The Actor's Life by Jenna Fischer

The Actor's Life

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 wrong?Uh, basically everything. It would be eight long years before she lan...

Details The Actor's Life

TitleThe Actor's Life
Release DateNov 14th, 2017
PublisherBenBella Books
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Audiobook

Reviews The Actor's Life

  • 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's not gonna be for you. This is not about th...
  • John Lamb
    Being an actor is not something I ever wanted to pursue, so I am not the intended audience for this book, but I still loved learning about the behind-the-scenes details of trying to make a profession out of acting.
  • Shelby
    I love Jenna Fischer! I only picked this book up because I love her so much, so, obviously, none of the information pertained to me. However, she writes beautifully and conversationally without condescending to you. If you were an aspiring actor, this would be the book for you!
  • Jessica
    This was fascinating. As a non-actor it was really interesting to get a peek behind the curtain. Mostly because I don't actually have to follow all of this advice! The first couple chapters are clunky and full of "I took myself so seriously, isn't that silly?!" But after that she settles into it and I couldn't stop reading.
  • 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 lif...
  • Carmen
    4.5 Stars.There was a time, I confess, when I desperately wanted to be on a sitcom. Okay, it was the '80s when there was no shortage of family sitcoms. Those kids on Growing Pains and Family Ties always looked like they were having so much fun! I reasoned that I was a kid who liked film and theatre and I had also debuted as a preposition in a play about grammar, The Case of the Missing Part of Speech in 6th grade. I mean, how hard could it be to ...
  • Keith Chawgo
    Jenna Fischer’s phenomenal book ‘The Actor’s Life’ is factual, funny and a fantastic guide to the world of acting. This is one of those books that is informative, personable yet so enjoyable that you can’t stop reading. I am not an actor but I personally loved this book and it is one that works on so many levels.The book starts out with Ms Fischer interest in acting and her school productions and then through her education which include...
  • Jada
    I've never had an interest in being an actor but I started reading this because I love learning about the way things work. I finished reading it because it was a really good, easy read. It's written in a friendly, light, easily digestible tone which is driven by personal and effective anecdotes followed by straightforward, encouraging advice and caveats. Even though this book is completely and entirely different from Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Ma...
  • Kirra
    I basically inhaled this fantastic book from Jenna Fischer and enjoyed reading about her life so much. This isn’t a book about a famous actor and their rise to fame and it isn’t a comedy biography, this is a handbook on how to make it as an actor. Jenna goes through the steps with informative advice and knowledge while also sharing her own personal events, tips and tricks. You’ll follow through the process of acting classes, headshots, agen...
  • Jackie
    This was a quick read. I listened to the audiobook because I liked Jenna’s portrayal of Pam on The Office and wanted to hear more about her life and on-set experiences. I would imagine it’s a helpful, encouraging guide to those thinking about trying to make it as an actor in LA or NY, but I just enjoyed it as an inside peek into the behind-the-scenes life of Hollywood.
  • Katie Robinson
    Super cute! Definitely don't have to want to be an actor to enjoy. Full review to come upon publication.
  • Rebecca
    I’m not the intended audience for this book and yet I was absolutely fascinated. I just kept wanting to talk about things I learned from this book.
  • 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 beca...
  • 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 diso...
  • Mary Clare
    Full review!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...
  • Jaime Soria
    This book. Are you reading this and you are one of my actors friends? BUY THIS BOOK NOW. I've read loads of actor-help books over the years. Los Angeles "survival" guides, actor biograpies, autobiographies, memoirs, etc., and not one of the authors ever opened up this much about their professional experiences, and related so accurately what it's like being a new arrival in L.A. - not knowing anyone, doing extra work to be on set and try to get in...
  • Christopher Lawson
    In grade school I got my start when I played Toto in The Wizard of OzIn 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 achiev...
  • Gail
    Jenna's tone in the book is wonderfully friendly and open. She shares quite a bit of information about how things really work. Much of the information is already out there in other books and online, but she's brought it together in an appealing package.I have the sense that the university she attended didn't prepare her well for the business side of acting. Frankly, universities vary widely in how they prepare students for getting a job with any ...
  • Liz
    I have no interest in being an actor. I do, however, love reading and learning in general, so I didn't mind that I wasn't the intended audience for this book. I also have a friend who moved to LA a couple years ago and has been grinding her way around the business. I thought that reading this might offer some sort of insight into what she's struggling with and might inform my support of her even in the smallest of ways. In that sense, I think thi...
  • Sam Gor
    If you're a fan of the office and you actually like Pam, you'll dig this.The process is great.The advice is just honest and heartfelt. This is just really genuine and just a joy ride through her career.I love how it just flows really well and each chapter is just full of advice. Her voice is great here and if you like Pam it helps cause you would want to know how she got the role and it just doesn't simply focus on that and you actually get to kn...
  • Katie
    Let me start off the review but saying I am not the target audience for this book. In all honesty I picked it up because I saw Jenna Fischer wrote it and I LOVE The Office. I grew up watching it and I still rewatch it all the time.That being said this book was WAY better than I expected. I read a few reviews on here after I checked it out from the library and I was a little worried. Almost all the comments mentioned it being a guidebook on how to...
  • Kyle Erickson
    I have not seen Jenna Fischer in anything, (Scrolling through her IMDB, I have actually seen Hall Pass and That 70s Show, but don't remember her in them)although I started The Office before finishing the book, to see some of her acting in it. I didn't have any sort of attachment with the author and bought this book entirely because I am considering the actor's life. This book was incredible. So much useful information in an entertaining and acces...
  • Autumn Kovach
    While this book was written for actors, I gained a lot of inspiration from Jenna as an artist. It was interesting to hear her story; how long it took her to book The Office and the journey before and after that. She is funny and insightful. It’s definitely a book I’d recommend to my actor friends or anyone who loved Jenna. Her perspective on life is refreshing and I was glad she painted a picture of her growth. She wasn’t always a joiner or...
  • Reyna
    Loved this book. It was exactly what I was looking for. The target audience for this book is ACTORS, so if you aren't one, it might not be for you, but this was what I was looking for. It was honest, insightful, and gave some perspective on the business. I loved that she added her mistakes, ups/downs, and all aspects of the industry. So many stories make you believe that you move to LA and voila! You're a star! Or that it was super easy when real...
  • 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 ...
  • Lauren
    Even though this book was written for those pursuing or thinking of pursuing an acting career, I still found it fascinating as a non-actor. Jenna gives fairly detailed advice on headshots, auditions, how to get representation, how to act on set, and how to deal with rejection. She sprinkles her advice with her own experiences, which is fun to hear about. It’s an interesting process to read about and I found parallels in her council (especially ...
  • Clementine
    This was a really accessible, practical guide to becoming a working actor. Readers looking for a typical celebrity memoir about Fischer's rise to relative fame will be disappointed, because that's not what this is (nor what it's supposed to be). She presents a detailed look at what it takes to start working as an actor, and she provides some anecdotes along the way. Her writing is conversational, practical, and easy to digest. She's just as frien...
  • Bea_kiddo
    I've known Jenna's work at The Office and this is for sure one of the best tv shows for me. I can't tell how many times I've watched the whole series over and over again. But evertime I watch it, I love to see Jenna's acting. This book, even though I'm not an aspiring actress and I do not plan to be one, is an interesting, humble and funny way to really know about the struggles of this profession. We tend to glaumourize and think it's amazing. Bu...
  • Alex Rikerd
    The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide is a book that anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in acting should read. It is most beneficial to those who want to be on the television/film side of things, but nonetheless, I believe any actor can learn something from Fischer’s words. Jenna Fischer tells us her story of struggle, hardship, doubt, and success in such a beautiful way. She wants the reader to know that they are not alone and that i...
  • Danette V
    I really enjoyed Jenna’s story; my understanding of her as an author was influenced by my familiarity of her in the role of Pam, so there was a sense of a trusted friend or kindred soul offering her wisdom and guidance. It was a very positive and supportive style and while I am not in the acting life (I selected the title because I viewed it as part autobiography, part interesting as a view into the entertainment industry) I must confess, she h...