Thank you again to Jen Halligan PR for inviting me to join this book tour. This novel is such an amazing snapshot of not only the modern artistic journey but also our generation. I’m so proud to be the last stop on this fantastic tour, hope you enjoy my review and make sure you enter the giveaway below!
Title: Faces on My Wall
Author: Jesse Wilson
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: ARC (Book Tour)
A coming-of-age story and a comedic tour-de-force, meet Jamey Fuller, a cocky California kid who achieves his wildest ambition: admission to The Juilliard School in New York City, the country’s most prestigious acting school. Once there, he is sure, he will find fame and glory. He will dance on tables, as in “Fame.” He will take his place among the Great Actors of his time, freed from the fear of becoming just like his father, a director of Hollywood TV spots. But the reality proves hilariously brutal, as Jamey grapples with Shakespeare, lust, disillusionment, cut-throat classmates and imperious teachers. FACES ON MY WALL is a privileged glimpse into the bizarre hidden world of an actor’s training, a poignant father-and-son story, and the chronicle of a young man’s painful gropings toward maturity.
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I’ve got to be honest here, I almost attended college as a theatre major. Eventually decided to study writing but it was a really close call. So to say that this book hit a little too close to home is a HUGE understatement. I was Jamey Fuller.
Faces on My Wall is about a young boy being accepted into Julliard with the full support of family and friends. His girlfriend Mirabel thinks that he is an artistic genius while his commercial director father who wants to make movies and dramatic stage mom live vicariously though his achievements. The quintessential big fish in a small pond, Jamey flies off to New York City with dreams of grandeur.
Jamey’s concept of Julliard is confronted very early on by the extremely rigorous and demanding program along with cutthroat fellow first-years. The classes are insane, to put it lightly. Simply reading about the hell these young actors are put through managed to give me anxiety. As an emotionally and instinctually driven actor myself, the emphasis on technique and style drove me up a wall, as it did to Jamey. I found myself applauding his “poor” (subjective term here) decisions because I would have made them too if only to find some kind of freedom; some kind of breathing room! The teachers were a little cliché but they were delivered as such great caricatures that it made them believable. I will say that the other students faded into the background a bit too much. Yes, this is Jamey’s story but the supporting cast is just as important as the protagonist in my opinion.
The home life in LA counterbalanced by Julliard and NYC was portrayed very well and added multiple dimension the text. All in all, Jamey was an unlikeable but very relatable character that kept me turning the pages well into the night. A highly recommended read for anyone who dabbled in the arts, especially those crazies (myself included) who performed well into secondary education years or continue to do so today.
About the Author
Jesse Wilson is a motivational performer, professional speaker, author, teacher, and visual artist. A life-long involvement with theatre and film as both performer and writer began early, growing up in Hollywood, CA. A theatre graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City, Jesse developed material for his one-man shows that have been performed across the country. His solo production, Face the City, written for high school and college audiences, combines visual and animation projections in a multimedia presentation of a young artist’s journey to find his voice in the “real world.” His children’s book The Night the Moon Ate My Room! written and performed for young audiences to experience self-discovery, is created with the support of The Kennedy Center’s Imagination Celebration and Pikes Peak Library District. Integrating the arts and especially the powerful tool of improvisation, a program that Jesse has developed entitled “Making Perfect Mistakes!” helps people (like educators, business owners, at-risk teenagers, and every one else a part of the human race!) overcome the pitfalls of perfectionism that so often hinder the creative mind. Please visit his website at http://www.jessewilsonproductions.com
for more information on what Jesse Wilson is doing in the “community at large”.
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