Still Growing: An Autobiography

BOOK: Still Growing: An Autobiography
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Praise for
Still Growing
 

Kirk Cameron is a fresh and honest voice in today’s Christian culture.
Still Growing
is a surefire hit!

Karen Kingsbury

New York Times
bestselling author,
Between Sundays
and
Ever After

It’s amazing how our beliefs lead us! Kirk takes us on a whirlwind tour of the amazing peaks and the despairing valleys of his life with sincerity, vulnerability and passion. His choice to choose faith at the height of his career is a model for every person! I heartily recommend
Still Growing
.

Gary Smalley

Bestselling author,
Change Your Heart, Change Your Life

STILL GROWING

 

STILL GROWING

 

An Autobiography

kirk
cameron

with Lissa Halls Johnson

Published by Regal

From Gospel Light

Ventura, California, U.S.A.

www.regalbooks.com

Printed in the U.S.A.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
New American Standard Bible
, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All others are the author’s paraphrase.

© 2008 Kirk Cameron. All rights reserved..

Photos used by permission of the Cameron family. All rights reserved.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Cameron, Kirk, 1970-

Still growing / Kirk Cameron.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-0-8307-4451-0 (hard cover)

1. Cameron, Kirk, 1970- 2. Evangelists—United States—Biography.

3. Actors—United States--Biography. I. Title.

BV3785.C25A3 2008

269′.2092—dc22

[B]

2008000600

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 / 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08

Rights for publishing this book outside the U.S.A. or in non-English languages are administered by Gospel Light Worldwide, an international not-for-profit ministry. For additional information, please visit
www.glww.org
, email
[email protected]
, or write to Gospel Light Worldwide, 1957 Eastman Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003, U.S.A.

Contents
 

Acknowledgments

1. On Top of the World

2. Fear and Loathing

3. The Making of Kirk Cameron

4. The Great and Terrible Agent

5. Not the Sharpest Knife

6. TV’s Best Kept Secrets

7. The Perfect Family

8. My Teen Journal

9. I Fired My Mother

10. My Wild Side

11. I Dissed Lucy

12. Fans Gone Wild

13. Growing Dangers

14. Teen Atheist

15. Having an Opinion

16. Lips that Tingle

17. A Sticky Wedding

18. The Honeymooners

19. Family Ties

20. Camp Firefly

21. The Narrow Road

22. From Riches to Rags

Appendix

Recommended Reading

About Camp Firefly

Acknowledgments
 

It would be impossible to write a book like this—with honesty and multiple perspectives—without the help of family and friends who saw the events from their own vantage points and workmates who knew the inside scoop better than I, many of whom were willing to be interviewed, poked and prodded to recollect what it was
really
like back in the day. Thanks to my dad and mom, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and co-workers who were willing to open their memory banks and share what’s there—all for a good read.

My sincere thanks to my friend Lissa Halls Johnson for her invaluable work co-writing this book. Without her many hours of questioning, researching, brainstorming and creative writing, it wouldn’t have gotten done. Her talent and hard work is what brought my story to life.

Thanks to my amazing and wonderful wife, who is endlessly patient with me, and whose support, encouragement and discernment made this project not only possible, but fun to work on.

I’m beyond grateful for my children, whose real lives have given me lots of fun stories to tell. They make me want to be a better father and husband.

I’m continually grateful to Mark Craig, my manager, for his genuine friendship and tremendous support of my family, career and ministry.

My gratitude to Ray Comfort for his partnership in the gospel and encouragement to “do it now!”

To Dan Ewald, my talented friend who saved the day and helped me find the “funny” in my life—thank you.

And to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—You are the pearl of great price.

I am indebted to you all.

Kirk

Chapter 1
 
On Top of the World
 
1987
 

I reached for the rubber knob on my cassette player and cranked Prince to the max. He was singing about purple rain, but the L.A. skies were a clear blue that sunny day. I was flyin’ down the freeway in my new Honda 2.0 SI Prelude, the wind giving even more bounce to my already afro’d mullet.

I grinned, remembering the cruel pleasure of deceiving Tracey Gold yet again. Not that it was hard to do—Tracey was the most gullible person in the world. Just last week while carpooling to the studio I had started in on her.

“This car’s got the sweetest technology, Trace,” I bragged. “It’s so smart, all you have to do is set it on automatic pilot and it drives itself.”

“Shut up. Does not,” she furrowed her brow.

“Does so. This car has special radars. It can read the lanes and stay within the lines. It also slows down when it senses a car ahead.”

Tracey’s eyes widened and her mouth gaped. “
Really?

I flipped a non-existent switch on the far side of the steering column just out of sight, put my hands behind my head and guided the wheel with my left knee. “See?”

She bought it. “Wow. That’s amazing!”

It was classic Carol and Mike Seaver. If I had told that story to the writers, they probably would have written it into the show.

But enough reminiscing. Prince was singing and it seemed disrespectful not to focus on every last word. He was, hands down, my favorite rock star. My dressing room sported purple light bulbs alternating with the standard marquee bulbs around the mirror. Posters were tacked to
violet-painted walls of Prince straddling his ’cycle, a curvy Latina babe perched behind him, his cape billowing in the breeze.

The tape ran out and I fumbled around the cassette rack for my Boy George tape. I enjoyed crooning along with “I’ll Tumble for Ya,” even though Boy was a he-she who wore pastel eye shadow. Maybe it didn’t seem strange to me because my day job also required wearing pancake make-up—or
man-cake
, as I preferred to call it.

It was the ’80s, and it was the best time to be a kid: mastering the Rubik’s Cube in speed contests, getting joystick-cramp in that spot between your thumb and index finger from hours of playing Donkey Kong and Berzerk, growing a Chia Pet (which kind of resembled my own hair) . . . I could go on.

Everything was big. Big colors, big belts, big glasses, big boom boxes.

Without realizing it, I was setting trends (well, my
stylists
were setting trends). I didn’t know the first thing about fashion. If someone had given me a tank top with shoulder pads, I probably would have put it on. I couldn’t possibly have understood the influence I had—or, to be honest, the influence my character, Mike Seaver, had. When I spun around sporting sunglasses and a brown leather coat during the
Growing Pains
theme, millions of teens were doing the same thing in front of their bathroom mirrors. I had no idea.

Boy George started a new tune as I exited the Pass Avenue ramp off the 101 and headed towards the Warner Bros. Ranch. This part of the drive was often the most entertaining. I took great pleasure in leaving my window down and maneuvering up to a red light next to a car filled with girls. I’d glance over, flashing my famously crooked smile.

“Morning, ladies.”

I loved the double takes, the ear-piercing screams. Without fail, their spastic hands fluttered while their lips mouthed my name. The best part was taking off while the shock kept them stuck in the intersection.

The previous night during taping, I found another way to stroke my ego. A girl had won a chance to play a bit part on the show, though she had been told I wouldn’t be around for the scene. An older man playing her father said his lines and all went normally. But when the second take rolled around, I snuck in and said the father’s lines. The
girl grabbed her stomach, shaking all over. She stared, incredulous, while I soaked up every moment of her ecstatic squeals. When I hugged her, I thought she’d pass out in my arms.

With a wave to the security guard, I pulled my car into the parking space marked “For Kirk Cameron Only” next to Stage 30. I jumped out and headed to my 30-foot motor home. Another day, another 10 grand.

It cracked me up:
me
, a celebrity? I was told I was a “heartthrob,” which sounded like a condition a person should have checked by a medical professional. Teen mags plastered my mug on their covers, with modest centerfold pictures inside. Q&As covered my fave color (purple), my fave shows (
Family Ties
and
Cosby)
, my height (5′ 7″), weight (130 pounds) and eye color (hazel). They also printed false information. One said my parents were a psychologist and a newspaper reporter. Sure, my
television
parents held those careers—my
real
parents were a math/P.E. teacher and a housewife/manager (of me).

I was supposed to be the coolest kid on the planet, but no one knew what a dork I was.

I received 10,000 letters per week, mostly from girls who wanted to meet me, touch me, marry me. I had a fan club that sent out a variety of keepsakes—photos, T-shirts, buttons, even a pillowcase with my picture just the right size for girls to kiss my fabric-y likeness as they drifted off to sleep.
Weird
.

Wherever I went people catered to me. Limousines carted me off to the next gig. Waiters comped my meals. Flight attendants whispered, “Mr. Cameron, why don’t you come with me?” and escorted me to first class. Once off the plane, people laid down a red carpet and greeted me on the tarmac with military-like fanfare.

BOOK: Still Growing: An Autobiography
3.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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