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by Tommy G. Kendrick



“Tommy, what a fantastic interview! I re-tweeted it. It really is great. I want all my actor friends to hear this.” Benjamin Dane, Actor-Producer

Use the banner link below to get the audio version of ONE LESS BITTER ACTOR for FREE with a trial subscription to Cancel within 30 Days if you want to and there’s no charge. You keep the audio book

This episode of Actors Talk Podcast features an interview with actor-teacher-writer Markus Flanagan. I had actually forgotten that I had previously written a review of Flanagan’s book on my former blog, Still Acting After All These Years. That review was published on May 4, 2008. I was reminded of that fact several weeks back when the publicist for Rick Lenz’ book North of Hollywood (see episode 011 of this podcast) contacted me about reviewing Lenz’ book.

One Less Bitter Actor

Cover: One Less Bitter Actor

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I was subsequently able to read North of Hollywood and interview Rick Lenz for this podcast. And that contact drew my attention back to One Less Bitter Actor.

I recently contacted Markus Flanagan about the possibility of interviewing him and discussing his book for this podcast. He was amenable to that suggestion and this episode of Actors Talk Podcast is the result of that discussion via Skype on April 11, 2012.

As I began to put together show notes for this podcast, I revisited my original review of One Less Bitter Actor and upon reading it, decided that I should cut to the chase and use my existing review as my show notes for the podcast.

So here is my review of One Less Bitter Actor. I hope you enjoy the review and the podcast as much as I have enjoyed putting this episode together.

God bless you and keep the faith!

First let me dispel a few myths. “Auditions are about finding the best actor for the job.” Get that out of your head.
And conversely, “I didn’t get the job, so I must not have been good.” Very, very wrong-get that out of your head immediately!

So begins Actor Markus Flanagan’s book, ONE LESS BITTER ACTOR, THE ACTOR’S SURVIVAL GUIDE. This is a book that is filled with information and insight that it has taken me decades to figure out for myself…the hard way.

Just the chapter on Auditioning is more than enough reason to purchase ONE LESS BITTER ACTOR. How I wish I’d had this book thirty years ago. I had no mentor, no acting guru and no relative in the business. The information and insight in this one chapter could have saved me a lot of angst, anger and agony along the way.

And it is a book that every actor, particularly every actor at the beginning of his/her career should read and should keep handy for review during the tough times.

Flanagan uses personal experiences from his successful acting career…twenty years and counting…to offer pointers on topics that every actor will find useful:

* How do you combat getting typed?
* Understanding the people you are auditioning for
* Bad habits to avoid in the audition waiting room
* The two deadliest questions you may be asked before starting your reading
* What are they looking for in the call back?
* Dealing positively with rejection

Any actor who has been in the game for more than a little while has personally struggled with or has tried to help friends who have struggled with depression and bitterness. It’s almost inevitable.

If a writer’s script is rejected for publication or production, it hurts. If a director’s film is rejected by the public, it hurts. But in each of these instances, the ‘product’ that is being rejected is a book, a script, a film…not the writer or the director personally. When an actor’s ‘product’ is rejected, how does the actor not take that personally?

Because of this tendency to take rejection personally, actors frequently make the mistake of wrapping their own view of their talent in the success or failure of every job and every audition.

Flanagan puts it this way:

…by accepting the premise that the only measure of your value as an actor is whether or not you get the job, you are giving your power and your self-worth away to others. This is a subjective business. There are no devices to measure talent, there are only opinions. Do yourself a favor. Get in the habit of judging your value by what you know you’re capable of.

I say, do yourself a favor and add ONE LESS BITTER ACTOR to your reading list. Read it through. Mark it up the way you’d mark a script you’re studying. That’s what I did. When I was through I had more marked pages than unmarked.

Here’s an idea. If you’re not sure this is a book you should have in your actor’s toolbox, check out [blog post dated 4/3/2008] Markus Flanagan’s blog HERE.

I don’t know about you, but I found that post to have a remarkable level of honesty to share in a public forum. It’s his willingness to share this type of experience that gives Markus Flanagan’s book the ring of authenticity.

Another of Flanagan’s blog posts certainly struck home with me:

Even now, this many years later, I have to have faith that this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. How I treat it is up to me.


In our interview Flanagan offered his email address for anyone who wants to send him questions about his book or about acting and ‘the business’. That’s a generous offer and I’d take him up on it, if I were you.

Also check out Markus Flanagan’s Westlake Acting Studio site, especially his CONVERSATIONS WITH videos. These are a great resource for all of actors, no matter how long we’ve been at it.

This episode has been updated and re-released as Episode 31 of Actors Talk Podcast.


My Uncle Adrian recently got a great Chrysler Town and Country Minivan just by some part-time working online with a macbook... ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Fascinating insights. While listening to the part about the auditions, I thought of a quote that a friend loves---

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." ~ Henry David Thoreau

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