A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned

Michael J. Fox

Language: English

Pages: 112

ISBN: 1401323863

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Michael J. Fox abandoned high school to pursue an acting career, but went on to receive honorary degrees from several universities and garner the highest accolades for his acting, as well as for his writing. In his new book, he inspires and motivates graduates to recognize opportunities, maximize their abilities, and roll with the punches--all with his trademark optimism, warmth, and humor.

In A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, Michael draws on his own life experiences to make a case that real learning happens when "life goes skidding sideways." He writes of coming to Los Angeles from Canada at age eighteen and attempting to make his way as an actor. Fox offers up a comically skewed take on how, in his own way, he fulfilled the requirements of a college syllabus. He learned Economics as a starving artist; an unexpected turn as a neophyte activist schooled him in Political Science; and his approach to Comparative Literature involved stacking books up against their movie versions.

Replete with personal stories and hilarious anecdotes, Michael J. Fox's new book is the perfect gift for graduates.

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a place, don’t count on the place to change the essential nature of you. It may be tempting, at some point in life, to seek a fresh start or even establish a new identity by uprooting from one location and transplanting physically to another. This is what pop psychologists and people in recovery refer to as “doing a geographic.” But for young people, who are defined by a sense of rootlessness, new places and new experiences can be savored for their own sake. In my early twenties, my hope was not

on my bony, freckled forearm with unintended force, “you know what we did? We jumped worlds. This wasn’t supposed to happen to us. We are the luckiest guys on the planet.” To this day, the word that comes to mind when I think of Gary is “gratitude.” None of us is entitled to anything. We get what we get, not because we want it or we deserve it or because it’s unfair if we don’t get it, but because we earn it, we respect it, and only if we share it do we keep it. As I said earlier, Gary made a

means achieving and maintaining a happy and balanced life—was to surrender, and I took the first baby steps toward that victory by admitting powerlessness over alcohol. Sober didn’t mean better, not right away. Far from it. There were periods of time when I spent hours and hours submerged in the bathtub, a sort of symbolic retreat back to the womb. When I wasn’t just trying to keep my head below water, the rest of those first couple of years without drinking were like a knife fight in a closet.

in pursuit of better grades, just as I pored over scripts in pursuit of better jobs. Although we went our separate ways during work and school hours, my friends provided me with an entree into what were easily the best parts of life on campus—free beer and college girls. I remember thinking at the time that our situations were similar, but I allowed myself extra points for the pressure that came with trying to find the next job. “You’ve got it easy,” I’d tell them. “Your parents bought you four

opportunity. Although Gary was happy for me, he did offer this gentle warning: “You realize you’re not going to miss an hour of work on the show. You’ll be here every day and in every scene as usual. The movie you can shoot at nights and on weekends, or whenever you’re not here. It’s up to you.” Young, ambitious, and convinced of my own invincibility, I laughed in the face of eighteen-and twenty-hour work days, undaunted at the prospect of shuttling from Paramount Studios to Universal Studios to

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