The Office star Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) is one of the most recognizable faces on screen, but her career wasn’t an overnight success. How did the years of small acting gigs and endless day jobs train her to become the phenomenal actress she is today? Jenna shares some of the most important lessons from her new book, The Actor’s Life, including how to transform rejection into positive perspective, how to self-assess and improve your work, and how to follow the signs – even if they lead you towards a different dream.
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You can’t just want it. You also need training.
In the life of an artist, one moment can change everything. But it doesn’t change everything forever.
Look for ways to express your creativity on your own. Don’t sit around and wait for the opportunity to come.
The first thing you make might be a load of crap. But make it anyway. Done is better than perfect.
Practice self-assessment. Look at your work and ask, “Is this good? If not, how can I make it better?”
If the world seems to want it from you, then keep going.
Just because it’s not easy, it doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path.
Sometimes your initial dream is meant to lead you towards a different dream. And that’s okay.
Stand out by being great and ready to work.
Know the lingo, understand your place in the machine, and have a high level of professionalism.
A person’s success is often determined by how long they spent feeling sorry for themselves. So stop saying “Woe is me”. Pick yourself up, and start climbing that mountain.
The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer
Splitting Up Together, Jenna’s upcoming show on ABC
The Office, the hugely popular TV show
The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron
Filmmaker Christopher Guest
Other amazing TV shows that should’ve had greater longevity
Actor Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute)
Allison Jones, casting director
Roseanne, a revival of the hit TV show
BenBella Books, a publishing company
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