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


In case you don’t remember, we got to see Jenna Fischer speak live at the Tucson Festival of Books back in March. I picked up a copy of her new book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide while we were there, and it was such a great read!

Highlights include…

  • How to get a good headshot
  • How to have a successful audition
  • What to expect on your first day of filming
  • What to do (and what not to do) if you’re a guest star
  • Behind the scenes of Jim and Pam’s first kiss (!)

What I especially loved about this book is conversational the tone is. You really feel like you are having a one-on-one conversation with Jenna Fischer, or that you’re getting a front-row seat to the greatest lecture ever on how to become an actor.

Some people think that all you have to do is be a talented actor in order to book jobs. When in reality, we all know how talented Jenna Fischer is and yet it took her almost eight years to become a working actor in Hollywood. The biggest thing she emphasized is that while you’re waiting for your “big break” it is vital to always be working on your craft so that you can be ready when that perfect role arises. Her classic example is that actors should always be working on their accents so that when, one day, the perfect role comes up that requires an accent, you will be ready.

This can easily be applied to most professions, not just acting. If we aren’t continually working towards being better, we are static, and thus won’t be on our game when it’s time to step up.

There were inspiring quotes from actors and film makers throughout the book and this was my favorite:

“Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.” -Carol Burnett

This book was a quick read, and perfect for anyone interested in learning more about how to become a working actor, or any artist who needs a confidence boost when it feels like getting to your dream job feels impossible, or anyone who wants a BTS look at Jenna Fischer’s life.

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