The Outlaw

the outlaw
Dallas, Texas

Cowritten with Hrefna Lind Heimisdóttir.

About the book

In The Outlaw Jón Gnarr describes the harsh world of his teenage years and wrestles with painful, bleak memories of this troubled stage of his life, physically abused and surrounded by suicides. He uses punk music to cope, but also discovers an interest in girls and ponders philosophical questions of right and wrong and how to be true to himself.

From the book

Acting opened a surprising world for me. It was not just this play or its words, but something far bigger. The language of theater was the language of another world. A language that was separate from, but connected to, normal language. It was like I'd discovered a new dimension where other principles applied than in the normal world. The world of acting was one world over from dreamland. And I couldn't remember having ever been so happy. Every day felt complete. The drama teacher taught me various techniques and tricks. He taught me, among other things, how to use my voice. When you talk on the stage, you have to remember to tense your stomach muscles. Don't just speak your words from your throat, but your stomach. You'll be heard better and never get hoarse.
   "You are an instrument, Jón; the body is your tool."
   Then he explained how I should stand on stage. I always need to find the light so people could see me. Then he taught me how I'm supposed to move by body on stage.
   "While you're tallking to someone else on stage, then you still half-look in the direction of the audience because you're also talking to them."
   I thought it all very logical. There was nothing in acting that I thought was nonsense or unnecessary like most of what they tried to teach me at school. Acting had a purpose. I felt the drama teacher was an angel sent from another dimension to save me. He was sent to take me from a boring country to the contry of drama. And I felt I was good at it.    He often congratulated me and said I was a natural talent.
   "You're a born actor, Jón!"
   I'd never in my life received a compliment like it. "A born actor!" There was finally something I was good at. Until now I hadn't felt I was good at anything that mattered. I was not good at school or sports or music. I was just good at nonsense stuff, and things that didn't matter, like playing the Fisheries Game. Now I was an actor. Maybe it was somthing I could do in future? Maybe I could be an actor.