As I’ve mentioned many, many times before, it’s really great to be a book reviewer. I get proposals from aspiring authors from all over the world, from New Zealand to Peru. The sheer amount of talent in the world is magnificent, and I’m given the opportunity to review these works? Outstanding.
Nicole Comer’s witty and hilarious “Acting…It’s Not For Sissies” is one of the funniest books I’ve read in dog years. It’s not a manual on how to act. It’s also not a step-by-step playbook on how to method act. Instead, Comer’s book is a easy-to-read piece on what showbiz is really all about, all the while throwing in tidbits of advice that Comer herself has learned along the way.
Comer uses personal stories to present an insider’s view on the climb to fame and a true love for the difficult art of being an actor. She doesn’t sugar coat things either. It’s a really, really difficult industry to break into, and once you’ve made the incredibly fortunate foray into the world of Hollywood glamour, there is no guarantee that is where you’ll stay (sorry, Renee Zellweger). The book seems to be written for those who are truly devoted to being a successful actor, despite all of the obvious pitfalls that are rolled up into that archetype. It’s a clever expose for those who may have an idealized version of Hollywood and the incorrect perception that it’s an easy egg to break.
What makes Comer’s book so relevant is that she’s lived through every single anecdote she writes so astutely about. She’s worn many hats, from actor to coach. Her words are real and true, giving the more lighthearted components of the book a deeper resonance.
Having graduated from film school myself (albeit not in a performing capacity but a critical one), I appreciate Comer’s words on a different level. I can contextualize her commentaries on acting styles and going outside of one’s comfort zone into films that have been deemed edgy or controversial, not necessarily for the subject matter, but for an actor’s portrayal of a certain role.
Comer is wise and accessible. She carefully walks the line of being informative and inspirational without being preachy or overbearing. It’s clear from the very first word that Comer just wants to share her experience in the world of glass houses, and should an aspiring actor decide to pick up a rock to throw now and then, they have to be ready to able to deal with the aftermath that may be involved.