The Actor's Life

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

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.
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While this book is clearly not for me, I did think it was entertaining and seemed to have a lot of valuable informatWhile 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. ion 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.
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Although I have no aspirations to be an actor, I absolutely loved this book! I've always been interested in the entertainment business. I grew up in West Los Angeles, the daughter of a theater actress and a professional musician. I loved Jenna Fischer's comprehensive, honest, and fascinating writing. The photos (i.e. series of good and bad headshots), resumes, etc. were such a great compliment to her story.

Any aspiring actor would be incredibly lucky to read this book. Fischer makes it clear that it takes a long time and struggle to truly "make it" and her example of never giving up, despite wanting to do so numerous times, is incredibly inspiring. I was sad when I finished this book - always a good sign when it comes to a worthy read!
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I have never had an desire to be an actor but I love Jenna Fischer so I thought I would read this book anyway. I am so glad I did. I loved it! Even the parts with advice for actors. She’s so funny and entertaining and I love the BTS info about Hollywood. Also, being an actor sounds like my worst nightmare.
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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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