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Monday, September 20, 2004

BOOK: Just A Geek 

Well, my weekend travel across the country gave me the perfect opportunity to get through Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton. It's a very interesting book, and if you liked his previous book, Dancing Barefoot, then this is right up your alley.

Wil takes a unique and humorous look at Hollywood life and trying to get acting work as someone whose not famous enough to be a major star, but too recognizable to play the non-descript background actor either. After his early success, he's been type cast as a dramatic actor, and even though he's done some comedic work on stage, he hasn't been able to land a comedic acting job on TV or movies. Wil does a good job of showing what acting life is like for those actors who don't make $20M per picture, but struggle from week to week looking for their big break at the next audition.

Wil has some very interesting stories about Star Trek, the time he spent on the show, and how he was treated by fans and the producers after he left the show. Some of the stories are actually quite sad, and I'm surprised that Wil hasn't turned out a lot more bitter about it. Folks really disliked his character and appeared to take it out on him at conventions.

The interesting thing appears to be that his website has turned this around for him. Although he still gets lots of flames on his site, people who visit there usually take a liking to him, and that has translated to better receptions at conventions too. And, it launched his career as a writer. Ah, the power of blogs and the web...

The best part is that Wil shows his true inner geek: from developing his own website, to working at a couple of high-tech companies, to running his own Linux web servers, to being published by O'Reilly books, to video games, to Dungeons and Dragons, etc, etc, etc. It's all geek all the time, and I can appreciate that.