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True tales from an actor's life
on 20 January 2011
In the Hollywood world, you rarely hear about failure stories. Everyone is very careful to project an image of success, even if they're wallowing in a deep depression. In that sense, reading this book is invaluable. It takes courage to break through the mold of what everyone around you is doing.
"Just a Geek" is a memoir that chronicles actor Wil Wheaton's uneasy relationship to Star Trek (easily the project he's most famous for, together with the movie Stand By Me), his decisions as a teenager that influenced the course of his life, and how it really feels like to be an actor in Hollywood (apparently it sucks). But it's really much more than that. It's about making a big decision in your life and being haunted by the ghost of Proving to Everyone It Was the Right Decision. How badly would it suck to feel that the most professionally successful days of your life were when you were a teenager, too immature and stubborn to appreciate it? How do you deal with that once you finally become a (pretty cool) adult and find that no one wants to give you a job?
The only gripe I have about this book is that, in my opinion, he wrote it too soon. It was published in 2004, and when the book ends, it feels like the story is just starting. Since that year, he has achieved a lot of success. It would have felt more complete had he waited a bit beyond his late twenties to write this. Still, recommended for Star Trek / Wil Wheaton fans.