ACTING: Make It Your Business

How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor

ACTING: Make It Your Business puts the power to land jobs and thrive in any medium – stage, film, TV, or the Internet – directly into the hands of the actor. Well-known actors, powerful agents of Broadway and Hollywood make cameos throughout, offering newcomers and working professionals alike a clear-eyed, uncensored perspective on survival and advancement in the entertainment industry.

ACTING: Make It Your Business is required reading at many universities including: NYU, Millikin, Elon and numerous more industry-respected schools of the performing arts.

ACTING: Make It Your Business has been making the business of acting, getting & keeping agents and landing acting jobs more successful and plentiful for actors.

"Humorous and witty...

Actors everywhere who are trying to succeed in the business, young or old, on stage or on camera, in New York or anywhere in the world, take note:

This is your roadmap!"

-- BERNARD TELSEY, casting director
(NBC's Sound of Music - Live!, Smash, Wicked, Sex & The City)

insightful, well-written.

Paul Russell has a keen eye, razor-sharp insight and a big heart. I urge all actors young and old to read this book!"

TONY® nominated director, playwright & arts instructor

About ACTING: Make It Your Business

Fifteen illustrated chapters including advice from well-known Broadway actors, LA screen stars, power talent agents, and casting director, director and Back Stage contributor Paul Russell, who began his entertainment career as a successful, continuously working actor. Exclusive in-depth guidance for artists on perfecting and improving the building blocks of a stronger acting career.

This best-selling, blunt, acting book -- available in both digital and hard copy editions -- for actors features up-to-date info on:

--SUZANNE RYAN, casting director
(666 Park Ave., Law & Order)
  • How to Improve Audition Techniques & Organic Acting

  • Strengthen Skills for when Meeting Casting, Directors, Producers and Talent Representatives

  • How to Secure a Thriving Relationship With a Talent Agent

  • The Business of Acting: How to Be A Continual Working Actor

  • Where's the Best Actor Training: The Industry Approved Schools

  • Modernize Actor Marketing for the Digital Age

  • How To Negotiate Contracts Fearlessly

  • Discover How Stars and Creatives Cope with Success & Persevere Challenges

Department Chair
Department of Theatre
Chapman University

Chapter titles...


Introduction: Cows & Greasepaint - A Journey Begins

  1. Working Actors Speak Out: Candor & The Business

  2. Being an Actor: A Tough Love

  3. Training for the Actor: Tend Your Dreams

  4. The Picture and Resume: An Actor's Business Card

  5. Cover Letters: Covering Your Assets

  6. Actor Marketing: Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd

  7. Auditions Actors Encounter: Are Your Auditions Safe?

  8. Audition Preparation: Be First, First

  9. Audition Strategies: Leaving a Lasting Impression

  10. Negotiating the Contract: Get It On Paper

  11. Rejection: "Thanks for Coming in..."

  12. Agents: An Introduction

  13. Agents: Finding One

  14. Agents: Keeping One

  15. Exit Lines: Parting Advice

--DIANE RILEY, Senior Talent Agent
Harden-Curtis & Associates
--KEN MELAMED,Talent Agency Owner
Bret Adams, Ltd.

About the author...



Paul RussellPaul Russell's career as a casting director, director, and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios (20th Century Fox, Warner Bros), television networks (NBC, CBS, HBO), Broadway, and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers directing at TONY® award-winning theaters. Some of the many talented individuals he has worked with include: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Anniston, Cynthia Nixon, and Bill Cosby.

He has been on faculty as part of the NYU-Tisch program at the Atlantic Theatre Company School and has taught master classes on over a dozen campuses of major universities including; Yale, Rutgers, Elon, and Temple University.

When not behind an audition table or guiding actors in a rehearsal you’ll find Paul on a distant road exploring places new and familiar; preferably on his way to the Pine Barrens of South Jersey or to the nearest roller coaster. Paul lives in a small, Jersey town with many trees, quiet streets, and his two rambunctious cats that he parents with his partner.

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"Paul's book made me proud

to be a part of this community we call 'show'."

-- KAREN ZIEMBA, actress
TONY® & Drama Desk Award-Winner

"This book is a necessity for any actor, young or old, who is in the business or hopes to be in the business. READ IT."

-- RICHARD ROSE, Producing Artistic Director
Barter Theatre
(TONY-award recipient for excellence in regional theater)

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