Thursday, December 21, 2017



Author: Marissa Thompson

Publisher: Harlequin

Pages: 436

Genre: Humor/Fiction


Thomas offers readers an inside view of one young woman’s journey to fulfill
her dream of becoming an actor. The personal and humorous story of Lisa reveals
the often difficult and inspiring process of navigating the entertainment
The acting bug bit Lisa during her first
elementary school talent show. After receiving positive reviews for her
performance from her fellow students and impressed parents alike, Lisa basked
in the high she felt from being on stage. She ventured further into the acting
world as a teenager when she enrolled in a twelve-week acting program. Although
plagued with some doubt about her potential to become an actor, the experience
reignited the spark that had originally lead her down the road of performance.

HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD follows the staggered path that Lisa took
on her journey to achieve her acting dream. Her love for acting expanded when
Lisa entered college and began auditioning for plays produced by the theater
department. Reassured by the exhilaration she felt while acting, Lisa made the
decision to leave her home and move to Hollywood to pursue her passion, but
first she had to tie up a few loose ends. After a whirlwind romance with a
fellow student, Lisa found herself moving into her own apartment while juggling
school and work, as well as taking the steps to fill out her acting resume. A
car accident that resulted in serious physical injuries led to a slowdown in
her momentum. However, Lisa’s best friend, Mike, who already had a solid plan
to move to Hollywood, gave her the encouragement she needed to overcome
multiple obstacles so that she could move forward with her goal.

to give “anyone curious about Hollywood culture another point of view from
someone coming from a completely different world, aka the Midwest, taking the
plunge, and immersing herself in a new life.” Marissa says the book is “the
story of my life. I can’t tell anyone any surefire methods of getting cast for
your dream project. I’m just sharing my life experience. Anyone with a
relentless dream has to find sanity in the limbo between a self-motivated
fantasy career and the harshness of having to survive real life in the process.
We’re all human, and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Set a goal, and break a


| Barnes
& Noble

Book Excerpt:

“I’m glad you get to come to
opening night of the play,” I said to my boyfriend, casually, while we started
digging into our boxed dinner.
“I know. I’m glad, too.
You’ve been working hard, and it seems pretty important to you,” he replied.
“It is. We’ve all been working on
it for months,” I reminded him.
“Well, is it because you’ve been
spending all this time on it, or is it because it’s something you really want
to do?” he asked.
It seemed like a very obvious
question. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Why do we put all the time and
effort into projects like this? Projects that don’t provide a paycheck, cause
us to rearrange our schedules, and even add stress due to the unwritten
requirement to provide a quality performance. He really made me think. It
wasn’t even a conscious decision on my part. I welcomed the chaos of the
production into my life. The answer to his question was as obvious as the soy
sauce on the egg rolls.
My mind started to wander. I almost
felt like I was becoming a part of an actors’ anonymous group and professing my
addiction. My name is Lisa, and I’m an actress. I could picture the
scene:  Beautiful people sitting in a circle, each of them with a
monologue in hand. And everyone waiting his or her turn to speak about the
repercussions, good and bad, that the industry has had their lives. It was like
a support group, to help each other through the bad auditions, drop hints about
where to find the legit ones, and tips on how to nail them. Who knew how true
that statement was? After a brief moment of fantasy, I was back to reality.
“I do. I really want to do it.” I
turned back to my food and continued eating. “It’s something I want to pursue.”
It felt good to say it out loud, and to admit it to myself.

About the Author

Marissa Thomas left her home in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue her dream of acting in Hollywood. Without
industry contacts, she had to educate herself about the business. In How Not
to Succeed in Hollywood
, Marissa shares her experiences, both good and bad.
In addition to writing, Marissa is a
licensed hair stylist. She also enjoys painting and produced the artwork for
the cover of How
Not to Succeed in Hollywood.

Interview with Marissa Thompson

How did you come up with name of this book?
While doing hair, small talk would lead first time clients to ask questions about my experience, where I was originally from, etc.  Talking about taking a break from hair and living in LA, the next question was always about whether I had stories to tell about sets and actors.  The response to my stories, was that I should write a book.  I’d tell them that the idea sounded good, but the only title I could think of was How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.  From there, I used the title, and simply had to write the story.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
While writing, I was picturing the story playing out like a film.  And there’s almost always a soundtrack or background noise going in a film.  That might be the reason I do like to have the television or music on when I’m writing.

What do you feel you can accomplish with this book?
By telling my story, other people aspiring to pursue the same goals in the entertainment industry can see how I’ve been trying to do it.  If they can learn from it, or be inspired by it, that’s great.  But I can make anyone reading my book laugh a few times, then I’ve accomplished one goal of being an entertainer.

What is your next project?
There are so many different directions I can take the story.  You never know what can happen!




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