Make It Your Business

How To Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor

"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 (Rent, Wicked, Sex & The City)

(Video above: Excerpt from an interview with Paul Russell
about ACTING: Make It Your Business.
Press Start; video will play in 5 seconds.)

Published by Back Stage Books (a division of Random House) and written by award-wining casting director, director and former actor, Paul Russell, ACTING: Make It Your Business is the NEW, first and only, truly blunt industry-insight how to book for actors on how to survive and thrive as a professional, working actor and pursue acting as a business. Pros and stars of Broadway and Hollywood speak out. Required reading at many schools including NYU!

Reviews | About The Book | About Paul


"Paul's book
made me proud

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

-- KAREN ZIEMBA, actress
Tony & Drama Desk award-winner

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 (Ragtime B'way), playwright, teacher

ACTING: Make It Your Business

An imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications a division of Crown Publishing Group /
Random House


About the book...Best Acting Book: ACTING Make It Your

"All the right questions asked and answered
and with a generous
portion of good humor."

--SUZANNE RYAN, casting director
(Law & Order)


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.


"Illuminating and
eye opening.
sense of humor,
perspective and practical advice is a joy. A 'must
' for anyone in the
business... ."

B'way & film casting director

The best-selling, blunt, acting book for actors featuring up to date info on:

  • How to Improve Audition & Interview techniques

  • How to Find & Work With a Talent Agent

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

  • Best Actor Training: The Industry Approved Schools

  • Actor Marketing for The Digital Age

Fifteen chapters including advice from well-known Broadway actors, LA screen stars, power talent agents, and casting director Paul Russell. All offering in-depth guidance on how to be a better working actor.

Chapter titles...



Introduction: Cows & Greasepaint - 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

Read Excerpt | Reviews

"I love this book!
Paul's book tells you
what you don't want to
hear but you really need to
know. Every actor should
read this book!"

--DIANE RILEY, talent agency partner
Harden-Curtis & Associates

"Paul Russell's
words are not only
blunt and accurate
they zero in on all the
questions every actor
wants to know but is
afraid to ask."

talent agency owner
Bret Adams, Ltd.

About the author...

how to be a working actor

Paul 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.

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.

"A necessity
for any actor .

Read it again and again.
and learn. "

--RICHARD ROSE, artistic director
Barter Theatre (Tony Award recipient)

"I'm a huge fan of
your book; it is how I
got my agent.

I refer many friends seeking
repsentation to read your
book first!"


Paul Russell has guest lectured at universities and colleges nationwide including:

  • Temple University
  • The University of The Arts
  • Northeastern University
  • James Madison University
  • Elon University

And on the campuses of NYU, Boston University, DePaul University and the University of Pennsylvania. His national book launch tour included Barnes & Nobles Booksellers in New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

ACTING: Make It Your Business at Barnes & Noble, Clifton
(Above: Paul Russell on his
ACTING: Make It Your Business book launch tour)

Click on Image Below
To Order Now


ACTING: Make It Your Business is published by BackStage Books a division of Random House; Crown Publishing Group

"Full of great
, examples,
anecdotes, laughs - yes,
laughs - and a real heartfelt concern to make a
difference for actors.
Thanks Paul!"

-- EINAR GUNN, actor

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