“From Start to Stardom” by Lisa London – Review
Thousands of teenagers come to Hollywood every year in the hopes of launching a successful show business career. Only a small handful ever establish themselves, despite so many possessing tremendous talent in acting, music, dance and related skills.
So what is missing for the rest of them?
Apart from the fact that there is an incredible amount of competition, there is a dearth of factual, practical information on how the business of Hollywood actually works. So young people and their parents end up listening to well-meaning friends who are misinformed, which leads to them spinning their wheels and getting discouraged. Or worse, they get taken for thousands of dollars by unscrupulous players who promise lucrative jobs but are in no position to truly deliver even if they wanted to.
Enter veteran casting director Lisa London’s From Start to Stardom – The Casting Director’s Guide for Aspiring Actors.
Being involved myself in Hollywood for the past 5 years in everything from from directing, casting, screenwriting, producing my own short film and web series, co-managing three child/teen actors, as well as co-writing a book covering many of the same topics Lisa does, I feel qualified to speak my opinion about this book.
And it is no exaggeration to say that every single young performer seeking employment in the Hollywood machine needs to own a copy of From Start to Stardom. It should be considered the standard against which other books of this nature should be measured due to its comprehensiveness, timeliness, and accuracy. This is how Hollywood works! For those who already have children in “the biz” for some time, this book will validate all the things you are doing right, and will provide some insight into the things you might want to start tweaking for better results.
Here are some highlights:
- Features an extremely timely interview with Sabrina Carpenter (who we have interviewed several times on Teens Wanna Know). Her show Girl Meets World began airing just a few months ago, and the answers from her and her mom provide a glimpse of the reality of the business almost in real time. They share exactly how they went from sending in video auditions from across the country to landing in Hollywood and the process that led her to scoring her most important role.
- Workbook pages with practical activities to get business sense juices flowing.
- Complete template, with detailed instructions on exactly how to create your resume.
- Explanation of what makes a great headshot, with examples.
- Advice on finding an agent.
- How to get auditions.
- What to do when you are “in the room” with real life anecdotes.
- Written by an actively working Hollywood professional, who has discovered or cast early in their careers such notable talent as Miley Cyrus, Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, Katherine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Selena Gomez and Mariska Hargitay.
To sum up: many books and classes deal with the craft of acting, but few deal with the business side as well as this one does. Highly recommended.
Teens Wanna Know Rating: 10 out of 10. Buy this book if you want to act professionally.