In high school, I didn’t really have a lot of friends, so it’s just so crazy of me to think that one of my best friends became as famous as he did. New York Times Bestselling author, Golden Globe winning actor… at the same age as me (actually like 5 months younger), he’s done it all and plus some, and one of my earliest memories with him is as simple as discussing the literary magazine we were working on in the Writer’s Block Club, which is actually where we became friends for life.
His fame, though, is not why I consider him to be such a huge influence. It’s simply where he started, and where he is now.
In high school, he was bullied a lot, and not just by the kids. He spent a lot of time hanging out with the lunch ladies because it was a safe place. He was always the quiet kid who kept to himself. He always had something funny to say, and he was, and still is, one of the best friends I could ask for.
Today, he is basically the same guy he was back then. He may have won a dozen awards for his acting and and his writing… he may be earning more than he ever thought he would, he may have a million plus people who know his name… but he is not a different person. The guy you see in the interviews is literally the guy I was friends with in high school. I feel like with most people, when they get that famous, that quickly, the fame just goes to their head and they think their better than the everyone else or something. For Chris, he just got lucky and that’s it.
He started literally in the same place I did. Same school, same town, some of the same struggles. We had different home lives, different dreams. Neither of us really knew what the future held. Okay, that’s a lie… I always knew he was gonna make it big, and I told him that many times… he just laughed it off and was like, “Well, at least one person thinks so.”
Of course, as everyone knows, he became successful much earlier than I did, directly after high school. I spent about seven years flip flopping between passions and goals before I found the means to commit to what I wanted from the beginning. Just knowing exactly where he started and knowing he made it, inspires me even more to keep on working toward my career goals, because I know I can make it, like he did. I can make something of myself and get out of this town, like he did. There’s no excuse as to why I can’t get out into the world and be extraordinary.
So thank you, Chris, for being an example. For not forgetting about me or our friendship after you got famous and for never letting the fame go to your head, but rather using it as a resource to do even more with your life. I love you! ❤
Me and Chris in hair and makeup for Struck By Lightning in 2011. (I look so different now. Also, this is the only time I have ever worn makeup.)