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Publisher's Summary

Philip Carlson was the first agent to sign Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Kyra Sedgwick, Adrien Grenier, and Paul Giamatti. He has represented Viola Davis, Kathy Bates, Brian Dennehy, and W.H. Macy among many and gifted others. He shares his practical trade secrets in this extraordinarily comprehensive guide on how to get into show business.

Topics include:

  • The schools
  • The business
  • Showcases
  • Casting directors
  • Agents
  • Auditions
  • Which coast?
  • Producers
  • Staying real
  • Negotiating 101
  • Where do I fit?
  • Movies
  • TV: Where the real money is (these days)
  • And more!

©2017 Philip Carlson (P)2017 Philip Carlson

Critic Reviews

"Philip Carlson was my 'guide in shining armor!' Smart, honest and hardworking, this book is his thinking and experience on a shelf." (Idris Elba)
"I was so fortunate to have found Philip when I did. I can't imagine a better introduction to the world of acting and the business of getting there." (Liev Schreiber)
"Philip Carlson is one of the wisest people on the subject of building a career that will last. Luck didn't have him representing New York's top character actors; wisdom, intelligence, patience and loyalty did. He was, and is, as good as it gets." (Tim Blake Nelson)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great read even for a non-beginner

I wish I would have read this five years ago! But wow! What a gracefully straightforward way to put all this information. This book has turned my mentality upside down and has become the catalyst for a shift in career mindset. Thank you Philip for this wonderful book, and the love you put into it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This book is unbelievable!!!

I started not knowing where to start my career and now I feel armed and ready to face my dreams and goals head on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

For beginning actors or actors who have been in the game some time, this book really breaks things down and adds value. Get it now!

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wongs wings

ling lings fiends come knocking for wings. open up young ling ling the sauce is here.

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I love everything about this book!

I am ELATED to have found it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I would recommend it to anyone at any stage of their career.

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  • colette
  • PASADENA, CA, United States
  • 02-22-18

Most informative book on breaking into acting. Ever!

Excellent - I learned so much and most importantly what I did wrong when I had an agent.
If you want to be in this business, read this book.

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Outstanding "use it today" honest guidance...

I loved this! Thank you. The mistakes and the heartaches avoided... as well as the money that this has helped me save in advance, has just advanced my career.
I can't wait to listen again
Thank you so much. Bill C

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Are you an actor? Get it

Phil's book is Inspiring, Insightful and full of actionable Information. I find so many industry books are just useless. Finally one that helps. Do yourself a favor and get this. Phil's reading style is really engaging and the book throws tons of Great questions at you.

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  • Colin
  • 10-26-18

The best career workshop you ever attended...

This book is simply remarkable. From the outset, author Philip Carlson grabs your attention and doesn't let go for one second.

Told from the point-of-view of a Talent Agent, the focus of this book is not how to be an actor, but how to approach the business of creating an acting career, which Carlson covers via a series of pseudo-workshops, in which he takes an imaginary group of students through the challenges of working in the modern world of Theatre, TV and Film. He discusses and explains the various pitfalls and strategies to Getting an Agent; How to behave at an Audition; Securing your next Job: Using Social Media; and many, many more.

Every chapter is gold-dust, and although primarily aimed at young actors on the verge of their working life, the subjects covered resonated very much with my 60yr-old actor's brain, and have already made me revise my approach to the whole business of finding work.

His teaching style is direct but supportive, so that even when the student's approach is flawed, he can suggest alternatives to make this more effective without making them feel bad.

If I have one slight observation, it's that this book is almost wholly US-focussed, focussing on New York for theatre, and Los Angeles for TV and film. London theatre gets a mention now and then, but that's about it. That slight niggle aside, this is easily one of the best books I've ever listened to.

Overall, this book really gave me pause for thought, and made me re-assess my current approach to the acting profession. That said, many of Carlson's ideas and strategies translate easily into other industries; Know your market and your place in it; Understand where you want to go, and be honest with yourself; Realise the areas you cannot go and concentrate on those where you can make an impact.

Highly recommended for any aspiring actor or performer

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-18

Gerli

Great book when you are starting your career in Acting. Inspiring and very logical explaining all the necessary and unnecessary in the industry.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-18

Helpful on a level I never imagined.

This book has changed my entire way of thinking. It's something that I'll use throughout my career. Priceless information.