Hi there. My name is Timothy Simons and I have a really embarrassing yearbook photo. Please don’t scroll down just yet. Let’s talk for a minute.
People that say to live with no regrets have never had a yearbook photo this bad. It’s terrible. However I am not regretful.
I bought the jester hat on Block Island the day after my friend Will and I went boogie boarding without sunscreen and we got sunstroke. That night we watched Pulp Fiction in a barn, and I wore it. I wore it that whole summer and I wore it to the first day of school my senior year. All my friends hated that hat from the beginning, which only solidified my wanting to wear it. They would sneak into my house and hide it. Or they would throw it up on the roof to keep it away from me. I’m still friends with them, though. They were trying to protect me and I appreciate that.
My dad was a photographer, and he actually took this photo. I don’t know why my parents let me submit it to the yearbook.
So I’ve always known, in the back of my head, while I was pursuing being an actor, that this was there. I’ve seen enough “you won’t believe this actors’ high school yearbook photo” articles and posts to know that people are interested in this sort of thing. I’ve gotten self-douche-chills just thinking about it sitting there in a yearbook, just waiting to be uncovered. This past weekend, someone I went to high school with put it on twitter. It’s out there now, it’s permanent, and I’m gonna control this narrative.
It’s really fucking embarrassing, but I’m not altogether* embarrassed by it.
That picture completely and terribly encapsulates who I was at that time. I loved that 100% fun Matthew Sweet album and I bought that shirt at the concert. I saw a lot of Shakespeare summerstock plays and identified with the clowns**. I wanted nothing more than to stand out for any reason. I was a loud fucking nerd who talked too much. The Chicken was my actual nickname. I made up the other two in an attempt to add mystery to my 18 year old legacy. Who does that?
Honestly, looking at this makes me love my parents for allowing it. For allowing me to be this dumb. For instilling enough self-confidence in me at the time to make this picture public and not care. That’s the sort of thing that allowed me to leave home and make all the terrible decisions that led me to Chicago and then the terrible decisions that led to Los Angeles. This is an honest thank you to my Mom and Dad. I hope I’m a good enough parent to Hopper and Marty that they will make terrible decisions like this and I won’t stand in their way.
So anyway. Here it is. I’m owning this fucking picture.
* I mean, I’m somewhat embarrassed by it, but not altogether embarrassed by it. Fucking look at it.
** Despite my theatre-going habits, the dumb hats, and the flair for the overly-dramatic I was not an actor in high school and did not start pursuing it until my second year of college.