Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

17 January

Book of the day

selfmgmtactorsSelf-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business
(4th edition)
Bonnie Gillespie
(UK: Cricket Feet, 2014; USA: Cricket Feet, 2014)

No other book for actors focuses so succinctly on the business of self-management. Whether an actor has an agent or manager or is building toward assembling that team, Self-Management for Actors will provide a roadmap for surviving – and thriving – in the entertainment industry.

There is nothing magic or even a little mystical about the business side of the business. There is, however, a cloak of protection around some industry information. The good news is, ‘the edge’ that actors are seeking is in your hands already. Knowing your type, researching the target buyers of that primary type, staying on the radar in organic and meaningful ways, producing your own content to showcase what you do effortlessly, and learning how to network like a ninja is all within your control. Sure, there’s work involved, but once you come at it from a place of owning your ‘bullseye’, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like living your dreams.

These self-management principles are simple, accessible, and do-able. No silly ‘actor busy work’ here; SMFA is about balancing your creative fire with the organisational skills that will allow you to navigate this business without ‘leading from need’, as so many actors tend to do. Peppered with real-world examples from working actors and behind-the-desk advice from industry pros, Self-Management for Actors has quickly become the most well-worn book on every actor’s bookshelf.

Author Bonnie Gillespie has taught the SMFA principles all over the world, helping actors navigate tier-jumps from the very beginnings of their creative careers on up through crafting that first acceptance speech! With a pocket companion guide and interactive support, this book is an actor’s best friend. It’s Hollywood grad school in book form.

Recommended by:
Liza van der Smissen, Actor, Dancer and Producer, Liza van der Smissen (professional website)

Liza is a rising star of stage and screen (e.g. IMDb). When she is not performing, she produces films and manages prestigious events. Liza is the project manager for the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign, including the Jolabokaflod Gala Party at the Hotel Café Royal that took place in February 2017.

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine, or via Amazon (Self-Management for Actors)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Self-Management for Actors)

Bonnie Gillespie featured in the Backstage ‘Best of Los Angeles’ issue for her casting and writing. Her erstwhile weekly column, ‘The Actors Voice’, can be found at Actors Access and her former podcast series, The Work, is available for free at iTunes. Self-Management for Actors was named one of ‘The Top Ten Best Books on Acting Ever Written‘ in a 2011 article published on the Actors & Crew blog

Bonnie facilitates seminars based on her books and has demystified the casting process and the business side of pursuing an artistic career as a guest instructor at colleges, universities, and private acting studios all over the world. You can visit her eponymous website at Her other book titles are:
Casting Qs, 2003 (UK: ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon: UK | USA)
SMFA: The Ninja Within, 2013 (UK: ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon: UK | USA)
Acting Qs, 2015 (UK: ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon: UK | USA)


Liza (photo credit: Chau Nguyen)

Facts of the day

17 January

1912 Captain Robert Scott’s expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after that of his rival, Roald Amundsen.

New Year

In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, some families stuff a large doll, which is called ‘Mr Old Year’, with memories from the previous 12 months. They also dress him in clothes from the outgoing year. At midnight, he is set ablaze, thus burning away the bad memories.


Apparently the reason why the Hagrid character in the Harry Potter books was gruff and rode a motorcycle, is because he was based on a Hell’s Angels biker J K Rowling once knew.

Writers birthdays

1600 Pedro Calderón de la Barca (Spain)
1771 Charles Brockden Brown (USA)
1814 Ellen Wood (UK)
1820 Anne Brontë (UK)
1835 Antanas Baranauskas (Lithuania)
1858 Tomás Carrasquilla (Colombia)
1875 Florencio Sánchez (Uruguay)
1876 Olga Fastrová (Czech Republic)
1877 May Gibbs (UK, Australia)
1886 Ronald Firbank (UK)
1899 Nevil Shute (UK)
1899 Roel Houwink (The Netherlands)
1901 Aron Gurwitsch (Lithuania)
1903 Jyoti Prasad Agarwala (India)
1925 Robert Cormier (USA)
1935 Paul O Williams (USA)
1938 John Bellairs (USA)
1940 Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali (South Africa)
1945 Javed Akhtar (India)
1950 Luis López Nieves (Puerto Rico)
1960 Ann Nocenti (USA)
1961 Brian Helgeland (USA)
1962 Sebastian Junger (USA)
1968 Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (The Netherlands)

Jokes of the day

Q: Why did the scarecrow win a medal?
A: Because he was outstanding in his field

Cartoon: Various, Cartoons on January sales, CartoonStock

Quote of the day

Seth Godin: ‘Marketing tells a story that spreads. Sales overcomes the natural resistance to say yes.’