In this candid and empowering A to Z of being an actor, Julie Hesmondhalgh draws on her decades of experience on stage and screen - including in massively popular television shows such as Broadchurch, Happy Valley and Coronation Street - to lift the lid on the realities of life in today's industry, and show you how to navigate it.
She shares practical advice on preparing for roles (don't be afraid of looking like a dick), managing the ups and downs of your career (and how to be out of work without losing your mind), dealing with failure (and success), not constantly comparing yourself to others (bloody hard, but try), looking after your mental health, and the power of knowing when to say "no."
Passionate about the arts, she makes a compelling case for their importance to society, but also calls out the industry on where it continues to fall short - including a clear-eyed assessment of what needs to change to make it safer and healthier, more accessible and inclusive.
Written with refreshing honesty and self-deprecating humour, An Actor's Alphabet is a book for anyone who dreams of becoming an actor, wants to be a better one, or just wants to learn what being one is really like.
About the Author
Julie Hesmondhalgh was born and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, and trained at LAMDA. She was a member of Arts Threshold Theatre in London in the 1990s, and is co-founder of the political theatre company Take Back in Manchester, her home city.She is best known for her award-winning role as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street, a part she played for sixteen years. She has since worked extensively in theatre (Wit, Mother Courage and Her Children, The Greatest Play in the History of the World, There Are No Beginnings), television and film (You & Me, The Pact, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, Black Roses, Doctor Who, Inside No. 9, Catastrophe, Cucumber, Peterloo), and radio, where she is a regular voice on BBC Radio 4. Her Working Diary was published by Methuen Drama in 2019.