The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide

The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide

Jenna Fischer’s Hollywood journey began at the age of 22 when she moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of St. Louis. With a theater degree in hand, she was certain everything would fall easily into place. Never mind that she didn’t know a single person in the entertainment industry. She was determined, she was confident, she was ready to work hard. So, what could go wron...

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Title:The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide
Author:Jenna Fischer
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The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide Reviews

  • Holly

    This is a great book. Fischer's tone is consistently informative, humorous, and down to earth. The book offers encouragement, warnings against scams, advice about specific websites and agencies to use, and a large grain of salt - she constantly references friends of hers who have still not hit it big despite being incredibly talented performers.

    Strongly suggested. Although it is written mostly for actors, I think it's worth reading as a very disorganized biography and guideline to being a fulfil

    This is a great book. Fischer's tone is consistently informative, humorous, and down to earth. The book offers encouragement, warnings against scams, advice about specific websites and agencies to use, and a large grain of salt - she constantly references friends of hers who have still not hit it big despite being incredibly talented performers.

    Strongly suggested. Although it is written mostly for actors, I think it's worth reading as a very disorganized biography and guideline to being a fulfilled creative person as well.

  • Rebecca

    I’m not the intended audience for this book and yet I was absolutely fascinated. I just kept wanting to talk about things I learned from this book.

  • Keith Chawgo

    Jenna Fischer’s phenomenal book ‘The Actor’s Life’ is factual, funny and a fantastic guide to the world of acting. This is one of those books that is informative, personable yet so enjoyable that you can’t stop reading. I am not an actor but I personally loved this book and it is one that works on so many levels.

    The book starts out with Ms Fischer interest in acting and her school productions and then through her education which includes the many different facets of her experiences. She then mak

    Jenna Fischer’s phenomenal book ‘The Actor’s Life’ is factual, funny and a fantastic guide to the world of acting. This is one of those books that is informative, personable yet so enjoyable that you can’t stop reading. I am not an actor but I personally loved this book and it is one that works on so many levels.

    The book starts out with Ms Fischer interest in acting and her school productions and then through her education which includes the many different facets of her experiences. She then makes the move to Los Angeles and this is where the book really comes into its own. From her experiences in dodgy to professional auditions to her eventually being cast in the hit show ‘The Office’.

    It is important to note that her inspiration and aspirations led to her leaving her house and getting out there to accomplish her goals. This is the main lesson to learn from this book and one that I think many people will take away from this whether you are involved in acting or any other profession. If you want to accomplish your goals, you have to get out in the world and try everything to help to become a well-rounded individual with many irons in the fire to eventually hit the jackpot.

    This is a truly remarkable book and one that all actor’s really should read. I have a lot of actor friends who basically sit around and wait for chance and luck to come knocking on their door which it very seldom does. She has made an extremely useful book that opens the hearts and minds of all to read. As stated above, this concept can work with many other professions as well and although it is an informative read, it works on so many levels that I for one will be recommending this book to so many people.

    This is one of those books that will definitely worth the purchase and read and I for one, have taking so much from it. Inspirational, aspiring and entertaining, Jenna Fishcher has become my own professional hero. I really hope that she continues to write because her style is very high grade and personable. This is a must read.

  • Katie Robinson

    Super cute! Definitely don't have to want to be an actor to enjoy. Full review to come upon publication.

  • Miatta

    This book is basically an actors textbook. Please, please, please know this. It was perfect for me cause, hey, I'm an actor. Jenna has been giving out amazing information like this for years, via blog posts and podcasts, and I have been waiting for her to publish it.

    But if you aren't an actor and/or have no interest in being an actor and/or have no interest in the art/business/mechanics of acting...it's not gonna be for you. This is not about the celebrity aspect of acting. Or even Jenna's biog

    This book is basically an actors textbook. Please, please, please know this. It was perfect for me cause, hey, I'm an actor. Jenna has been giving out amazing information like this for years, via blog posts and podcasts, and I have been waiting for her to publish it.

    But if you aren't an actor and/or have no interest in being an actor and/or have no interest in the art/business/mechanics of acting...it's not gonna be for you. This is not about the celebrity aspect of acting. Or even Jenna's biography, really. While parts of her life story end up in the pages, by and large this book is a guide for people wanting to act in Los Angeles. And before this book ends up with tons of unhappy reviews based on expectations, rather than on the actual content, I want to let everyone know that right now.

    For the book itself, its great. Again, I had read a lot of her information on the interwebs already, so nothing was super super new. Also, if you have been acting for a while and living in LA for a while, then this also might be nothing new. But it is always nice to read about another successful actors journey and the tactics they used. And Jenna is one of the very, very few actors who will actually talk about the hustle and how much work they had to put in to succeed. Very often PR firms advise their actors to act as if they moved to LA and POOF! Fame! And that's just not how it works. And it is advice like that that keeps thousands of hopefuls moving to town and thousands of dejected souls moving back home. Jenna wants people to know that, yeah, this shit can be really hard, but also, if its what you are meant to do, so so so worth it.

  • John Lamb

    Being an actor is not something I ever wanted to pursue, so I am not the intended audience for this book, but I still loved learning about the behind-the-scenes details of trying to make a profession out of acting.

  • Jessica

    This was fascinating. As a non-actor it was really interesting to get a peek behind the curtain. Mostly because I don't actually have to follow all of this advice!

    The first couple chapters are clunky and full of "I took myself so seriously, isn't that silly?!" But after that she settles into it and I couldn't stop reading.

  • Carmen

    4.5 Stars.

    There was a time, I confess, when I desperately wanted to be on a sitcom. Okay, it was the '80s when there was no shortage of family sitcoms. Those kids on

    and

    always looked like they were having so much fun! I reasoned that I was a kid who liked film and theatre

    I had also debuted as a preposition in a play about grammar,

    in 6th grade. I mean, how hard could it be to land a role as a funny kid on a sitcom?

    I also once

    4.5 Stars.

    There was a time, I confess, when I desperately wanted to be on a sitcom. Okay, it was the '80s when there was no shortage of family sitcoms. Those kids on

    and

    always looked like they were having so much fun! I reasoned that I was a kid who liked film and theatre

    I had also debuted as a preposition in a play about grammar,

    in 6th grade. I mean, how hard could it be to land a role as a funny kid on a sitcom?

    I also once auditioned for a kids' touring singing group in junior high. I didn't get it. I don't remember being too crushed by the disappointment probably because the fantasy had already started to fade. Although I still loved the

    of acting, I knew I didn't have the gumption to pursue it for real.

    Jenna Fischer, of Pam Beesly fame, has written a succinct survival guide for the struggling, but serious actor. I loved the memoir-y aspects of her book and I actually became engrossed in the actor's journey. I was fascinated about what a good head shot can communicate to a casting director. Fischer shared her first head shot and subsequent attempts at getting her image just right. The transformation from her naive first head shot to a confident girl-next-door head shot is just stunning. I was surprised at how malleable our image can be.

    After getting the perfect head shot, it's all about going after the SAG card. It means hustling for auditions, getting the day job to pay the bills, finding work as an extra in films, and handling the constant rejection. In the meantime, Fischer suggests that the actor recognize that auditioning is a crucial part of the actor's work, not just booking a job. Fischer emphasizes finding other artists, taking on community theatre projects, participating in acting classes, and building a consistent body of work. What I really found to be the best advice, other than not giving up in the face of constant disappointment, is making one's own luck. What she means by this is that actors need to create the work they would like to be cast in. Be creative! Write and star in one's own short films. It's all about staying creative even when you're only getting the occasional guest spot on a TV series or just constant callbacks that don't amount to anything. This business is brutal and takes a mentally strong person to take on Hollywood.

    Fischer highlights how long it took to took for her to book

    . There was nothing overnight about her journey to the character of Pam Beesly. Her parting wisdom is that there is no one way to break into show business. If there were, everyone would follow the same path. Life in Hollywood demands perseverance and grit. I appreciate and respect Jenna Fischer's work, but her peek behind the scenes serves as serious guide to the often confusing world of show business.

  • Valerity *

    This is written by Jenna Fischer who played on the hit show "Office" for years. I was hooked on that show for a long time which gave me an interest in reading her book. It's written mainly as a guide for those who are bitten by the acting bug and really as a way to help them with tips and ideas on how to get started and keep going in a career in acting. It seems like it would really be helpful for someone with that seriously in mind for their life too if they really have the drive and ambition t

    This is written by Jenna Fischer who played on the hit show "Office" for years. I was hooked on that show for a long time which gave me an interest in reading her book. It's written mainly as a guide for those who are bitten by the acting bug and really as a way to help them with tips and ideas on how to get started and keep going in a career in acting. It seems like it would really be helpful for someone with that seriously in mind for their life too if they really have the drive and ambition to do it and are willing to sacrifice and make it their life's goal as she did. Just as thousands do every year, and work hard at other jobs while they struggle and take classes and continue to hone their skill at acting. And of course, right now with all of the hype about the Weinstein case, you can't help but wonder about how many go through the added indignity of being subjected to sexual harassment too, as part of the struggle of making it as an actor. Hopefully, the light being shined on the subject will help some, but it seems it's been around as long as acting has been. Thanks for reading. An ARC was provided by NetGalley for an unbiased review.

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