AN INTERVIEW WITH ZACK
Q: What have you been up to lately?
A: Wasting my life away, doing drugs, and killing my brain cells.
Q: Sounds like you’ve been keeping busy.
A: Very. I’ve been doing a little traveling. I just started going back to school. Continuing my stand-up and just finished my third and, hopefully, final book.
Q: Wow, that’s awesome! Tell me more about the new book.
A: My new book is titled When Life Hands You Lemons… Throw Them At People!, and it basically models my life philosophy: Don’t take shit from anyone, always be yourself, always enjoy yourself, and never give up; drive and passion will get you everywhere.
Q: Nice. So what exactly is your book about?
A: The book’s filled with a lot of very fun and very ridiculous stories from my life that are basically little anecdotes that people can read and enjoy. It’s a very funny book. At least funny to those of us with a twisted sense of humor.
Q: Give us a little preview of what we might read about.
A: Well, let’s see… I talk about my first smoking experience; I was nine. My stepdad was a heavy smoker and so I convinced my cousins that if we wanted to play believable undercover agents, we needed to smoke to add to our “badass-ness.” We couldn’t find fresh cigarettes, so I convinced them that the used butts all over our backyard were just as good. And we rode our scooters up and down the street smoking these cigarettes. Which now that I look back at things, we clearly should’ve reported our parents to Child Protective Services.
Q: No way! That’s crazy! What else?
A: Uhm, well I was raised Catholic, so there are some stories about like my first holy communion and about attending Catholic school and the absurdity that was. I talk about my lack of social life as a teenager and attending my first house party. I talk about entering college and starting stand-up. I talk a lot about all the stupid stuff I’ve done in my life. And basically I end it with saying that even though I’m a mess, even though I have a dirty mouth, even though I can be a little vulgar, even though I’ve been through a lot of shit, that doesn’t mean I should let that affect where I’m going in life. And I don’t let it affect me. I love the person that I am. I annoy myself at times and talk to myself a little too much, but I still am very proud of the person that I am.
Q: That’s great. So the book isn’t all comedy and jokes?
A: For the most part, it is. It’s funny. But there are small parts of it that are serious. I talk about my relationships with my parents and the lack of parental guidance that I had to deal with. I talk about my relationship and experiences with my alcoholic stepfather. I talk about my life. Very honestly. Very candid. I really just put it all out there.
Q: Where would you classify this book? As far as compared to your other two.
A: This is, hands down, my favorite book. Without a doubt.
A: Because I feel like this book really personifies the person that I am. There are points where you’re gonna read it and probably hate me and think of me as rude and immature and as a huge asshole, and then there are parts where you might get a little emotional and see a more vulnerable side of me. I can guarantee that you’re not going to enjoy me for the entire read, but by the end of the book you’re either going to love me or hate me. And I hope that it’s love me, but essentially, you’re getting to know me; the real me. Not the me that people thought I was during all the autism activism stuff; not the me that people think I am while on stage, but the me that I am every day. The me that my family and close friends have gotten to know and love.
Q: Awesome. So aside from the book, what other projects are you currently working on?
A: Myself. I enjoy working on myself. (Haha) Uhm, right now, aside from the book, I’m working on… my stand-up. I want to keep that going. I enjoy it. It’s so terrifying and so humiliating, but I really enjoy it. I’m also trying to keep the activism alive. I work a lot with Generation Rescue, which is Jenny McCarthy’s organization. We have a comedy benefit next month at the Hollywood Laugh Factory [July 25, 2012] and I will be performing there.
Q: That’s great! So what does the future hold for Zack?
A: For a long time I considered running for President, but I’ve discovered that I’m too intelligent for politics. So I figured I’d go where I could show off my other assets. My well-endowed assets. So I think I might start getting into porn.
When Life Hands You Lemons… Throw Them At People! is on sale July 24th, 2012.