Theatre alum chronicles adventures in new book

Laurel Kraus, Managing Editor

Born and raised in Detroit, Curtis Armstrong is a 62-year-old actor best known for his portrayals of Booger in the cult-classic “Revenge of the Nerds” and Metatron in the fan-favorite “Supernatural.”

Armstrong’s latest endeavor is the publishing of his book “Revenge of the Nerd: Or the Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would be Booger.”

“The last couple of years has been basically writing the whole thing from the standpoint of this being a nerd-narrative,” Armstrong said. “It’s born a nerd, raised a nerd, and then becoming Booger, and whatever happens after Booger, it’s still you’re basically Booger.”

The memoir begins in Detroit and delves into a behind-the-scenes look at Armstrong’s life and the productions he’s been a part of.

“Ultimately, what it comes down to for me, and another reason for writing the book, is that I’m a fan,” Armstrong said. “When people say that they’re ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ fans or ‘Supernatural’ fans or whatever, I understand what they’re talking about because that was me.”

The book will be released on July 11, 2017, and is available for preorder from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target and iBooks.

Further accomplishments from Armstrong include beloved comedic supporting characters in “Better off Dead…,” “American Dad!” and “New Girl.”

Armstrong attended Berkley High School and, in 1973, auditioned for a place in the Academy of Dramatic Art, part of the now-defunct School of Performing Arts at Oakland University.

The school was also a counterpart to the professional Meadow Brook Theatre, then directed by John Fernald, a renowned former head of England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

“Apart from being in Detroit, it was just like being in RADA,” Armstrong said.

When the School of Performing Arts closed in 1977 due to the departments of theatre and dance being moved into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Dramatic Art was disbanded with it.

Armstrong was not the only attendee of the academy to find success in the field. Other notable graduates include Robert Englund, who’s best known for his role as Freddy Krueger, and Richard Riehle.

The academy provided classical training, which was perfect for Armstrong’s aspirations to be a stage actor.

He set out with the promise to his parents that he would make “measurable progress” within 10 years or move on.

“My theory at the time, which I tried to explain to my parents and others, was that if I have a back-up plan, I’m not going to do the kind of sacrifice and the kind of commitment that this kind of a job would entail,” Armstrong said.

The summer after graduating from the academy, Armstrong was offered the role of Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Meadow Brook Theatre. He soon went on to co-found a theatre company with classmates from the academy and performed in New York and on national tours.

Although technically Armstrong’s first screen acting role was during his time at OU when he was in an introductory film for the university — which he never actually saw — his first experience with the big screen was eight years after leaving Oakland.

The young actor was becoming recognizable in the stage acting industry, when his agent signed him up to audition for a film.

Thus, Armstrong landed the role of Miles Dalby in “Risky Business.”

The star of the film was a 21-year-old Tom Cruise, who was not yet the household name that he is today. Armstrong remembers Cruise as “incredibly ambitious and politically very conservative.”

Less than a year later, Armstrong found himself auditioning for “Revenge of the Nerds.”

“I just refused flat out to be considered for Booger,” Armstrong said. “And I told my agent, I said, ‘If they offer me Poindexter, fine, but if they offer me Booger, forget it, I didn’t go to the Academy of Dramatic Art to play a character named Booger, and belch and pick my nose all the time.’ So, I turned them down until they offered it to me, and then I said yes because I needed the money.”

In January 2017, Armstrong plans to begin filming “Highston,” an Amazon show about a teenage boy who imagines celebrities as his friends to help him cope with life.

He has also been in discussion with Kresge Library about submitting some of the journals, letters, scripts, etc. that he has kept over the years to the library’s archives.

Armstrong is expected to be back in Detroit on May 19 and 20 of 2017 for screenings of “Revenge of the Nerds,” Q-and-As, and meet-and-greets at the Redford Theatre.