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What's Inside

The way my grandma pushed me to learn piano, I pushed Anelise. Except I could actually play so I would teach her myself. When a dad teaches his kid how to do something, it creates a deep bond. And, if I’m being honest, I also was looking for those bragging rights. I would be able to score points forever if for the rest of her life she told people her father taught her how to play. I felt the same way about teaching her how to swim. For the rest of Anelise’s life she will tell people her father taught her how to swim. That makes my chest stick out a little bit further. Same goes for brushing her teeth but usually people aren’t impressed if you know how to do that. Unlike playing the piano.

 

Teaching piano was a delicate operation from day one. I didn’t want to push too hard, particularly knowing how sensitive Anelise is about this stuff. It was a longstanding struggle between us. I tried to combine the two approaches—show her the notes but also show her how to play the songs she likes, by some of her favorite artists (back to that Billie Eilish). At one point I noticed that she seemed somewhat subdued whenever she was around the piano.

 

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Why you seem so…down?”

 

She shrugged. “Why is it that when you play the piano everybody sits around and listens? Then when I play piano no one comes around. I feel like I’m not being seen.”

 

Damn. That was a tough one. I took a deep breath.

 

“Well, you know Anelise, if you want people to crowd around, you have to really play well.” I watched her face to make sure I wasn’t crushing dreams or anything.

 

“When I hear you playing, I’m not sure if you want to be bothered. I tell myself, ‘Let Anelise do her thing.’” I looked at her and smiled. “I will make sure I come in and listen to you next time.” And to encourage her, I told her, “If you play well enough, we’ll send it to Billie Eilish.”

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"In this debut full of genuine reflection and heartfelt humor, actor and comedian Foxx riffs on parenting (“You ain’t ready for it”) and the life experiences that gradually helped shape him as a father. . . Foxx writes in a jovial manner, with jokes flying constantly. . . Yet where this book truly excels is in its honesty, offering an intimate look past Jamie Foxx the famous actor to reveal a relatable figure."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Wise, joyful and hilarious."—People
"A practical, sometimes profane, always entertaining guide to the fine art of parenting."—Kirkus Reviews
"In cheerfully meandering stories, Foxx displays his comedic timing and pacing and is always entertaining, blending the folksy yet hard-edged wisdom of his adoptive grandmother with hard-won, more worldly "New Dad" sensibilities. . . Foxx's parenting-advice book is the equivalent of a vitamin-packed smoothie: sweet, fun, and easy to enjoy, full of slyly concealed nourishment and goodness."—Booklist
"Act Like You Got Some Sense—its title gleaned from a phrase his late grandmother Estelle told him often—hilariously and poignantly details [Foxx's] upbringing as well as his experiences raising daughters Corinne, 27, and Anelise, 13, while orbiting Hollywood as one of its biggest and hardest-working stars."—Men's Health
"[R]eally funny. . . If you weren’t already a fan [of Foxx], you’ll be one after reading this heartfelt and honest book."—CNN
"Foxx’s tales of fatherhood are heartwarming and humorous, and he offers sensible tips that serve as strong reminders of how to treat today’s youth with respect and patience. . . Foxx's many fans will embrace the opportunity to learn more about the enigmatic actor, and parents will appreciate his commonsense, relatable approach to raising independent humans." —Library Journal
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In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, award-winning, multi-talented entertainer Jamie Foxx shares the story of being raised by his no-nonsense grandmother, the glamour and pitfalls of life in Hollywood, and the lessons he took from both worlds to raise his two daughters.

Jamie Foxx has won an Academy Award and a Grammy Award, laughed with sitting presidents, and partied with the biggest names in hip-hop. But he is most proud of his role as father to two very independent young women, Corinne and Anelise. Jamie might not always know what he’s doing when it comes to raising girls—especially when they talk to him about TikTok (PlikPlok?) and don’t share his enthusiasm for flashy Rolls Royces—but he does his best to show up for them every single day.

Luckily, he has a strong example to follow: his beloved late grandmother, Estelle Marie Talley.  Jamie learned everything he knows about parenting from the fierce woman who raised him: As he puts it, she’s “Madea before Tyler Perry put on the pumps and the gray wig.”
 
In Act Like You Got Some Sense—a title inspired by Estelle—Jamie shares up close and personal stories about the tough love and old-school values he learned growing up in the small town of Terrell, Texas; his early days trying to make it in Hollywood; the joys and challenges of achieving stardom; and how each phase of his life shaped his parenting journey. Hilarious, poignant, and always brutally honest, this is Jamie Foxx like we’ve never seen him before.