Book Review – Breaking and Entering – A Manual for the Working Actor – Philip Carlson

BREAKING AND ENTERING: A Manual for the Working Actor – Philip Carlson (Opus Books – ISBN: 978-1-62316-078-4)

Philip Carlson was the first agent to sign Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Kyra Sedgwick, Adrian Grenier and Paul Giamatti. He has represented Viola Davis, Kathy Bates, Brian Dennehy, and William H. Macy, among many others.

In this wonderful book, he shares his secrets of the highs and lows of getting into the entertainment business. Okay, the book is very much orientated towards the American system of showbusiness, but much of it can translate very easily into the entertainment business in the UK too.

I loved this book from the moment I picked it up to the very end – in fact, I didn’t want it to end at all. Most of these types of books are very dry and make you long for the last page so you can throw it away and never pick it up again. This is different. It is written with humour and just the right level of ‘I’ll let you into a secret’ spilling of beans!

The book is broken into topics, including: The Schools; The Business; Showcases; Casting Directors; Agents; Auditions; Which Coast; Producers; Staying Real; Where Do I Fit?; Movies; TV; Where the Real Money Is (These Days); and that’s just a few of them!

I would love to have been given this book when I was starting out in the business all those myriad years ago. I highly recommend it, not only to people starting out, but those of us who have been through the mill. It is an interesting, well-written and compelling read.

Nick Wakeham

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