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I tend to be a small leery of buying autobiographies by actors. I tend to search the stories interesting but they often are not so well written and ego-heavy. I had my refund cash from Amazon, the book was on sale, and I've always liked Lithgow so I gave this one a 's a risk that turned out well. Lithgow is smart and has wit and he tells a amazing story. Yeah, there's a bit of "and then I did this and I was GREAT!" but not too much. He also tells of his less successful moments and overall he keeps a amazing perspective and objectivity. Some of the parts about his father and their relationship were very e only true disappointment with the book is that the acting portions are mainly about his scene career. While some of his TV and film work is mentioned, it's largely just that--only mentioned. I had really hoped to hear more about that since that's the part of his work I'm familiar with. I especially had wanted to hear more about his work in Garp as Roberta Muldoon since that's the part I first really noticed him in and he did such a amazing job in the role.I would definitely buy a copy if he wrote a second book but I hope it would focus more on his movie and TV roles.
John Lithgow is an engaging storyteller, and I loved every min of his memoir. It begins with the story of his taking care of his elderly father and reading him a P.G. Wodehouse story they used to read when he was growing up. The Wodehouse state of mind (wacky, witty, and eternally optimistic) is a amazing introduction to an actor's life. Lithgow's father was a director-producer of Shakespeare who had a successful career doing a Shakespeare Festival at Antioch College for about the first ten years of John Lithgow's life. Then something happened (we aren't told what), and the family began to move from one theatre job to another. Lithgow's explanations of his own youthful feelings about all that, and how he coped with it, are insightful, and he spends most of the memoir on these early years with his birth family. He does obtain into his adult acting career (and spends a lot of time explaining how he got there after wanting all his life to be an artist, as in painter), and that's interesting, too, but the memoir of most interesting as it shows the man making sense of his life.
If you are an actor on any level, from dreamer to successful career actor, this is a must read. Mr. Lithgow's lifeblood was the stage, even before he knew it, and his experiences were so deeply and profoundly a part of his success. He learned a lot of an necessary lesson and writing this book gave us (and him) the opportunity to relive and reflect upon them. I wanted to know more about his career once he had achieved fame, but as my husband wisely pointed out....the title tells you how far you will travel in Mr. Lithgow's life. Alas, being the Pollyanna type, I was sad, but understanding of his mistakes in his first marriage. Beyond that, though, I couldn't support but adore him once again, and would love to be in his company as he regaled us with more stories of his life. Maybe he will write a sequel!
I frst heard of this book when my sister and son discussed it at dinner one evening. Based on what I heard them say, it sounded like a amazing primer to read to become familiar with the art and science of acting. Acting is my son's passion, and the more I know about it, I think, the better able I am to understand and appreciate his performances. The largest surprise of all though is how beautifully written the book is. John Lithgow's Harvard education may not have gone a long method to teach him how to act, but it may have had a huge impact on how to write. That being said, Drama: An Actor's Education is a thoroughly readable and mesmerizing story of Lithgow's journey in theater.
John Lithgow appeared at UNCW a few days after I bought his book of reminisces. I am enjoying reading this on my Kindle and highly recommend it. His father ran the Shakespeare festivals in Ohio of all locations and they also lived in Princeton where his father was a manager at McCarter Theater in Princeton. Lithgow is very approachable, funny and serious all wrapped into one. A talented actor and performer who knows how to read his audience and doesn't read to them--he knows the words from the book directly.
I've enjoyed watching John Lithgow perform in a lot of films and tv shows since the early 80's. I had not idea he had such a fascinating life growing up on the scene performing Shakespeare. He is a dynamic and talented artist and actor. I have a better appreciation for his accomplishments, going well beyond the "character" actors he frequently portrays in televised media. This book created me hungry to see him as a lead actor in a Shakespeare production. A very smart read.
Interesting and well written memoir of Lithgow's early life and career. I couldn't place it down as I felt I was drawn into his life. This talented actor told the tale as if the reader was sitting in the theatre. Magic! If you love drama and admire this virtuoso you will be mesmerized by his family, his varied early acting experiences, his private insights , his wit , and his honesty and candor. A amazing story from a amazing actor.
A amazing book but seemed to not be fully honest in the poor stuff. A lot of times john discussed what he did wrong but then went on so quickly about his e divorce seemed to keep a short shrift on the damages to his son. Would have liked a chapter by the son from his perspective.
Engaging book that truly captured my complete attention. I was enthralled with John's descriptions, private and sometimes very intimate perspectives and ideas on the craft. Having had some experience in the theatre, it brought back some very fond...and not so very fond memories. I appreciated his candor and reflections on his very fascinating, life and experiences.
Years ago, Jenna Fischer wrote a amazing post on her MySpace page detailing her tip for aspiring actors. It was the best thing I'd ever read on the topic; I immediately sent it to several mates and still have a copy saved on my phone today. The roots of The Actor's Life: A Survival Tutorial are clearly in that original post, but this book is so much rt memoir, part how-to-guide, Jenna walks you through her journey from Midwest dreamer to working actor, not shying away from the ups-and-(many) downs in the life of an aspiring artist. She's honest about her struggles and mistakes, as well as the intelligent decisions she created that helped her take advantage of the career opportunities that eventually appeared. Her tip for fresh actors starting out today was clearly well-researched and not just based on her own experiences trying to create it before she was cast as Pam in The sides Jenna herself, the stars are Molly Shannon and Topher Grace, both of whom went out of their method to encourage and inspire her in the early years of her career when she required it the most. That same encouragement and inspiration is what Jenna has given everyone who reads this book, but she goes beyond that with real, actionable tip that makes the dream of becoming an actor actually feel at's the real bonus of The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide. And I couldn't recommend it more highly.
Thank you, Jenna Fischer! I truly loved this book. It speaks the truth about this business from a unbelievable perspective of a working actor. The true struggles. The victories that are unseen to others outside our world. I loved this book because1) it’s entertaining as hell. Funny & honest. Jenna is likable & lovely on every page. This is not a boring how to break into acting book, nor is it some celebrity dropping names & espousing how amazing it all is. This true & relatable.2) it’s a tutorial book. All actors have their own journey & path to follow. No 2 are exactly alike. There are no exact steps & timelines to success. But guidance is key along the way. That’s what Jenna provides. Guidance along this crazy chosen path. Letting us in on the her private struggles, experiences, & wins along the an actor, I have a lot of days that I struggle with my career. I feel like I’ve been doing it forever but not getting anywhere. And then there are days I feel like I’m doing ok. Jenna puts a lot of things into perspective. Also it gives me drive in this fresh year. So if you’re a total newbie trying to break in or a veteran of the biz making headway, I know this book will be a unbelievable resource for you.
I bought both Audible and Kindle ver , and I am satisfied i got is book by far was one of the best book that I have read that tutorials through your journey of becoming a working actor in a competitive present business. What makes this book amazing is that Jenna shares her experience from her early days as struggling actor until she hit the jackpot with The Office and she provides a lot of useful hints on how to create the best out of every opportunity that you come across. She goes to the point and keeps you engaged the whole time. After reading this book and listening to the Audible ( Narrated by Jenna ) I become more motivated to pursue my acting career and learned how to maintain positive perspective . I highly recommend this book for aspiring and experienced actors and definitely hold a copy of it in your library. You will definitely refer back to this book over and over. Thank you Jenna for sharing your valuable acting experiences.
I've read tons of books about acting and the "biz." Jenna's book is informative, practical and an simple read. I love her honesty and that she tells her story--warts and all. I've been a casting director for 35 years so I know that her information is right on. (By way, I love the kudos she gives to her casting mentor, Allison Jones.) One of the most necessary things she shares for fresh arrivals in LA: join a theatre company, an improv group, an acting class. Do ANYTHING you need to do to search your tribe; otherwise, you'll spend your first years in LA lonely and crazy while you're waiting for that phone to ring.
Jenna is a "what you see is what you get" person. Very uncommon in Hollywood. I'm not an aspiring actor (actually retired cop) but she is real and honest in anything I've seen similar to her. As an addicted "Office Fan" I believe she could write "An Office Memoir" and it would be an immediate best seller. This was such a fun read and I was exhausted after seeing what an actor has to go through just to obtain to where you can create a living. I'm glad she created it and am thankful to her and the rest of The Office squad for all the laughs that I continue to have fun over and over and over.....again. Real Office fans know what I mean.
Jenna is so nice, funny and cute! You can feel her on every line and page. I'm not an aspiring actor, but I'm a huge fan of "The Office" series. So I've decided to buy this book. To search some insides :) And it soo worth it! It's nice to have a small sneak peek at actor life - it's not always fancy and glamorous, but it's interesting and full of various adventures. And I really like that Jenna is so real! She is human being, mother, wife. She has own ups and downs. And I think it's this is a really amazing book not only for aspiring actors but for people who are still looking for their own path. Very enjoyable reading!
THIS BOOK! It's hilariously honest. Jenna's journey isn't glamorous and she tells us every detail, which is so refreshing from other "how to" books. Jenna tells us about every pitfall and win she experienced and the recipe that got her to each end which I found the most valuable. On top of it all, this book is laugh out loud funny. I laughed out loud reading about the evolution of her headshots, and found value in the info of how she improved "what she was selling" with each round, and how she finally found her method to the role of Pam BECAUSE of the correct headshot. (Also, I hope she burns those overalls as well.)In short, I want I had this book 20 years ago but I am excited that it exists now for everyone starting their journey!
I'm not an actor (not at all), but I love a amazing celebrity auto-biography and I love LOVE The Office, and I loved this book. Although largely actor-specific, I thought Jenna offered some amazing life and career advice, applicable for anyone who's a creative of any kind. There are some thought-provoking messages about persevering through failure - like REALLY persevering - and about recognizing when you KNOW you wish to do something, and believing in it and seeing it through. And the behind-the-scenes Office anecdotes warmed my heart! Overall a amazing read for actors and non-actors alike.
This was amazing considering it came out right after I went to a seminar that Jenna did in Fresh York. I’ve been acting for over 20 years, but always goes back to basics when I see an interesting book. I think a must read for any actor, listen to the stories that you think just happen to you. Enjoy.