Zooey Post Number Dos

Hey, Zooey Devotees!

Most people who are aware of Zooey Deschanel are quick to become fans of her. You know where we stand at Everything Summer Camp; we posted about Zooey just as soon as we got this Blog up and running. It was her that led us to realize just how many actors have attended summer camp and launched this entire Celebrities at Summer Camp series for the Blog.Get your fill on Zooey with some odd nuggets about this former summer camper.

Since I posted about her some five years back, I thought we’d go back in order to get to know Zooey at least a little bit better. In her previous post, I discussed how she attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and some other information like her most notable projects in her acting career.

I also covered interesting little tidbits, like how she’s won nominations for awards like the Golden Globe, a Grammy Award, and an Emmy. Today, however, I want to go real deep so we can attempt to really get to understand what makes this woman tick:

Singin’ in the Fame
Most people are aware of Zooey’s side singing career—another item I mentioned in her previous post was that she’s in a duo with musician Matt Ward and together they are ‘She & Him’. But did you know that not only did she sing all her songs in the movie ‘Elf’, but also on most of her movie soundtracks? That’s her voice in movie melodies such as ‘Once Upon a Mattress’, ‘Yes Man’, ‘500 Days of Summer’, ‘Winnie the Pooh’, and more!

Zooey suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She takes medication to reduce her symptoms which include the difficulty to keep focus, disorganization, impulsive behavior, and fidgeting. Throughout her life, the actor has coped with her problems and yet she has made her way to the top.

When Zooey was in high school, she was a huge theater nerd—big-time—and she always needed new clothing for costume attire in private productions with friends. An issue was that she wasn’t allowed to go to the mall until she was 17 so she didn’t have great shopping opportunity. And even when she did, she didn’t ever have much money at that age anyway. As a result, she learned to sew and crafted her own clothing.

All in the Family
Her name may not be quite as recognizable as Zooey’s, but Emily Deschanel, Zooey’s sister, started her acting career five years before Zooey. Emily has four years on her younger sister and is best known for her role as Temperance Brennan in the Fox television series, ‘Bones’.

Zooey has accomplished much in her life and learned so much in the process, but there’s one thing she’s never been able to call herself is a morning person. There are more inspirational quotes of hers out there, but I like this one from her a lot: “In an ideal world no one would talk before 10am. People would just hug, because waking up is really hard.” And, with that, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

More Info on Franco!

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

There are plenty of celebrities who happen to be former summer campers and we love featuring these famous names to learn a little about them. Celebrities who had attended camp were featured in 2013 and, since then, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities on this Blog! Having covered so much ground, now I’m going back to retread some of the big names who were already featured years ago to get a closer look.

In his previous post, I shared that Mr. James Franco not only got his claim to fame from Look at this cute, little puppy.the cult classic TV show ‘Freaks and Geeks’ from 1999 but also attended a four-week program at Innerspark: California State Summer School for the Arts where he focused on a variety of artistic media from Dance to Film to Theater and Creative Writing and more!

But let’s dig deeper to see what makes this Hollywood heart throb tick…

James of all Trades
James got a lot out of his four-week stay at Innerspark! Not only did he come out a famous actor, but the guy is also a painter, an author, a professor, as well as a musician. Talented is an understatement to describe Mr. Franco.

Cashier Acting
Against his parents’ advice, James quit school at UCLA to pursue an acting career. He got a job at McDonald’s to support himself till he started landing roles and used his time talking to the customers to practice his different accents. He eventually returned to UCLA and graduated in 2008.

General Family
James ended up working alongside his mother, Betsy Lou Franco, on the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ playing the role as his mother’s character’s son on the show. James admits the experience was pretty weird to work with his mother, but he eventually got over it.

James Freak-o
When he first met James for casting on ‘Freaks and Geeks’, showrunner Judd Apatow thought James was kind of a homely guy. After James was hired, Judd was surprised to continue hearing from the women around the office how cute and dreamy they all thought he was.

“Always have one artistic thing that is pure,” James has written in his novel ‘Actors Anonymous’. “At least one thing, where you don’t compromise. You can do other things to make money, but have one pure area.” Do yourself the favor of living up to these simple and powerful words. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Conan Owl-Brien

Hey, Camp Lovers!

It was back in 2014 that I initially posted about this late night comedy king, Conan O’Brien. A character that households came to fall in love with was a former summer camper. In the previous post about Mr. O’Brien, which you can read by clicking here, I shared his history at Cragged Mountain Farm where he attended summer camp and spoke a little about his time writing for ‘The Simpsons’ before going on to host NBC Late Night Show

But I want to dig deeper to really dissect the mind of the man behind the comedy. Let’s Conan 'No-Nose' O'Brien pictured with an owlhold up the magnifying glass to take a closer look at Conan:

Who Nose?!
You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but Conan belongs to a dangerous past. Okay, not really…but he WAS attacked in a particular incident by a New York street gang when he was in high school. They beat him so badly that the nose he has now is not the one he had when he was born.

The Diet Coke Joke
As noted above, we already know that Conan wrote for ‘The Simpsons’. To spark spontaneity and create a loose atmosphere, Conan had a tendency to relieve his nervousness by opening a can of Diet Coke, pitching a joke, and then spraying himself down with his beverage no matter if his co-workers liked the joke or not. He always got a laugh.

No Support
For such a funny guy, NBC didn’t have much faith in Conan to host ‘Late Night’ when he first began. NBC even made him sign a new contract per week, expecting to lose him before long. They even went as far as to cancel the show for a day in an attempt to replace Conan. They found no one and brought him back to do the show the next day.

Call Him Coco
Presented as a reluctant nickname in a segment from an early ‘Late Night’ episode, Tom Hanks went on to perpetuate and popularize the nickname ‘Coco’. Despite Conan’s disdain for the name—or, more accurately, because of it—the nickname stuck and remains something that he will still answer to today.

Conan is still going strong and Late Night hosting as he always has before. On behalf of Everything Summer Camp, I’d like to extend a respectful nod to this funny man who, though he didn’t have much support, has had the courage to put himself out there to America and simply be a goofball! Thank you for all the laughs you’ve brought the world, Coco! And, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

A Few More Facts on Courteney Cox…

Hey, Friends Fans!

We all love friends (that’s what friends are for), but I was talking about the TV show. And while every lead character was pretty friendly on that show (hence the show title), I always had a soft spot in my heart for the charm of Courteney Cox. In fact, I like her so much—this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about her on the Everything Summer Camp Blog!

As I posted about her some five years back, I thought it might be time to retread some The one and only, Monica Geller--I mean, Courteney Cox!water and look at Courteney a little closer. In her previous post, I discussed how she attended Camp Mac in Munford, Alabama and some other info on her, like how she is the ‘baby’ of her family with two older sisters and one older brother.

I also covered interesting little tidbits, like how she wasn’t actually going to be Monica. She was initially offered the role of Rachel in ‘Friends’, but she turned it down. Today, however, I want to go real deep so we can attempt to really get to know this woman.

She’s a Foodie
She really loves to eat. “At a diner, I’ll get scrambled egg whites, turkey bacon, sliced tomato, cottage cheese and a scooped-out onion bagel with cream cheese,” she’s said. “My favorite meal is New York grilled steak with sautéed garlic spinach and broccoli and maybe garlic chips or garlic fries.”

She Holds an Unbreakable Record—Period
Courteney Cox was actually the first person to ever say the word ‘period’ on American television—and she wasn’t referring to the grammatical symbol. She was featured back in 1985 (almost a decade before her role as Monica) in a Tampax commercial.

She’s Not JUST a Talented Actor
You may know her for her incredibly successful acting career, but Courteney is talented in the musical department as well! She plays the piano and drums. In fact, she opened the ceremony with a drum solo at MTV’s Movie Awards in 1995.

She’s into House-Flipping
Along with her acting career and musical interest, she’s also into house-flipping for a hobby! House-Flipping is when you purchase a house that needs some fixing up, renovating it, and then putting it back on the market for more than what you initially paid.

We hope you enjoy the friendships you make at summer camp as Courteney appreciated the honest friendships throughout her summer stays. “I don’t have time for superficial friends,” she’s commented. You’re sure to make sincere friends during your camp stay. And check out Camp Mac by clicking here if it seems like a good fit for you. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

Bat Affleck

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

We love featuring celebrities who are former summer campers from back in the day. I first started posting about celebrities who had attended camp in 2013 and, since then, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities on this Blog. Having covered so much ground, it seems appropriate to backtrack and retread some of the famous folks who were already featured to take a deeper look.Ben has become Batsy since we last talked about him.

So, as we posted five years ago on the Blog, as he had yet to don the black cape of the Dark Knight in his role as Batman in ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’, we revisit Bat—I mean, Ben Affleck who we learned attended Crossroads for Kids in Massachusetts.

Lesser known by his full name, Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt, I thought it might be fun to go over some other points about Mr. Affleck that you might not have known that we didn’t quite get around to in our first post:

What’s in a Name?
A simplification of his name for the stage and stardom is common among celebrities and, as we just covered, ‘Ben Affleck’ is not this celebrity’s full name. His full name is Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt. ‘Boldt’ is his mother’s last name and ‘Geza’ is his middle name in honor of a family friend who was a Hungarian Holocaust survivor.

Playin’ with Damon
Life-long friends Ben and Matt Damon first met as neighborhood pals when Ben was only 8 and Matt was 10. They attended school together and it was Ben who would eventually spark Mr. Damon’s interest in an acting career. After Ben’s appearance in an educational drama and a Burger King commercial, Matt finally joined his friend as an extra in ‘Field of Dreams’ before the two decided to write their own script, ‘Good Will Hunting’.

Triple Threat
Ben has now portrayed three different superheroes as he took on the role of Daredevil from the imagination of Stan Lee in 2003. In the 2006 film ‘Hollywoodland’, Ben played George Reeve, an actor from the 1950’s who starred as Superman in the television series ‘Adventures of Superman’. And now that he has put on the bat-suit, he has become the only major actor to have worn both Batman and Superman costumes on screen.

Good Will Cleaning
Ben and his buddy Matt caught their big break when they stopped looking for roles and created their own by writing ‘Good Will Hunting’. The story of a janitor at MIT whose unrecognized, self-taught genius is finally discovered. There’s an element of truth to this character as Ben’s father was a janitor at the Ivy League Institution.

I’m sure we’ll all enjoy watching the rest of Mr. Affleck’s career unfold as there seems to be no stopping this bright actor. “It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life,” he has said. “Because that’s going to happen. All that matters is that you got to get up.” Try living by these simple yet powerful words and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Rob Revisited

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

We get a kick out of posting about celebrities who attended summer camp back in the day. And since I first started posting in 2013, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities who have been involved with summer camp somehow in their past. Having covered so many celebrities, it seems appropriate to backtrack and retread some of the famous folks we’ve already featured to take a deeper look.

So, as we posted five years ago on the Blog, Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. was also a fan of summer camp as he attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts located in Hancock, New York as well as Stage Door Manor in Massachusetts.

Get to know Robert Downey Jr. just a little bit better on today's Blog post.Despite a difficult upbringing, Robert Downey Jr. was able to get his life on the right track of success and responsibility. Winner of a Golden Globe Award and star of Marvel’s Iron Man movies as Tony Stark, here are some more facts about Robert Downy Jr. that we didn’t quite get into in our first post:

Robert isn’t just an actor. He released his debut album “The Futurist” in 2004. The album sales were not so great but he was at least able to give this other artistic side of himself an outlet for the world to hear.

At the age of only 17, Robert Downey Jr. moved to New York and struggled through part-time jobs, busing tables, performing in off-Broadway shows, and one time he was even hired as a piece of living art in a New York City nightclub.

Growing up, Robert’s family was constantly moving all over the world as a result of his father’s career in filmmaking. He lived in New York, Connecticut, Woodstock, California, London, and Paris. Yeesh!

Trained in the Martial Arts
Robert Downey Jr. has been a devout martial artist for the last 18 years, spending much of his time in the practice of Wing Chun—a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense.

The world celebrates Robert as he expands his health and self betterment in his current years. Despite his difficult upbringing, he seems to have no real regrets. “I think you end up doing the stuff you were supposed to do at the time you were supposed to do it,” Robert Downy Jr. has said.

Enjoy whatever stuff you are supposed to be doing once you’re done reading this Blog post and, as always, thanks for reading it!

- John

Feel a little Neil?

Hey, Camp Lovers!

In 2013, I first started posting about famous folks who have a history at summer camp and lately I’ve been having fun returning to previously featured celebrities to learn more about these famous folks. In Neil Diamond’s original post, which you can see by clicking here, we talked about how he attended Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, New York and how he went on to become a culturally celebrated singer/songwriter of great recognition!

But we didn’t get around to looking at some interesting details about Mr. Diamond. So, let’s give Neil a closer look right now:

And no one heard at all, not even the chair.NOT…Diamond?
Little known fact: Neil Diamond was considering a stage name before eventually deciding against it and going with his real name. Among other aliases he had considered, he had thrown around ‘Ice Charry’ for some time as well as ‘Noah Kaminsky’. Good call stickin’ with Neil, Neil.

Who’s Caroline?
It was actually the president’s daughter that inspired Neil Diamond’s smash hit “Sweet Caroline”. Sweet Caroline is Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s daughter who planted the seed for this famous song in Neil’s head. Having kept it a mystery who this song referenced for many years, he eventually revealed the song came to him after seeing Ms. Kennedy on the cover of Life Magazine in an equestrian riding outfit.

High School Buds
Many people can tell you that Neil Diamond performed the hit song ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ as a duet, partnered with Barbara Streisand. What’s lesser known, however, is that Neil and his duet partner were friends in the All City Choir at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn! Let’s hear it for the Class of 1958!

The Music Man
The man has become a legend in his own time where the music industry is concerned. Neil Diamond has secured himself 11 Grammy nominations as well as various honorary awards like being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was also honored at the Kennedy Center. Oh yeah—and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Today, at the wise age of 77, Neil continues enjoying his life and he’s still making music as he’s just released a new Christmas album a couple years ago. On behalf of Everything Summer Camp, I’d like to extend a respectful nod to one of America’s greatest singer/songwriters! Thank you for such excellent music, Mr. Diamond! And, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

Beam Me Up, Veggies

Hey, Camp Fans!

In 2013, this Blog was first launched and ever since the start, I’ve posted about famous folks who have a history at summer camp or those who have at least had significant ties within the camp community. And covering over 100 celebrities who’ve had a past at camp since the beginning of this Blog five years ago, it’s now time to review some of these big names who were previously featured already with a bit of a deeper look this time around.

In William Shatner’s original post, which you can see by clicking here, we talked aboCaptain Kirk in all his glory.ut how he attended Camp Massad in his home country, Canada, featuring 20 acres of private forest, just north of Winnipeg, in Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba.

Contributing his legendary role to the science fiction genre, check out further interesting facts about Mr. Shatner that we didn’t quite get around to in the initial post about the captain of the starship, Enterprise:

Yes, William has learned to speak more than just the English language, but French too as well as the rare Esperanto language that comes from no country but is rather a language invented for two differently speaking people who can communicate while still holding onto their native tongue—something of a global language. It’s no Klingon, but still pretty cool.

Calcium Deposits of Gold
When you’re known as the great Captain Kirk, everything you touch automatically goes up in value. In 2006, Shatner sold something that he not only touched, but something that he created himself. This item went for $75,000. The item: a kidney stone he passed. Shatner donated the money a Louisiana charity housing complex.

Not Horsin’ Around
William Shatner loves horses! He owns 360 acres in Kentucky dedicated to saddlebred horses that he breeds. A believer in the therapeutic effects of horseback riding—something you can read more about in this recent Blog post about equestrian benefits–he provides support for those seeking therapy on the back of a horse.

The Captain is Vegetarian
A longterm vegetarian, William Shatner is dedicated to the frontier of the food he eats, cutting out the consumption of animals. An admirable position to hold on the proper diet, perhaps we can all look to the Captain for a dietary role model.

Forever seen as Captain Kirk, we thank William Shatner for the job he did to portray this icon of science fiction storytelling. About his time in the series, he’s said, “’Star Trek’ never really caught on with audiences, ran for three seasons, and was canceled. I wish I had taken notes at the time, because you people sure do have a lot of questions about it.”

We appreciate Mr. Shatner’s acceptance of this eventually embraced role that he played six decades ago. Click here to check out Camp Massad to see if it the Captain’s old camp might be a good fit for you and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Julia—Round 2…lia

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

Back in 2013, this Blog saw its beginning and ever since the start, I’ve posted about celebrities who attended summer camp in their past (or have at least had significant ties within the summer camp community). Since this Blog first began five years ago, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities who have a past at camp!

Let’s retread some of the famous folks whom we’ve already featured with a little more depth this time around! In the previous post, which you can read by clicking here, we Read some interesting facts about this supposedly lovely lady.mentioned how she attended her uncle’s summer camp, Camp Birchwood in Minnesota—a camp with whom we’re proud to say we have the pleasure of working with here at Everything Summer Camp! She eventually would come to volunteer at Camp Birchwood as well before finding her stardom at just 23 years old.

With her incomparable beauty and undeniable charm, Julia has entertained millions through her volumes of cinematic work! Check out some more interesting things about Julia that we didn’t quite get into in our first post about this star of the silver screen:

Musical Julia
Okay, so she more-than-definitely doesn’t know how anymore and I don’t believe that she ever had any dreams of making something of her life musically speaking (she actually aspired to be a veterinarian in her younger days), but she totally rocked a tune or two on the clarinet in her school band!

Acting Runs in the Roberts
Julia isn’t the only one in her family who seems meant for the stage. Daughter to two actors, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts themselves ran a workshop for aspiring writers and performers until the 1970’s. And taking after her aunt, Emma Roberts has arrived on the acting scene. You can read more about her by clicking here, back to a Blog post that featured her a couple years ago.

Clever Clipping Alternatives
As a child Julia used to bite her toenails off instead of clipping them. “I was very limber,”she told Movieline in 2002. That’s pretty sick, Julia. But, I confess…I too once tried biting my own toenails in place of clipping. I am not so limber. But limber or not, I suggest you keep your pride and just cut your toenails with a clipper like a normal person.

Julia Loves Knitting
That’s basically it. She just loves knitting. And why not?! It alleviates symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, helps improve motor functions, helps prevent arthritis, and it has a number of other great benefits! Other celebrities who enjoy knitting are Wynona Rider, Ryan Gosling, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Kate Moss, and many more!

Whether it’s the knitting or the acting…or…the toenail-biting thing…perhaps…Julia has seemed to find her peace among the Hollywood parties and paparazzi. “The older you get, the more fragile you understand life to be,” she’s once noted. “I think that’s good motivation for getting out of bed joyfully each day.”

I think we can all appreciate this attitude toward life and render us all absolutely star-struck by this amazing woman we’ve all grown to know and love. Here’s to you, Julia! Check out Julia’s camp Birchwood for your own camping adventure and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Farley Forever!

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

Back in 2013, this Blog saw its beginning and ever since our heyday, I’ve been posting about celebrities who attended summer camp or at least have had a significant involvement in the community of summer camp. And since we first started posting, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities who have a past at camp! Now it’s time to backtrack a bit and retread some of the famous folks we’ve already featured.

So, as we posted five years ago on the Blog, funnyman Chris Farley was also a fan of summer camp Chris attended camp at Red Arrow nearby Minocqua, Wisconsin. It’s Chris the legend Farley.obvious that Chris had a close connection with his time away at camp since he spent many of his summers at camp and, eventually, then later as a camp counselor at the same camp!

With his over-the-top, enthusiastic and energetic charm, Chris enjoyed making people laugh from a very early age—competing with his siblings for the attention of their father. Here are a few more things about Chris that we didn’t quite get into in our first post about him:

Like Belushi, Like Farley
John Belushi was a huge role model for Chris Farley. Ironically, the two had very similar biographies with work on ‘Saturday Night Live’ (SNL), starring in films, battling obesity, and an early death at 33 because of unhealthy habits.

Almost a Cable Guy
Chris Farley was actually the original choice for the 1996 film ‘The Cable Guy’. The film’s star role ended up going to an up-and-coming Jim Carrey instead due to scheduling conflicts that left Chris Farley unable to take the role.

100 Saturdays
Discovered by a producer of the ever-so-popular sketch comedy show, SNL, Chris boomed with popularity in the years to come as he resurrected characters of his own for sketches on the show. Belonging to the SNL cast for five years, Chris appeared in 100 episodes.

The Quieter Side of Chris
Despite inner turmoil, he would attend mass services and would continue to sit after the services ended to spend quiet times alone, reflecting on his life. We’ve all heard that money won’t bring you happiness. In Chris’ own words:

“I used to think that you could get to a level of success where the laws of the universe didn’t apply. But they do. It’s still life on life’s terms, not on movie-star terms. I still have to work at relationships. I still have to work on my weight and some of my other demons.”

His passing still brings us sorrow, but he left a large body of comedy to keep us laughing as well. Keep on laughing and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John