Actor and comedian Joel McHale is best known for his starring role in television’s hit series Community, and E!’s The Soup. He was recently interviewed on NPR radio about his acting career and how it is intertwined with his dyslexia.
McHale was raised in Seattle in an academic family. His father had been the dean of a university, and his mother did freelance writing and editing. And yet, from a young age, McHale found himself struggling with reading and writing.
He says now that he “never could really read…” and even confessed to cheating a little bit just to get through his SATs in high school! Though he’s quick to say now “whoever’s out there listening… do not cheat!”
He did go to college but wishes he had focused instead on acting right away. College felt like just an extension of his academic difficulties, and all he really wanted to do was perform onstage.
After university, he was picked up by an improv troupe and was eventually cast in the role that made him famous, on Community.
He also works as an E! presenter on The Soup, where he has to read from a teleprompter. His dyslexia causes hims some problems there, though you would never know it.
“I really do have to concentrate while I’m reading. And half the time, I’m getting it wrong, but you can’t tell ‘cause I’m just making up different words for it!”
Sarah Forrest is a Literacy Specialist for the Easyread System, an online program for children with dyslexia, reading difficulties, poor auditory processing, and more. Get a free 10-day trial at www.oxfordlearningsolutions.com