to recommend to your mother, boss or professional colleague, but there’s enough humour to amuse a good friend who isn’t shocked easily. As a motivational book it’s just silly. Suggesting that everyone has angelic, energy-draining or downright despicable friends and acquaintances is hardly new. As a humorous platform for Collins’ reminiscences, it provides pleasant, light reading.
The book also fills in some blanks about yet another Canadian entertainer who is trying to accelerate her career by moving to L.A. Collins is interesting and has talent, and may find her own niche. This book may be a small step in the direction of greater recognition.
BurmanBooks Inc., 2009, $19.95
What do you remember about Carla Collins?