I have been a fan of Gary Janetti for years. I follow him on twitter and I am told his Instagram is hilarious. He constantly amazes me with his outrageously odd tweets.
I have also followed his career. As a producer and writer on Family Guy, the original Will & Grace, to being the executive producer and creator of Vicious, a hysterical show about an English couple, Freddie and Stuart, who have been together for over 50 years and their love/hate relationship with each other and their small group of quirky friends, he has certainly left his mark.
So with all that said, I was excited to read his book of essays, Do You Mind If I Cancel. But what I soon discovered was that Janetti had an extremely lonely childhood, who had no friends at school, who would run home after school to eat lunch (as there was no one to each lunch with at school) and watch a soap opera One Life to Live, one which he continued to watch until its end over 30 years later. He relied on his incredible imagination to keep him occupied and to drive his mother crazy!
He made his first friend while attending college at Hofstra University, where he also had his first relationship. After college he became a “writer” in name only. He said he was one, but never seemed to get around to being one. He was just waiting for the right time. To supplement his “writing” career he took on odd jobs. He was a receptionist, he did bike tours for American teenagers through Europe, but he spent most of his twenties as an overnight bellhop at a hotel in New York.
Essays also include his undying love for Patti Lupone, visiting the One Life to Live set as a child, traveling as a young boy and falling in love for the first time.
Although the pieces are funny and unconventional, as I believe he really is, there is also a feeling of sadness, loss, a missing out during his childhood, something I think we can all identify with to a certain degree.
And of course there was his moment of realization in which the soon to be thirty year old Janetti moves from being a “writer” to becoming an accomplished writer and producer and never looking back. Until now.