Ben Stiller: Born to Act

Hey, Summer Campers!

No matter if celebrities are singer/songwriters, famous athletes, or big Hollywood stars, so many of them seem to have once been summer campers back when they were younger. Ben Stiller has cemented his name in the comedy world, but did you know he attended camp before he became a household name? Look at this handsome mug!

It’s true. Born and raised in New York City, Ben and his parents Anne and Jerry decided on the East Coast camp, Camp Pinnacle—located at the center of the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina in Flat Rock. In operation since 1928, Ben went to camp a bit later (in the 70s), unlike his dad, Jerry Stiller who went to camp roughly a decade after Camp Pinnacle was founded. You can check out more on Jerry Stiller by clicking here.

With two actors for parents, Ben was given a front-row seat to the hectic lifestyle of show business. He would regularly join his mother and father on the sets of television shows and, looking back on his early years, said that “It was a show-business upbringing—a lot of traveling, a lot of late nights—not what you’d call traditional.”

His childhood was anchored with his sister, Amy, just a few years older than him. With a sensible interest in filmmaking, Ben and Amy would make Super 8 movies with friends as often as they could. After being inspired by the television show Second City Television while in high school, Stiller realized that he wanted to get involved with sketch comedy.

Ben scored his acting debut at just nine years old when his mother landed a short-lived television series from the 70s called ‘Kate McShane’. As Ben found a love for acting, he still had fun inviting his sister to appear in a number of his movies.

Despite his nontraditional childhood, Ben had his fun summer camp experience and he had a consistent school education, having attended the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine and he graduated from the Calhoun School in New York. During his high school years, Ben was inspired by ‘Second City Television’ TV show that sparked his interest in sketch comedy.

After high school, Ben enrolled at the University of California in Los Angeles to study film. During his time there, however, he couldn’t shake the idea he wasn’t making the right choice. After just nine months, he moved back home to take acting classes in particular. With talent and determination, he worked away doing auditioning and searching for an agent—which, as we all know, he was successful. You can check out Camp Pinnacle to see if it looks like a good fit for you by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

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