ABOUT THE BOOK It was a cool April 30th night in 2011. I was sitting in the audience of the San Francisco Masonic Auditorium waiting for the guest speaker to make his appearance. My peers thought he was a crazy man ranting nonsensically for hours. He was a troll feeding off the attention we give him whether we agree or disagree with his postings on Twitter or with the bizarre statements he makes in interviews. His earlier speaking engagements were not well received so I was rather shocked that I found myself shelling $60 on what I expected to be a mediocre show. I could have just bought a "e;Winning, Duh?"e; T-shirt online instead and saved myself some money while living through this phase of celebrity American pop culture.Finally, the man took the stage. His name was Charlie Sheen and he was recently fired from his lovely acting job in Two and a Half Men. He looked haggard and seemed to be fueled on coffee and vodka. If it weren't for his pre-existing celebrity status, I would have mistaken him for a casual guest lecturer from my university.But Charlie Sheen knew how to win over his audience from the start. He wore a San Francisco Giants jersey in San Francisco while speaking to a San Francisco audience. He announced that proceeds from merchandise sales would help the beaten Giants fan Bryan Stow. The gesture alone was enough to let the man speak his mind with a limited amount of heckling.As it turned out, there really wasn't much in his mind that hasn't already been said online or in interviews. He talked about his love of baseball and how he would like to do a third Major League movie and would want to include Giants pitcher Brian Wilson. I knew that while Charlie did want to continue his baseball comedy franchise, the inclusion of Brian Wilson was purely to appeal to the audience. Had he been in Chicago, he would have said he would include the Cub's pitcher.He ranted about how horrible it was to work with Chuck Lorre on Two and a Half Men and how getting fired has liberated him. His one liners of "e;winning"e; and "e;Adonis DNA"e; and "e;tiger's blood"e; worked better as one liners. Spewing them from the hip gave them less of a comedic sting.But his amicable and over the top personality was enough to win me and the audience over. I could have spent the money and the night on something more meaningful. But that time listening to Charlie Sheen proved what a consummate showman he is as he takes cheers and jeers from the public.Charlie Sheen has been devoted to acting since he was a child. That shouldn't be a surprise considering that all of his siblings are actors and his father is a legendary actor. Charlie Sheen is a talented actor who won audiences over playing dramatic roles that explored human emotions and psychology. Then he got audiences to laugh at his comedic hijinks. Being able to make a person cry and laugh takes a truly talented actor. Charlie Sheen was focused on his acting... so much that he dropped out of high school because of the time he spent on it. WIth nothing to lose, he pursued his dream of becoming an actor and succeeded. How many people could honestly say that they were able to achieve their dream and let nothing get in the way of it?At the same time, Charlie Sheen has always been a troubled man. Since he was a teenager, he has had a thing for drugs, alcohol, women, and breaking the law. He's frequently been arrested, sent to rehab, and divorced. Yet he keeps coming back for more. And each time he comes back for more, he comes back to his vices in bigger ways. While it looks like a voyage of self-destruction, people can't help but envy the man for being able to do the things he wants to do no matter how bad it is for him, enjoy it, stay alive long enough to tell the story about, and find a way to keep on doing it.
Charlie Sheen: A Biography
av Tom Tonthat
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