A working actress shares her positive approach to pursuing an acting career in this debut memoir/self-help guide.
Riker, perhaps best known as a TV series regular on Brothers and Get a Life, believes in the power of accentuating the positive. “Your state of mind is the most important tool you have in this town,” she writes, one of many affirming tips put in bright yellow boxes within a running text recounting her successfully sustained acting career. Her advice includes celebrating landing an audition, staying upbeat when asked how things are going (“Great! Luckily, I’ve been keeping real busy”), and cultivating an “en-cour-age” network of friends and steering clear of “soul eaters,” including energy-draining unhappy and/or competitive actors. Riker recommends being nice to everyone on the set after scoring a role and trusting your instincts. She shares her own experiences regarding the latter, including leaving a top but less-than-supportive talent agency (which led to better representation and a TV series gig), moving to New York to focus on theater work when she was stuck in her career (earning her awards and new connections), and taking advantage of new media (she’s done motion-capture video work for video games). “You’ll feel better about yourself in the long run,” Riker writes, “if you do what your heart tells you is right.” Riker’s positive spirit is infectious, making this book an enjoyable and motivating read. She offers a charming, humorous insider’s insight into what she affectionately terms “Hollyweird.” Her narrative is also entertaining for its behind-the scenes details, including its celebrity mentions of David Letterman and Charlie Sheen. While a promoter of positivity, Riker is not an annoying Pollyanna; she also delivers down-to-earth details about managing finances and admits to her own moments of despair and envy. As Riker herself notes, her book also has its limits; it’s not about acting or “how-to-break-into showbiz.” Still, her guiding philosophy remains inspiring and one that readers would do well to adopt.
Upbeat, practical advice for those seeking
sanity and staying power in their lives and careers.