Deb Rachel Takes the EW Pop-Culture Personality Test

2012 Debutante Rachel BertscheHappy Thursday, team. I’ll be ushering in the latter half of the week for the next year and I must say, I’m pretty excited.

First, a quick intro to the reason I’m here: MWF Seeking BFF. My memoir, which will be out in January, follows my yearlong search for a new best friend after moving to Chicago for love. It looks at how difficult–and hilariously awkward!–it is to make new friends as an adult.  I went on 52 “friend-dates” over the course of the year, meeting potential pals through set-ups, pick-ups, speed-friending, (yes, it is what you think), and more. The book weaves those adventures with the latest research in the science of friendship. (And if you can’t get enough friendship in your life, I blog about the topic, too.)

Now on to the good stuff. As you’ll come to learn, I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie. A pop-culturist, if you will. There was a time when I thought I could create a career out of that title. Turns out it’s not so easy, unless your name is Ryan Seacrest.

My pop culture bible is Entertainment Weekly. And so, instead of writing a post sharing my hopes and dreams, I thought I’d take EW‘s Pop Culture Personality Test. They administer it to only the most fabulous celebs, but now I’m stealing it, because how else will I ever get my shot?

So here, a snapshot of me:

Name: Rachel Bertsche (married name is Rachel Bertsche Levine, but I write under Bertsche).

In high school I was: A pretty good kid. My dad was the assistant principal, so I tried to stay out of his office (except when I was stealing his Diet Cokes).

My American Idol audition song would be: “Goodbye Love” from Rent. Embarrassing but true. My best friend and I used to belt it out in her living room when we were 18 and had both memorized the soundtrack. I always got to be Mimi.

Choose one:

Window (though I always end up in the middle, so I can sit next to the husband. I must really like him)

If I had to gain 30 pounds for a role, I would eat: French fries, mashed potatoes, tater tots. Do you sense a pattern? Also, pizza.

The Breakfast Club character I most identify with:
Allison Reynolds
John Bender
Andy Clark
Claire Standish
Brian Ralph Johnson
Perhaps if Molly Ringwald’s and Anthony Michael Hall’s characters had a lovechild, that would be me.

Do you have any tattoos? Piercings? What (and where) are they? No tattoos. Pierced ears.

The first famous person I befriended: Please. I’m not friends with any famous people. Though I’ve interviewed my fair share of celebs for work and always felt that Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother and I could be great pals. She was total BFF material. And she said I “seemed cool.”

After I’ve had a long day, I like to kick back with:
Dry martini
Glass of pinot noir
Cold beer
Chamomile tea

The first R-rated movie I saw: I couldn’t remember so checked in with Mom. “Dirty Dancing when you were in Kindergarten. You begged to watch it but I wouldn’t let you, then you slept at your friend’s house and her mom put it on for you! You came home and said, ‘I had fun, we watched Dirty Dancing’ totally like it was nothing. I couldn’t believe her mom.” At least I didn’t lie! Turns out DD was only PG-13, but it’s still a good story.

The person I’m most often mistaken for: I really don’t have a celebrity doppelganger, but people often reference Keri Russell circa Felicity when they see my long curly hair.

The most underrated performer in my field: Maybe my other Debs? But we won’t be underrated for long! I also adore all of AJ Jacobs’s books.

My porn name is: Pepper Kent (Childhood Pet + Street You Grew Up On)

That’s me in a nutshell. Can’t wait for the year ahead! And, please, chime in with any pop-culture personality answers of your own below.

53 Replies to “Deb Rachel Takes the EW Pop-Culture Personality Test”

  1. Ha! Great intro, Rachel! I can see where you’d make a fabulous BFF. 🙂

    My porn name is Sparky West Haven. Ha! Yeah, that could work.

    Maybe it would be fun to come up with a formula for pen names, too. How about your favorite character from a childhood book + the car (or other form of transportation) you used in high school? That would make me Trixie (of the Trixie Belden mysteries) Pinto. (Um…I think I’ll stick with Linda Grimes.)

  2. Good morning, Rachel! I have to say I am so especially excited to read MWF SEEKING BFF–Ask my husband, I am ALWAYS pointing out how finding friends at this age feels so much like dating (“Is it too soon to give them my number/email? Too soon to call and arrange a playdate? They haven’t called since our first get-together, I thought it went well–is it pushy to call? Sound familiar?) Truly, I can’t wait to get my hands on your book.

    As you and I have already discovered via Twitter (and Fifteen) we are sisters in pop culture. I can’t wait to toss references back and forth this year. I can feel that part of my brain getting soft, and it scares me.

    You know, I was trying to recall the first R-rated movie I ever saw and I got to thinking, that was the brilliance of the 70s when you were a kid–even PG movies had scandalous bits (remember Kramer vs. Kramer, anyone? Or Jaws?)

    And Simon, no question. Does anyone pick Garfunkel? (no offense Art, but be honest now…)

    1. Thanks Erika! You are so right. It’s TOTALLY dating, with all the “when can I call her?” “what should I wear?” “Is she The One?” that that entails.

      Ahhh, Fifteen. Such a woderful relic of my Nickelodeon loving youth. I miss thee.

      And, agree. No Garfunkel, ever. Sad.

  3. Welcome, Rachel! As someone who has moved a great deal, I am so looking forward to your book – the new friend issue in new places never gets easier, sadly (though I have learned a few tricks along the way).

    My porn name is Fang Chesterfield, which would only work in certain fetish venues – vampire comedies of manners?

    I love A.J. Jacobs, too. His essay on hiring a virtual assistant from India is probably one of the funniest things I have ever read in my life. All I have to do is think about it and I start smiling.

    Welcome to the dance floor!

      1. It is available on line, but I always hesitate to mention that – I don’t know if it’s as funny when read online, or if it will provoke people to read the whole book. It’s a gateway drug, but I just can’t decide how to best administer it.

        I would love to see Honey K. Balani on the big screen, but I know they’d make it a screwball romantic comedy.

    1. While Fang Chesterfield might be somewhat limiting as a porn name, I think it sounds like one of the greatest character names for a YA or MG protagonist ever? Can I get a ruling on that, Joanne or Molly?

  4. Hi Rachel! My porn name is Skipper Bowman – I kind of like it. I’m SOOOOOO looking forward to MWF Seeking BFF – as a VERY introverted writer (I know, it doesn’t show online, but trust me, I’m as socially awkward as it gets) I have trouble acting like a normal human in social situations and get a little anxious about meeting strangers, so your book sounds so fascinating to me. Welcome to the Ball!!!

    1. Thanks Joanne. That’s a good porn name… it sounds like it would fulfill some sort of boating/nautical fantasy. Anyway…

      Thanks for the kind words about my book, though I don’t buy you as socially awkward. Just look at that awesome gloved pic!

  5. Your book = the next Happiness Project. No doubt. Cannot WAIT to read it! My porn name would be Sousa Cymry… never trust a porn star with no real vowels in her last name.

  6. I am definitely going to have to get your book, Rachel! I think it’s hard to make new “real world” friends – as opposed to the imaginary ones in my head and on paper. (Hmm, maybe that’s part of my problem right there…)

    And I also now have the theme from “The Breakfast Club” in my head… 🙂

    1. I think I am going to get Elise to write an animated children’s series featuring three talking household pets named Kitty, Arthur, and Diva who have wacky escapades.

  7. Why thank you! Here’s hoping…

    The whole friend thing is SO MUCH harder with the whole Facebook thing. Especially since so many FB “friends” are not actually friends. Makes things a bit tricky, doesn’t it?

  8. Speaking of great protagonist names, Pepper Kent is ADORABLE. Mine is Gretchen Main… not so much a porn star as an uptight spinster who plays the organ in church and has a bunch of cats.

  9. What a great idea for a book — it’s so hard to make friends as an adult — especially as life shifts, people move, kids are born and grow up…. fascinating & can’t wait to read. Meanwhile I’ll definitely be checking out your blog!

  10. Rachel!! So happy to see you over here!
    And Dirty Dancing was my first “R-ish” movie, as well!!
    Can’t wait to read MWF Seeking BFF! I’ve loved your blog so I’m sure your book is going to be a hit!


  11. Your book sounds great! As one who has done a few big moves where I had to start over I need you to go back in time and write it a few years ago. Welcome to the ball!

  12. I could totally be your BFF!

    I left all my dear friends in Austin, Texas and moved up here to New England for love. Norm was definitely worth it. However, it has been hard finding that girl I can call because I’m an “in-between”. I have never had children so the real moms don’t relate. However, I’m a step mom so the singles don’t relate. I’m a professional so the stay at home moms don’t relate. I’m just a social outcast!

    I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your book!

    1. Thanks Missy! Let’s totally be BFFs.

      It’s crazy how our mom status or work status so influences how we make friends. I am so nervous about the time when some of my friends have kids and others don’t… will we suddenly be on two entirely different planets?? I hope not.

  13. I wonder if anyone is supposed to jump here here. It seems that most comments are from other debs, but I’ve never been one to shy away from anything.
    I say that nobody can have too many friends. My adult children make fun of me because I refer to my internet connections as ‘my friends’, and, actually, I do feel as some of them truly are friends.
    You, my dear, are probably about the age of my oldest grandchild.
    I hope you enjoy your time as a Deb.

    1. Gayle, I couldn’t agree more. When it comes to friends, research shows it’s not quality over quantity. It’s quality AND quantity. I made a new friend, someone I’m now pretty close with, over the Internet.. and I ADORE her. So they totally count!

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