Recently I took the time to read Jenna Fischer's latest book. If you are a fan of Jenna Fischer and have ever watched her play Pam Beesly on "The Office", then this book is for you. "The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide", published in 2017, is essentially Jenna's love letter to aspiring actors and actresses.
You get to know Jenna, her sense of humor, and the story of where she came from and how she got there. This book struck a chord with me on so many levels. It is reader-friendly, practical, useful, and as you read it you can feel her speaking to you in such a down-to-earth way.
Jenna feels like your friend with your best interests at heart.
I read this book initially because I have a passion for acting and the arts, as Jenna does. I am also a fan of "The Office" and wanted to know her story. I actually bought this book for one of my best friends as a Christmas gift this past holiday season. Once I discovered it, I immediately switched the quantity in my shopping cart on Amazon to two instead of one. I was interested in who she is and what she had to say.
The book was not quite what I expected. I anticipated more of a narrative as to how she came to land the role of Pam Beesly. In reality, the book is so much more.
Throughout the book, Fischer shares her story of how she trained to be an actress, moved out to Los Angeles after graduation with a nest egg, and spent about eight years struggling in the acting industry. Eventually, she obviously found success in landing "The Office".
She also discusses life after "The Office". The best part about this book is that she gives you practical advice on how to become an actor that you don't get with a normal education. Her insight is inspiring and is told with grace, humor, and wit. While the advice is specific to the entertainment industry, I think the advice can transfer to any creative career one might pursue. More than anything else, I appreciated her honesty in expressing her struggles and low points. She doesn't pretend it's easy (even post - "Office") and is willing to share her wisdom so others can benefit.
There are a couple things that struck me most about the book.
First, Fischer's main point of advice that no matter what you should surround yourself with other artists who can create content. Creating your own opportunities is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Additionally, it was nice to be reminded that actors are just people too, especially since we live in a culture in which we tend to idolize celebrities.
You can be the most talented person in the world, but you still have to fight for what you want.
My passion for what I love was definitely renewed in reading this book.
If you're looking to get inspired by your next career move or looking for funny stories, this book is for you. It's a fairly easy and quick read with narratives that flow well together while staying connected through an overarching theme. The forward by Steve Carrell doesn't hurt either! I highly recommend this book and hope it brings you as much inspiration as it did to me! Check this book out on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!