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Twelve lives, twelve stories. To inspire. To enlighten. Six celebrities open up about the challenges they have faces. Carson Daly, Aaron Carter, Tyrese, Beverley Mitchell, Elisa Donovan, and Moby share their personal stories, showing just how real they are. Plus six teen face overwhelming situations with courage and determination — the true heroes of today. Some of these stories will shock you. Some will make you laugh, ...
Twelve lives, twelve stories. To inspire. To enlighten. Six celebrities open up about the challenges they have faces. Carson Daly, Aaron Carter, Tyrese, Beverley Mitchell, Elisa Donovan, and Moby share their personal stories, showing just how real they are. Plus six teen face overwhelming situations with courage and determination — the true heroes of today. Some of these stories will shock you. Some will make you laugh, but all will broaden your perspective of the world as you take a walk in someone else's shoes.
One night in February 1998, I was terrified to do something: my first on-air interview for MTV.
The guest was Marilyn Manson, and I'd heard that he had a temperamental and explosive personality. How was I'Mr. Friendly VJ guy -- going to handle this? I prepared by devouring his autobiography and reading every interview he had ever given. When I was through, I knew more about him than he did. But there was one more thing I needed to do: pray that I wouldn't blow it.
Thankfully, I didn't. And since then, I've gotten to know Marilyn pretty well -- I really enjoy his company.
You don't believe that the host of MTV's TRL prays in stressful situations? Guess again. I've trusted my faith and leaned on it in tough times since my junior year of high school. My faith keeps my priorities in check: I wasn't put on this planet to look cool on TV. I'm here to live my life the best I can. For a short time, I even considered becoming a Catholic priest.
I'm sure it sounds like a big jump -- from a man of the cloth to an MTV host, living in the fast lane. But I'm determined to stick by my convictions no matter what environment I'm in, and that includes the often-decadent music business. I don't mean to sound preachy; I'd NEVER push my beliefs on someone else. This is simply what I'm about.
I haven't always felt this way. Growing up, I fidgeted my way through Catholic church services with my mom, stepdad (my real dad died when I was five) and older sister, Quinn. I was a California kid from Santa Monica who loved skateboarding, surfing and golfing. Believe me, God wasn't high on my list of priorities. But that changed when I wasseventeen.
I had been eating lunch with a bunch of friends at a local L.A. hangout, New York Pizza, in Westwood, when it happened. I remember my friend Ryan Morelli talking and then suddenly I felt a warm, comforting hand on my head. It stayed there for a good fifteen seconds. But when I looked around, no one was touching me. (I know this sounds freaky, but bear with me.) Then I started having hot flashes. My eyes began to burn, and I started to sweat. My mind started racing -- I thought about how lucky I was to live in California, and to have such great friends and supportive parents. Then, unbelievably, my brain became awash with even bigger issues, like world poverty! All at once, I realized how much I had and how badly I wanted to use it to help others.
As soon as it was over, I walked straight over to the pay phone and called my mom. “Look, I'm not crazy,” I began, “but I love you. And I just want to tell you right now, thank you for everything.”
“Are you drunk?” she asked. I'm sure that's how I sounded. “You know our rule,” she continued. “I'll come pick you up, no questions asked.” As soon as I saw her, I told her everything. I explained how, for the first time, I realized that I owed somebody something for my life and all of the good things in it, that we didn't just spontaneously appear on earth. There are reasons for our lives. She didn't understand at first, but how could I blame her? I was confused myself.
I held off telling my friends. I could just imagine it: “Hey, guys! I just got touched by something. I feel like a new man, and I love my mommy!” But as time went by, they couldn't help but notice a change in me. I began not just to obey my parents, but to talk to them honestly and openly. And, unlike a lot of guys my age, I refused to have meaningless hookups with girls.
Eventually, I told my friends everything, and they were all fine with it. I remember explaining to Ryan what really happened at the pizza place, and him saying, “That's really cool, man.”
A year later, when I was a high school senior, entering a seminary was definitely on my mind. But so was golf -- playing for the Santa Monica High School Vikings and practicing with UCLA's team, I ranked among the state's top high school golfers. When I was offered a partial golf scholarship to L.A.'s Loyola Marymount University, I decided to go, figuring I would major in theology.
After a short time at Loyola, I left to attend College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, and to pursue a pro golf career. (By then I had decided against the seminary, figuring I could apply my strong moral beliefs more effectively outside of the priesthood.) Once there, I ran into Jimmy Kimmel, a DJ at a local radio station and an old family friend. He got me an internship, then a salaried DJ job the following year, just as my pro golf plans were beginning to lose steam. Over the next four years, I did what many radio DJ's do: I moved from city to city, gradually taking jobs at bigger and bigger stations. By twenty-three, I'd relocated six times, ultimately landing at the most influential radio station in modern rock, L.A.'s KROQ [K-Rock]. I got to interview all the biggest names in music: Hole, Bush, No Doubt, Garbage, Oasis. Within a year, MTV called. That meant another move; this time, to New York to host my own TV show....Teen People: Real Life Diaries. Copyright © by Dana White. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
|Carson Daly: Soul Searcher||1|
|Ashley Rhodes-Courter: Escape from Foster Care||9|
|Elisa Donovan: Starving for Success||21|
|Jessi Ulmer: Cancer Survivor||35|
|Tyrese: Making It||47|
|Laura Heldt: I Drove Drunk and Killed Someone||57|
|Anthony Colin: Survivor's Song||65|
|Andrea Richardson: An Adoption Diary||75|
|Moby: The Voracious Vegan||87|
|Jennifer And Donna D'Agostino: Girls, Interrupted||95|
|Beverley Mitchell: Growing Up on the Small Screen||105|
|Rene Stephens: The Stranger Within||113|
|Aaron Carter: Out of the Shadows and into the Spotlight||125|
Posted April 19, 2002
This is my favorite book. All of the stories touched me. Some are sad, and some people accomplish their goals. The short stories are about celebs like Carson Daily and Aaron Carter. They are also about regular teenagers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2001
This is a fantastic book! I was lucky enough to have been a part of this project (I wrote my own story based on a personal battle with social anxiety in my early teen years) and to have contributed to such a real and heartwarming collection. These are stories from celebrities and real teens who all have the same thing in common: life. I highly recommend buying this book and giving it a chance. The stories speak for themselves. :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.