The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer

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...

Title:The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide
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The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide Reviews

  • Katie Robinson

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

  • 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.

  • Mary Clare

    Jenna Fischer recounts her years as a struggling actor and relays the lessons, big and small, that she learned along the way.

    This is definitely not your typical celebrity book. Fischer had a purpose when she sat down to write this book: to use her experience to help other people find their way as working actors. She wanted to give advice on both the logistical and emotional parts of the process of becoming an actor.

    I would definitely say that this book is best suited for her intende

    Jenna Fischer recounts her years as a struggling actor and relays the lessons, big and small, that she learned along the way.

    This is definitely not your typical celebrity book. Fischer had a purpose when she sat down to write this book: to use her experience to help other people find their way as working actors. She wanted to give advice on both the logistical and emotional parts of the process of becoming an actor.

    I would definitely say that this book is best suited for her intended audience and potentially incredibly useful to those people. However, if you are expecting a book that will be interesting and useful with larger lessons about life for any reader, you may be disappointed in this book.

    But that's not necessarily a bad thing. This book is what it says it is: a book filled with stories and advice on living and working as an actor.

    That being said, this book definitely had some positives and negatives. The positives are plentiful. Jenna's voice is clear, consistent, honest, and kind. There is a real vulnerability that comes with sharing not only the successes but also the hardships in your career path. She also does a fantastic job using stories from her own life as well as her friends' lives to illustrate her points. The writing was engaging, even when it was not about something that particularly interests me. To top it off, the photos she includes are a really nice touch.

    I also think that although I am not an actor, I will carry and benefit from the advice to "create your own work." I think that this is fantastic advice for all people who wish to live a creative life and I will certainly be telling myself this exact phrase, in Jenna Fischer's voice, as I move forward.

    In the end, I didn't give this a 5-star rating simply because this book is not for me so there were a lot of moments where she is reaching out to connect with her audience's experience and I just can't relate. This is not a fault in the book as I believe those moments will be real shining points when this book lands in the hands of the people it was written for. But in the end, my own perspective made this book fall short. Would I recommend this to someone who wants to be an actor? 100% yes. I can easily see actors giving this book a 5-star review. Would I recommend it to people without an interest in acting? Probably not. What Fischer accomplishes in this book is very single-mindedly about becoming an actor and therefore may not be valuable to you if you are not on that track. Unless you are a superfan of the office. In that case, this book might be well worth it.

  • Tiffany

    While this book is clearly not for me, I did think it was entertaining and seemed to have a lot of valuable information and encouragement for those who seek to become actors. I found Jenna Fischer's delivery insightful and often humorous. While I said I do not want to be an actor, and this book really isn't for me, there is a lot of valuable information that anyone seeking a career that is competitive, creative, and requires years of paying your dues will find useful.

    Thank you, NetGalley for an

    While this book is clearly not for me, I did think it was entertaining and seemed to have a lot of valuable information and encouragement for those who seek to become actors. I found Jenna Fischer's delivery insightful and often humorous. While I said I do not want to be an actor, and this book really isn't for me, there is a lot of valuable information that anyone seeking a career that is competitive, creative, and requires years of paying your dues will find useful.

    Thank you, NetGalley for an ARC of this work in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jessica McAllister

    3.5 Well this book was not marketed towards me, as I have never wanted to be an actor, nonetheless it was an interesting read. Jenna Fisher is such a likable person and this was easy to read and highly entertaining at times. I liked having a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of an actor. This is definitely more of a how to then a memoir but my favorite parts were the little anadotes she made throughout about her own encounters. If you want to be an actor or know someone who does I hig

    3.5 Well this book was not marketed towards me, as I have never wanted to be an actor, nonetheless it was an interesting read. Jenna Fisher is such a likable person and this was easy to read and highly entertaining at times. I liked having a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of an actor. This is definitely more of a how to then a memoir but my favorite parts were the little anadotes she made throughout about her own encounters. If you want to be an actor or know someone who does I highly recommend this book because there is lots of great advice from someone who struggled to find success but found it nonetheless.

    I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Christopher Lawson

    In grade school I got my start when I played Toto in The Wizard of Oz

    In THE ACTOR’S LIFE, author Jenna Fischer gives some tough, but kindly advice to the aspiring actor. She admits it was a really tough road for her, and required a lot of persistence, as well as luck. The journey is a “long and difficult one that requires a lot of hard work. . . Without a little luck on your side, you can be the most talented actor in the world and not achieve success.“

    Here’s the honest truth—it’s very unlikely

    In grade school I got my start when I played Toto in The Wizard of Oz

    In THE ACTOR’S LIFE, author Jenna Fischer gives some tough, but kindly advice to the aspiring actor. She admits it was a really tough road for her, and required a lot of persistence, as well as luck. The journey is a “long and difficult one that requires a lot of hard work. . . Without a little luck on your side, you can be the most talented actor in the world and not achieve success.“

    Here’s the honest truth—it’s very unlikely you will become a star, or even make a living wage: “If your motivation for becoming an actor is because you are hoping to be rich, change careers now. Most actors barely earn a living wage from their acting work.” Jenna notes how low the wages typically are: “Most of the SAG-AFTRA membership earns less than $ 7,000 a year from acting. Only 5 percent earn more than $ 100,000.”

    She advises the budding actress to get a day job to pay the bills. She did all kinds of menial jobs, but one was really unusual—she was as a telephone psychic for about a week! (She later explains she learned to lie really well.)

    So all in all, I found THE ACTOR’S LIFE to be a fun, easy read. I appreciate the candor of the author in explaining how tough it really was for her. There are tons of useful tips for the aspiring actor or actress, such as detailed instructions for getting a really good "head shot." The author writes well, and I found this book to be a pleasant read.

    Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.

  • Connie

    Jenna Fischer has written a witty, helpful book full of great advice for young aspiring actors. The book is enjoyable even if you aren't an actor, and just want to get an insight to what it's like behind the scenes. I was a big fan of Jenna on the Office; she's a talented, intuitive actress, so any aspiring actor would be lucky to have guidance from her, and I recommend this to anyone interested in film or tv.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Melissa Edeburn

    As the parent of an actor attending his junior year of a university theatre program, I have questions. So many questions... Actually “had”, as Jenna just answered nearly all of them over the past two days. Jenna covered much of what Joe can anticipate after graduation. I just ordered the paper version of the book which will be waiting for him on his nightstand when he arrives home next week for winter break. Bonus: I know he’ll open it because he’s a fan of The Office and Jenna is a known commod

    As the parent of an actor attending his junior year of a university theatre program, I have questions. So many questions... Actually “had”, as Jenna just answered nearly all of them over the past two days. Jenna covered much of what Joe can anticipate after graduation. I just ordered the paper version of the book which will be waiting for him on his nightstand when he arrives home next week for winter break. Bonus: I know he’ll open it because he’s a fan of The Office and Jenna is a known commodity. I know he’ll continue reading because every page offers something relevant to his future.

    Thank you for this, Jenna. (And no, Joe will NOT be eating salt sandwiches; I plan to mail him peanut butter AND any residual ketchup packets we find when we clean out the car. You saved a life!)

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