An American Story
Audiobook written and narrated by Wilmer Valderrama
The remarkable true story of a young immigrant from Venezuela who had a dream to change the world, a talent for entertaining, and a determined spirit to build a new life, taking as many as possible with him on the journey.
An American Story is the stirring memoir by actor, producer, and activist Wilmer Valderrama, delving into his upbringing in Venezuela where he was raised by two hard-working parents as they navigated their family through a rapidly changing country and the rise of Hugo Chavez. With the economy crashing around them and their livelihood disappearing, the family decides to flee the country. Suddenly, the young boy who had loved riding his horse and dreaming of being Zorro from his favorite black and white tv show had to grow up quickly, journeying as a teenager from a tiny little pueblo in Venezuela to the big city of Los Angeles.
After being cast in a school theatre production, Valderrama immediately knew he had found his calling, and began thinking of ways to help support his struggling family. To do this, he would attempt the impossible: find work in Hollywood as an unproven Latino actor. Following countless auditions and frequent criticisms of his accent, he created the personality that would eventually land him the role as Fez on the hit series That 70s Show which catapulted him to stardom.
Over the coming years, he would create the smash show, Yo Mamma, delight kids through Handy Manny, voice the lead character in Disney’s Encanto, and so much more, culminating in his joining the cast of the hit show NCIS in 2016.
It was through service to others and his first USO trip, however, where Valderrama found his expanded calling, entertaining and encouraging U.S. troops around the world. Suddenly, he wanted to do as much of this as he could, dedicating his time and efforts to giving back to the country he calls home. He was recently named USO Global Ambassador in support of the organization’s 80th anniversary. He has traveled with the USO a multitude of times having participated in almost 50 tours domestically and internationally.
Through his work, Valderrama hopes to demonstrate his love and gratitude for the country that changed his life. An American Story weaves Valderrama’s personal stories with those of the remarkable people he’s met along his philanthropic journey. This isn’t just Valderrama’s story, though. It’s a view of America through an immigrant’s eyes, in both its stunning unmatched wonders and all of its native challenges. It is the profound and gripping story of someone who found the way and is now inviting as many as possible to join him on the adventure.