Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Act As If

Readers of Living Vicuriously will hear it first: my new book is almost finished.

This is a bit of a lie, it's not like I wrote the whole thing this summer. That wouldn't be a good book, not from me, because it takes me time to get it right. If I tell you I wrote something last week and I'd like you to read it, just smile and say, "Sorry, I have some emergency knitting to do."

But this book took time. It's based on a series of columns I wrote from 2004-2008, called "Act As If." "Act As If" appeared (and still does, occasionally), in the ActorsInk enewsletter from NowCasting.com. It's directed at actors, as if you haven't figured that out yet.

Comedy and tragedy are closely linked. Really, you can take the same situation and look at it from either angle and be right. "Act As If" was a humor column, and I've put the best columns in the book, edited them and brought them up to date. It's short, light reading, but don't read it while you're waiting for an audition.

I wrote mostly funny stories about my acting career, which wasn't exactly tragic but wasn't exactly triumphant either. The same things happen to all actors - bad auditions, forgotten lines, museum-quality parking ticket collections -  and we'd better learn to laugh about them or waiters and baristas everywhere will be sobbing into your iced latte. The last time I saw a statistic, only 2% of the actors in Hollywood were actually making a living. That doesn't mean they were stars. And that was only union members, back when the economy was good.

I hope to have the book ready later this fall. We're working on a cover. Plus I'll need some blurbs. Do you have Jim Carrey's number? How about David Mamet? Harrison Ford? Jennifer Aniston?

I know. You have some knitting to do.

26 comments:

dive said...

Oooo! Oooo! Ooooo!
I WAAAAANT one!
Please tell me it will be available in printed form so that it can snuggle up beside C&V on my shelves.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

what's the ruler for?

Petrea Burchard said...

Dive, do you really want a print book?
Never mind. Of course you do. I hadn't planned on doing print for this one, but if I get enough requests I will.

PA, I don't remember. There were a few things on the table and I grabbed a picture of the clapboard, and the ruler was just there.

John Sandel said...

The ruler is for:

a. Long takes

b. The straight man in the scene

c. When an actor forgets his … line

Trish said...

To quote a song by Terri Clark:
I could wash my car in the rain. Change my new guitar strings. Mow the yard just the same as I did yesterday...Check the air in my tires. Straighten my stereo wires. Count the stars in the sky..."

Emergency knitting? If I ever give you that excuse, you know I'm lying!

OTOH, if you've written something so quickly, I'm sure the reading won't take too long for me to respond as a teacher of mine often said "How about you take this back and give a try at making this work?". Nah, I suspect even your "drek" is decent enough to turn in.

Would look forward to reading your work. Am learning to read books online or on a device. Still prefer the paper I can pick up and take with me when I don't want to have something electronic in hand, but I do understand that makes me somewhat of a Luddite and I'm trying to keep up with the times.

Trish said...

@John-lol! riiiight!

Trish said...

and PA, not too many people know that badge and probably only a few of us actually earned one many years ago!

Petrea Burchard said...

JS: Oy.

Trish, don't forget Camelot & Vine, available in ebook and paperback. It makes a nice gift!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

thats the kind of answer I was looking for JS

TheChieftess said...

Looking forward to this one too!!! And may I submit my vote for a paperback???

Trish and PA...we must be sisters of the GS heart!!! Either that or we're all old enough to remember our badges from the days when GS was cool!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

I have no idea what you guys are talking about, Girl Scout-wise. John was in Girl Scouts, but I wasn't.

Trish said...

@Petrea-I have an electronic copy of C&V, given several other e or real copies to folks. And tell John he's not the only cross-scouter---I was a Boy Scout for a while along with Girl Scout. Am sure our stories are similarly interesting.

@Chieftess---I think we are ALL old enough to remember the GS badge.

altadenahiker said...

An e-book? Sounds like a great collection.

As for blurbs, didn't Julie Harris have something ever so nice to say?

Petrea Burchard said...

You go, Trish. I had no idea, thank you.

Karin, surely Julie Harris said nice things, but not to me. I'd remember.

Margaret said...

I can't wait. I'm not an actor, but I know I'll love your stories.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Margaret. I hope a lot of people do.

Jean Spitzer said...

Looking forward to reading these stories. E book is fine, I am getting used to them, though still love the paper variety.

Petrea Burchard said...

I may be off, but it looks like we have about 25% requests for a paperback. I'll keep my mind open.

Ms M said...

Sound like an interesting read! (e-book format, Amazon, works for me)

Bellis said...

Essential laughter and advice for all the wannabee actors arriving in LA. I'll keep an eye on their laptop screens in Starbucks, where I bet they'll be reading it. Looking forward to the piece about your museum-quality parking ticket collection.

You've been so busy over the summer. When are you going to take some vacation?



Petrea Burchard said...

Actually, I had to take that piece out, Bellis. It was too hostile.

We might take a vacation after school starts. Summer vacation places are often crowded, and since we have the option we prefer September and October for getting out of town.

Dina said...

You have been in a frenzy of work for so long. But I see it pays off. Another book!
Please, though, take that vacation.

Susan Campisi said...

That's so exciting, P! Can't wait to read it.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, everyone. I admit I want the vacation, though.

LONDONLULU said...

Oooh, how exciting, Petrea! What a great new chapter for you (Oh, I'm finally (sorta) settled back in one place and can't wait to get cracking on C&V!! :))))

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm glad you're settled, Lulu. I hope you enjoy Camelot & Vine!