The Total Actor

A Guide to Survival, Success, and Heritage

About The Book

“Mari Lyn offers sage advice.” —Joe Mantegna, Tony Award–winning actor and star of Criminal Minds

How to Build an Acting Career and Thrive on Stage

The Total Actor is filled with advice on everything a theater actor needs, from preparing for a career on the stage and auditioning to continued growth and exploration. In this honest reexamination of the actor’s journey, veteran actor, casting executive, talent manager, image consultant, and theater historian, Mari Lyn Henry, takes readers on a tour of the craft’s rich history and its transformation over the centuries. Profiles of great figures in theater and their contributions to developing the profession, acting styles, and teaching methods provide invaluable lessons to modern actors.

Offering an insider’s guide on pathways to success and achieving professional longevity, Henry’s approach is best described in her own words: “The most important part of any career is preparation, which is connected to career intelligence, investigation, research, having a plan, and importantly, believing in your talent.” Enlightening chapters prepare readers for every challenge and obstacle along the way with topics such as:

  • An appreciation of the history of theater
  • Learning to stand on the shoulders of acting giants
  • Exploring the call to acting
  • The importance of training
  • Marketing skills
  • Managing self-image
  • Preparing a resume and cover note
  • Interview etiquette
  • Tips for successful auditions
  • Achieving success and staying power
  • And much more
Sprinkled throughout the chapters are thought-provoking questionnaires, designed to examine the reader’s strengths and define abilities, lifestyle preferences, and survival strategies between engagements. Every actor, whether just starting out or already established, will benefit from Henry’s hard-won and heartfelt advice as she educates, uplifts, entertains, and shares her own experiences, alongside inspiring quotes and anecdotes of stars past and present.

Raves and Reviews

“Mari Lyn’s new book is aptly titled. Getting a job in the entertainment industry is one thing; creating a successful life-long career is something else entirely. Once again Mari Lyn offers sage advice as to how to best make that a reality.” —Joe Mantegna, Tony Award–winning actor and star of Criminal Minds

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