Book Review: The Actor's Life



I would first like to definitively say that I am not an actor, nor do I wish to become one. But I thought this book would be a neat read from the more general perspective of succeeding as an artist, and in that context, it was.


I love reading about people in the arts, people who do objectively frivolous things for a living. I love reading about people who invested years of their life into their career before finding success, and who found success because they didn't give up. It's inspiring. It's motivating.


It relieving to know I'm not the only one.


For a writer, there's a lot in here that's not applicable. Headshots? Nope. Auditions? Not really. But the stories about rookie mistakes, about things going wrong, about doing weird things to try and advance your career, about wanting to quit, about juggling a day job... all very relatable. It's easy to think that success will come (or should come) quickly, but everyone's journey is different, and everyone needs to start somewhere. The important thing is that you keep going.


The book is well-structured, should you be an aspiring actor looking for a roadmap, and even if you aren't, it still flows well. I've only ever seen Jenna Fischer on The Office, where I found her very funny, but unfortunately I didn't think her humour translated well onto the page. No biggie, though. That's not what I was there for.


I also found it quite interesting that even after a lead role on a hit show, she indicated she still needed to hustle to get work. It's a good reminder never to get complacent. I can't speak from experience, but I expect that's the key to a long, productive career.


Overall a fun, informative read, even for someone who will probably never set foot in Hollywood.