Foss, Rene 1962-
FOSS, Rene 1962-
PERSONAL: Born 1962, in Minneapolis, MN.
CAREER: Flight attendant, actress, and writer. Northwest Airlines, flight attendant, c. 1986—.
Around the World in a Bad Mood: Confessions of aFlight Attendant, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.
Also author of Around the World in a Bad Mood: Confessions of a Flight Attendant (cabaret review), produced in New York, NY.
SIDELIGHTS: Although she wanted to be an actress on Broadway, Rene Foss also needed a steady job. As a result, she followed in her mother's footsteps and became a flight attendant. However, a lot had changed since Foss's mother worked in the 1950s wearing white gloves, serving gourmet meals, and earning the respect of both her employers and passengers. As Foss explained to Leslie Eaton in a New York Times article, "Some of us are wearing rubber gloves, and we have to learn how to put handcuffs on people."
Foss's sense of humor and her desire for an acting job led her to write a musical review called Around the World in a Bad Mood: Confessions of a Flight Attendant, which has been performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and New York City. "I had just been flying for about 15 years and I thought, you know, there's a lot of comedy and drama in my job and I always wanted to be an actress," Foss told Jeff Lunden on the Savvy Traveler Web site. "Nobody was hiring me here in New York, so I decided to write my own show and hire myself and be the star!"
Foss has also written a book of the same name that gives readers a behind the scenes look at life as an airline flight attendant. Part personal memoir in which Foss discusses her family and dreams of a career in show business, Around the World in a Bad Mood also details the training a stewardess must undergo, Foss's life sharing a small apartment with several roommates in New York City, and the details of her duties as a flight attendant. But the book is based more on laughs than insights, as revealed by chapter titles such as "Do You Have a Place to Stow My Cheesecake?" and "Boarding: A Shakespearean Tragedy." The book includes a flight attendant dictionary, in which "Crop Dusting" means "passing gas" while walking down the aisle. Foss also has added an account of her day in the air on September 11, 2001, when two airplanes flew into the World Trade Center in New York.
The book is "bound to be popular owing to Foss's upbeat attitude and the appeal of the topic itself," wrote Alison Hopkins in Library Journal. A Kirkus Reviews contributor remarked that Foss is "at her best . . . when not trying so hard to be amusing." In a book review on the Bookhaven.net Web site, Amy Coffin noted, "Foss claims to be from middle America, but she can rant like a city girl born and bred." Colin Covert wrote in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that, "as a primer on the foibles of the flying public, and those of airline professionals, 'Around the World' is first-class."
As for Foss, she has continued to work as a flight attendant. In spite of her musical and book diatribes about life working for an airline, she does recognize the job's advantages, including its opportunity for travel and more. Explaining that "it's a hard job" in the Savvy Traveler Web site article, Foss added: "But I keep my perspective, 'cause now, when I'm in a bad mood, I'm happy! Because, I know it's more material for the show. So, you know, being in a bad mood really gets me in a good mood."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of Around the World in a Bad Mood, p. 27.
Library Journal, March 15, 2002, Alison Hopkins, review of Around the World in a Bad Mood: Confessions of a Flight Attendant, p. 100.
New York Times, November 13, 1998, Leslie Eaton, "This Comic Makes Fun of the Passengers," story on the cabaret version of Around the World in a Bad Mood, p. B12.
Bookhaven.net,http://www.thebookhaven.homestead.com/ (June 3, 2002), Amy Coffin, review of Around the World in a Bad Mood.
NonfictionReviews.com,http://www.nonfictionreviews.com/ (June 3, 2002), Marc Duane Anderson, "A Stewardess's Tale of Woe and Confessions."
Savvy Traveler Web site,http://www.savvytraveler.org/ (September 16, 2002), Jeff Lunden, "The Fleeting Intimacy of Fellow Travelers."
Star Tribune Online (Minneapolis, MN), http://www.startribune.com/ (March 31, 2002), Colin Colvert, review of Around the World in a Bad Mood.*