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So let me star off this book review by saying that I have a really hard time reading. Who knows what's wrong with me in that respect. Reading has just never been something that I was very good at. I just wanted to keep it real with you guys. So, for the book, "Confessions of a Video Vixen" by Karrine Steffans, I actually did an audio book! I do want to say though that during the entire time that I listened to the book being read by the author Karrine I did nothing but listen to the words of the book. No distractions at all so that I could give what she had to say my full attention. I finished most of the book in one night.
I had not heard of the book "Confessions of a Video Vixen" until my blog "Life of a Video Vixen" was up and running. I noticed that the name of the book was surrounding my blog constantly so I felt that I should check it out. In retrospect if I had done my homework I would have named my own blog something less similar but, who cares..... It's not that serious. Why had this best selling book slipped past my notice for so long? Well, the book came out in July 1st 2005, in that month, on that day I was in the midst of traveling on a 2 month long punk rock tour called the Vans Warped Tour. I was cutting hair for punk kids and rock stars on tour, not reading books and especially not reading books about hip hop and rap artists. The idea of being in music videos was so far removed from my brain that its no surprise that the book wasn't a blip on my radar. When I purchased the book on tape I had no idea who Karrine Steffans was, nor did I have a true concept what the book was about. I kind of figured in my own pea sized brain that it was a "How To" book on how how to break into the industry of being in music videos. Oh how wrong I was. I had not and still have not read any other reviews on this book as to not cloud my judgment on my own opinions. I don't want to give away the entire book because that's just bogus to do. If you want to know what's in it, buy it and read it. Don't steal it, that's so 1999.
As the book started out I could tell pretty quickly that it was not a "How To" book. The way Karrine unveils her life is shocking and not for the faint at heart. The first bit of the book was hard for me to listen to. I had to stop listening at parts because I was so disturbed. I cried during other large portions of the beginning of the book and almost got sick at one point. Her truth was that vivid for me. It made me so grateful that her experience has not been my experience and that she lived to tell the tale. The rest of the book was like a double edged sword for me. I loved her at times and I hated her at other times. The hate probably stemmed from my own fears about myself, it probably didn't have much to do with her story at all. I applaud her for being so honest about such dark times in her life. Karrine sucks the glamour right out of the entertainment industry and flips it on its head. I believe what she says in the book, not because I was there but my own experiences in the industry of entertainment have validated that those unbelievable things do happen frequently. Although I would not recommend this book for youths to read I do think that the book lends a very valuable lesson to anyone looking to get into the industry. If you think that Karrine was living an, "Oh, that would never happen to me" kind of life..... Well, your just plain wrong. All of the negative things that she endured could happen to you. Regardless of finances, color, creed or religious background no one is above or beyond those painful experiences given the circumstances. I love how she puts things into perspective. With a lack of better terms, she kept it real.
If the real dirt is what you are looking for, she spills it all in this book. Hip Hop, Rap and R&B's most elite, for the time frame, seem to make cameos or are huge players in her story. If your looking for industry advice you probably won't find what your looking for besides a few nuggets here and there. It's more a book on "What Not to do" than a book on what to do but, she did in fact become a star from within her community so she did something right. Her work in videos and film are indeed good and there is no way around that.
Do I think that I would have the guts to do what she did and write about it? Absolutely not! Do I judge her for being so bold? Absolutely not! She does say a lot of things in this book that I'm sure hurt people, families and reputations. Do I think that she had the right to tell her experiences with high profile people in such great detail for her own profit? The law says that in America we have freedom of speech. PERIOD. It sounds to me like very few people took her into consideration while they were using her for whatever reason. Was Karrine within her right to pull the "eye for an eye" card? It's a tough one. I think that this book has probably helped so many people, especially women that its neither here nor there. I bet this book has even saved a life or two in all honesty.
Do I see eye to eye on a daily basis with Karrine? Not really but, I'm glad that I got the book. Who knows, maybe one of those vivid tales from this book will be something that saves my life one day. It's not that far fetched. Would I buy another book written by Karrine Steffans since the release of "Confessions of a Video Vixen?" Yup, if it came in the audiobook form.
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