The Unexpected Value of A Good Celebrity Memoir

This Week’s BIG Idea

Over the last year or so, I’ve read some celebrity memoirs and I found the incredibly alluring. I’m somewhat against summarizing autobiographies and memoirs. They usually have jokes and personal anecdotes that are somewhat “lost in translation”, but I still find them incredibly motivating. There are hundreds of celebrity memoirs to choose from and some of the ones that come to mind include Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Matthew McConaghey’s Greenlights, Ralph Macchio’s Waxing On, and Will Smith’s Will. I found those books hard to put down because they tend to be sincere and reveal a secret side of celebrities.

In Matthew Perry’s memoir, for example, the actor openly discusses his addictions to alcohol and drugs, as well as his tumultuous and complicated relationships with women. For those unfamiliar, this is a man who worked in one of the most popular sitcoms ever created. At his peak, he was making more than one million dollars per episode and he was a global sensation. But fame meant nothing to him because of his addiction and because he had no one to share those things with.

Is he really successful at that point? Can you tell you’re rich if you have all the money in the world, but lack the most important things? This is something I’ve been thinking about and it’s time we start thinking about the true definition of success. This is a topic I’d like to explore sometime in the future. Interestingly, other celebrity memoirs bring up the topic of fame often.

What I’m Working on

Although I tried different social media platforms, I recently started using Facebook again to share my articles. I’ve enjoyed my time with the platform because I like the challenge of figuring everything out on my own. I’ve used several resources, such as videos, books, and blog posts, but I don’t intend to become a social media expert. I like starting a community from scratch, where you have to prove that you can add value to people’s lives by providing something unique. This is extremely difficult but rewarding over time. I try not to think too much about numbers and while you have to look at the metrics from time to time to see how you’re doing, the best part is sharing articles and seeing new faces show up. Here’s a link to my profile in case you’d like to stop by and check it out.

What I’m Listening to

As I said before, I usually listen to a few songs whenever I post articles on the website. Music is a great way to reward myself after completing small goals, such as posting new content on the site. For the past few days, I’ve been listening to The Essential Foo Fighters. This is a compilation album that features a series of classic tunes from the Los Angeles rock band.

What I’m Reading

  • Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry: I’ve discussed celebrity memoirs at length, but bear with me for a while longer. Most people remember Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing from the seminal 90’s show, Friends. But few know some of his personal problems. Perry struggled with drugs and alcohol and he shares everything in this incredibly honest and eloquent memoir. I simply couldn’t put it down. I loved how Perry approaches difficult topics, such as his relationship with the opposite sex, addictions, and fame. One of the book’s recurring themes is how he pursued fame, but once gets it, it’s not enough. In the end, this is one of my favorite books of the year and one that caught me by surprise.
  • The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha: While researching, I came across several books on happiness. The Happiness Equation was one that came up again and again. Written by Neil Pasricha, the book has an amazing tagline: “Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything.” For those unfamiliar, Pasricha is a Canadian author that became famous for writing a blog called 1000 Awesome Things. As the title suggests, the site had a countdown timer of “1000 awesome things” and it became incredibly popular over time. So popular in fact, that Pasricha had the opportunity to write several books. One of those is The Happiness Equation which offers a formula to live a happy life. The summary will be ready soon, so look forward to that.

What I’m Watching

I love seeing other people’s creative processes, productivity hacks, and home office designs. This video, from content creator Matthew Encina, is simply terrific, especially in terms of production quality. One of the most captivating things about the video is also its title: Work Less. Do More. Make Time.

This Week’s Quote

“‘God, you can do whatever you want to me. Just please make me famous.’

Three weeks later, I got cast in Friends. And God has certainly kept his side of the bargain—but the Almighty, being the Almighty, had not forgotten the first part of that prayer as well.

Now, all these years later, I’m certain that I got famous so I would not waste my entire life trying to get famous. You have to get famous to know that it’s not the answer. And nobody who is not famous will ever truly believe that.”

Matthew Perry – Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

You can subscribe to my newsletter on Substack here or using the form below.

Scroll to Top