‘You are an actor. You have worked hard to be an actor. You have made a considerable outlay, financially or emotionally, and often both, to do this. So do it. Do it with style. Do it wholeheartedly. Do it every day. Be a working actor.’
Being a working actor isn’t just about the days you spend rehearsing or performing. It’s about approaching your chosen occupation with dedication, energy and focus, so that you always think of yourself as an actor – especially on those days when you’re not acting – and that every single day you do something, however small, to help further your career.
Written by the Chairman of the Actors Centre, with over forty years’ experience as an actor himself, The Working Actor is the essential guide to putting yourself in the best possible position to get work, to keep getting it, and to make a living from it. It covers a comprehensive range of topics including:
- Finding work: the types of jobs on offer, how to track them down, working with your agent
- Landing the job: nailing auditions and meetings (and how they can go wrong), writing a winning letter
- Promoting yourself: compiling a showreel, building your website, choosing (and resembling!) your headshots, networking both on- and offline
- Supporting yourself: choosing a suitable day job, joining Equity, staying positive, avoiding feeling isolated
Each chapter features a work task to inspire you to reflect on what you’ve learned and to put your knowledge into practice. By the end of the book, armed with your own personal Working Actor Plan, you’ll be ready to find your path in the industry, manage your career, and maximise your potential.
The Working Actor is an inspiring, reassuring book for actors of all ages and backgrounds – from recent graduates, to more experienced professionals – who want to take their career to the next level. It won’t teach you how to act – but it will teach you how to be an actor.
‘Paul Clayton’s great experience as a working actor shines through these pages. His passion for our profession remains undimmed, but he doesn’t disguise the pitfalls and doldrums that are an inevitable part of an actor’s life. Paul’s book is an essential companion to anyone starting out, and pretty damn useful to those already out there. I only wish he’d written it forty years ago.’ Alex Jennings
‘The most comprehensive, informed and practical advice on the job of acting you are likely to find.’ Paul Clarkson, Head of Acting, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
‘If you need advice as an aspiring actor, Paul Clayton is the man to go to. A must-have – and a good read too!’ Anita Dobson
‘The Working Actor has provided me with a plethora of substantial, stimulating and positive suggestions to further enhance my career opportunities and has left me feeling revitalised with energy and enthusiasm for my craft. For this, I have the inspirational Paul Clayton to thank… written with panache and gusto, Clayton’s wealth of knowledge, expertise and humour is perfectly sewn together and serves as an essential guide for those new to the business as well as a valuable reminder for those already in the industry’
— Word Matters (Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama)
‘What every actor needs… Clayton’s advice glitters with experience’
— The Stage
‘From the outset Clayton is honest and realistic… I particularly enjoyed how personal The Working Actor is alongside being an essential handbook… highly recommended: a refreshing read and an invaluable tool for the trained actor’
— Drama Magazine