Tuesday, July 18, 2017

STAY INTERESTING by Jonathan Goldsmith

The life of an actor can be both precarious and interesting. Just ask Jonathan Goldsmith, best known as The Most Interesting Man in the World. His memoir is STAY INTERESTING, about his own interesting life as an often struggling audition seeker in that fantasy factory often described as “Tinsel Town.” Hollywood was arrived at via a Volkswagen from New York, a vehicle which died on arrival in much the same way that so many dreams die for young people seeking fame and fortune there. His subsequent homes included living on the bedbug infested couch of a future Star Trek cast member, on an unheated frog farm with the man later known as “Coach” on Cheers, and on a yacht once caught in a storm. Jobs too there were many, including hauling construction trash, painting, and being a reluctant gigolo between auditions. Westerns became his specialty as an extra, but he was killed by many stars, not just John Wayne, in being shot, drowned, blown up, machine gunned, run over, electrocuted, thrown off roofs, and hung. Memories recounted on movies and TV series include names like Fernando Lamas (a friend and business partner), Joseph Cotton, Leonard Katzman, Don Siegel, and Clint Eastwood. After decades of riding the Hollywood roller coaster, his career break came late in the game on an audition for a Dos Equis advertising campaign in which actors were asked to improvise with the ending line, “And that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro.” And that’s how he later got to improvise for Obama in the Oval Office. Narrating the audiobook of his true story, Goldsmith presents an honest and surprisingly candid rumination on his life, with memories of his father, and reflections on what it all means. Now involved in charity work and advocacy, he lives in a rustic cabin with his wife and dogs, far from the “madding crowd.” As Spock would say, “fascinating.” 

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