Book Review: The Savvy Actor Career Manual
The Savvy Actor Career Manual bills itself as ‘The Most Comprehensive Actor’s Business Guide Ever’ and while that’s a pretty big claim, I have to say if it isn’t, it gets pretty close.
It’s written by Jodie Bentley and Kevin Urban, both actors themselves so you know this isn’t some dreck that someone is trying to peddle to gullible actors. They live this manual and have seen results. And plus, after reading this, they truly want you to succeed.
The manual comes in a big 3-ring binder with tabs to sort out the 8 sections; Long Term Vision, Goals, Branding, Marketing and 4 others. Each section goes deep into helping you create your business.
Since it’s also a workbook, it also comes complete with spreadsheets, charts, sample cover letters and more (all of which you can also download to use and re-use).
At the beginning, the idea is for you to start thinking of acting as a business (which if you’re not already, you should). So, they begin with helping you create a long-term vision. They have self-evaluations, milestones (from 6 months to 20 years) that you write down in detail. After that, they make you promise – in your own declaration – that you will follow what you have just written.
Next is the goals section and believe me, if you don’t have solid goals (beyond the ‘Be on a TV show!’ goal), life tends to get in the way and you end up floating. Again, they go so deep into this that by the time you’re finished, you’re motivation scale should be through the roof.
After the Branding section (where they help you find and narrow down your type), we get to the biggest chunk of the manual, Marketing. Lets face it, if you don’t market yourself, you’re not going to succeed. This portion literally goes over everything – from headshots & resumes, social networking sites, agent meeting questions, cover letters and postcard examples and more. They’ve seriously thought of everything. This alone might be well, worth the cover price.
They rest of the chapters; support systems, finances, organizational systems and finally, resources share the same in-depth analysis work that the previous chapters have.
If you do the work, I could totally see this helping any actor. But you have to do the work. If you do, it’s well worth the money. Most of us are lazy, so putting pen-to-paper is the only stumbling block I can see for this.
Just going through this myself was a huge motivation factor for me. It made me reevaluate some things I was doing and gave me a lot of great ideas for things I want to accomplish.
I recommend you give it a try!