In 1977, Eric Poole is a talented high school trumpet player with one working ear, the height-to-weight ratio of a hat rack, a series of annoyingly handsome bullies, and a mother irrationally devoted to Lemon Pledge. But who he wants to be is a star…ANY star. With equal parts imagination, flair, and delusion, Eric proceeds to emulate a series of his favorite celebrities, like Barry Manilow, Halston, Tommy Tune, and Shirley MacLaine, in an effort to become the man he’s meant to be—that is, anyone but himself.
As he moves through his late teens and early twenties in suburban St. Louis, he casts about for an appropriate outlet for his talents. Will he be a trumpet soloist? A triple-threat actor/singer/dancer? A fashion designer in gritty New York City?
Striving to become the son who can finally make his parents proud, Eric begins to suspect that discovering his personal and creative identities can only be accomplished by admitting who he really is. Picking up at the end of his first acclaimed memoir, Where’s My Wand?, Poole’s journey from self-delusion to acceptance is simultaneously hysterical, heartfelt, and inspiring.
“A touching and RIOTOUSLY funny story about one boy’s search for his personal and creative identities in the 1980’s Midwest. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll keep your jazz hands to yourself, Mister.” — Judith Newman, author of To Siri, With Love
"Oh, my... Eric Poole's journey of self-delusion and self-discovery had me laughing one minute, crying the next, and rooting for him every second. This charming book is a TV series waiting to happen!" — George Takei, author, actor, and activist
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About the Author
Table of Contents
1 Manilow of the Hour 1
2 Truth or Dare 25
3 These Boots Were Made for Stealir' 53
4 New York State of Blind 75
5 Tune Deaf 97
6 If They Could See Me Now 122
7 Don't Call Me Shirley 141
8 The Letter 154
9 The Boy Bombeck 177
10 That Boy 203
11 Who Can Turn the World on With His Wig 227
12 Free to Be You and Me 246