Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
It would defeat the purpose of a short and concise book to ramble on in a review, so let’s get straight to it: get this book. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon is simple, inspiring and entertaining. It can be read in a sitting, and reiterates a message that can’t be emphasised enough: create work and share it. This book does what many in the category of personal development do – it reminds us what we already know.
The message of Show Your Work isn’t new, but the ideas are presented in such an interesting way, that it reminds and inspires us to create work and share it. Not tomorrow or next week, today.
Austin manages to make a series of short articles or blogs come together and feel like a complete book. He uses illustrations and quotes very cleverly throughout; the quote curation alone makes the book worth a read. I always have a pen at hand when I am reading and I tick things I like. My copy of Show Your Work is amply ticked on almost every page.
Get this book. It’s a simple and useful read. The lesson I was reminded of, and one that will always be valuable: “you are not powerless”. As an actor, or any artist, you must focus most of your time on getting better and producing good work, but it’s also important to show people where you are at right now. Never be afraid to share work. Did you make a short film, or shoot a scene with a friend? Share it!
We have an ongoing theme on this site about taking control of your career. “Don’t wait for the phone to ring!” will never be a hackneyed statement, because people continue to do it. Read this book. Work on your acting. Create work with friends. Share that work.