courtesy @Magiccitybooks on Twitter. Ralph Macchio was in Tulsa Oct. 20 for his book tour.

Ralph Machhio brings book tour to Tulsa

Author S.E. Hinton moderated this conversation with Macchio as he discussed his new novel, “Waxing On: the Karate Kid and Me.”

Karate Kid’s very own Ralph Macchio made a pit stop in Tulsa during his tour for the launch of his novel.

The memoir, “Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me” details his experience in the film industry, especially early on as, of course, the Karate Kid himself Daniel LaRusso, but also as Johnny Cade from “The Outsiders.”

In fact, Mr. Macchio invited classic Tulsan author of The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton, to be the moderator of the event. Since the filming of the movie in the early 1980s, they’ve remained incredibly close,opening with a heartwarming hug. Macchio also stated that he knew immediately he wanted to include Hinton in the event as soon as he knew he would be in Tulsa. She had a profoundly formative role in his youth.

When he read “The Outsiders” in the seventh grade, Macchio felt a special connection to Johnny. He recalled the profound effect that the character’s voice had on him. He looked in the mirror at that time and even thought, “he looks a little like me!” As such, he knew that once casting began, as a young actor, he would only accept the role as Johnny.

This wasn’t such a harsh truth for Hinton, who told the young Macchio that, “You gave me a good night’s sleep tonight, kid” upon witnessing his acting skills at the initial table read.

Once filming, Macchio found immersing himself in his character to be more intense than he thought — thanks to director Francis Ford Coppola. On one hand, he had visited a local football game to see in action the type of person he was to assume on screen. On the other, as part of Coppola’s method acting techniques, he was instructed to practice a greaser lifestyle and sleep in the streets of Tulsa with a newspaper as a blanket. He did so until he woke up half-way through the night and returned to the hotel.

While “The Outsiders” became an obvious avenue for success for Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise and Emilio Estevez, it was Karate Kid that skyrocketed Ralph Macchio’s into stardom.

In “Waxing On,” Macchio speaks of his experience of fame, and especially of coming to the realization that, as he says, “Holy crap, I’m the Kid!” He speaks of his initial response to receiving the role in the movie, and the intricate technicalities that truly do come from a perfect crane kick. The behind-the-scenes detail is awesomely available, as a good memoir ought to be.

The crowd wielded an incredible response, often standing in ovation. Jeff Martin relayed that for representing Johnny Cade as a symbol of Oklahoman culture, for his successful career and for the release of his memoir, he is formally recognized in accolades from the state legislature, and is presented a certificate of recognition.

This has been the largest turn-out so far on the tour, according to Macchio. He continues his thanks toward the crowd itself as well as the host of the event, Magic City Books. “Waxing On” can be found online and in bookstores everywhere now.

Post Author: Luke Buzzelli