Monday, September 12, 2011

Stories I Only Tell My Friends - Lowe

As a teen of the 80's, I was a big fan of Rob Lowe and the other "Brat Packers". I did not begrudge them their fame and success, and alleged craziness, I envied it!  So I was very interested in hearing what Rob Lowe had to say in his book Stories I Only Tell My Friends.

A somewhat normal and boring childhood in Ohio was not what I expected.  Nor was a typical childhood passion for the arts and theater.  But that is what I got.

According to Lowe, after his parent's divorce, his mother moved him and his brother Chad to Malibu, CA. where interestingly, he states, the west coast had little to offer in regard to community theater at that time.  So in order to act he was forced to turn to movies and television.  And, with little help from his seemingly mentally ill mother, he secures various opportunities for himself until he lands a large role, which is ultimately cut to a small role, in a little movie called The Outsiders.

Most of us now know that movie was the birth of a new movement of teen focused movies in Hollywood, and the growth of a group of actors who were young, talented, professional, and bound for success.  What you may not know is the story behind the moniker "Brat Packer" and how the title was not necessarily a welcomed addition to the careers of actors who were in the right (wrong?) place at the right time.

Lowe shares his many experiences in the business since his initial breakout performance and surprisingly, it has not been all fun and games. He is almost surprised when he is offered his role on The West Wing, but does not seem surprised when his role is discontinued as he is the only cast member who is not offered a juicy raise and bonus.  However, the biggest surprise of Lowe's life seems to be his luck in finding his beautiful wife Sheryl and the joy and fulfillment he finds in being a father.

Lowe avoids telling dirty stories, or addressing rumors (except those relating to himself), which left me respecting him even more.  Overall, the writing is surprisingly good, the stories are great and I have gained a new level of respect for Rob Lowe that before.  Definitely worth the read!

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.