Jenna Fischer The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide

Last updated: November 26, 2022


This acting book by Jenna Fischer shares lessons from her perspective. The book is witty and amusing but also has a lot of wisdom for up-and-coming actors. It’s full of technical information in addition to inspirational stories.

We looked at the top Acting Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Acting Book you should buy.

Product Details

Key Takeaway: This acting book shares lessons from someone who has been in your shoes.

In our analysis of 24 expert reviews, the Jenna Fischer The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide placed 3rd when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

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 determined, she was confident, she was ready to work hard. So, what could go wrong? Uh, basically everything. The path to being a professional actor was so much more vast and competitive than she’d imagined. It would be eight long years before she landed her iconic role on The Office, nearly a decade of frustration, struggle, rejection and doubt. If only she’d had a handbook for the aspiring actor. Or, better yet, someone to show her the way—an established actor who could educate her about the business, manage her expectations, and reassure her in those moments of despair. Jenna wants to be that person for you. With amusing candor and wit, Fischer spells out the nuts and bolts of getting established in the profession, based on her own memorable and hilarious experiences. She tells you how to get the right headshot, what to look for in representation, and the importance of joining forces with other like-minded artists and creating your own work—invaluable advice personally acquired from her many years of struggle. She provides helpful hints on how to be gutsy and take risks, the tricks to good auditioning and callbacks, and how not to fall for certain scams (auditions in a guy’s apartment are probably not legit—or at least not for the kind of part you’re looking for!). Her inspiring, helpful guidance feels like a trusted friend who’s made the journey, and has now returned to walk beside you, pointing out the pitfalls as you blaze your own path towards the life of a professional actor.

Expert Reviews


What reviewers liked

I was initially a little hesitant to pick up this book because I am not an actor, but I'm so glad that I did! I'm a fan of Jenna Fischer from her role as Pam Beesly in The Office, and Jenna shows the frustrating, funny and often discouraging journey it took to land her breakout role and become a successful working actress.
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.
She effortlessly threads the needle between memoir, guidebook, and social commentary on the industry. The Actor’s Life is a book every actor should read. And every non-actor.
The Actor’s Life is honest, funny and wise. Fischer’s writing voice is empathetic, truthful and warm. It’s a must read, and not just for actors. I’m using it as a guide as I get my writing career back on track. I also think this book is ideal for teachers, guidance counselors, and college career centers.

What reviewers didn't like

Not exactly what I expected coming from an increadibly talanted woman as Jenna Fischer. I felt myself getting bored when the actual acting-life lessons got explained, but was entertained learning Jenna's rise to fame. Unfortunately, those good bits are far and in between. The ending felt awkward as well.
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