Monday, December 11, 2017


Back Story l How Not To Succeed in Hollywood by Marissa Thomas @marissat20

Throughout high school and college, I always loved movies.  I thought it was amazing that actors got to live bits and pieces of a thousand different lives, not having to settle on just one.  When I grew up, I wanted to be an actress.  This was solidified by small appearances in school performances, and acting classes offered around my hometown of Minneapolis, MN.

I got my cosmetology license, so that I could have a side job, other than serving or bartending, while pursuing auditions. While surviving my first taste of real life, I built an amateur acting resume, and knew it was time to head to the West Coast.

 After moving back to Minnesota, I started doing hair again.  And, as all clients do, mine would ask me questions about how long I’ve been doing hair, and what salons I worked at.  When I explained that I took a break from hair when I lived in LA, they would ask me if I had any fun Hollywood stories to tell them.  After sharing all the colorful stories I could remember, my regulars started to tell me that I should write a book.  I laughed at them, asking if I should also name it How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.  After a year or two of hearing the same suggestion, I figured I had nothing to lose, and started writing.

How Not to Succeed in Hollywood is a comedic accumulation of my experiences trying to become a professional actress.  The main character, Lisa, is learning some good, some bad, and some extremely ugly life experiences.  But, her best friend Mike is right there for her, helping her find the humor in life, keeping her from going crazy and giving up. 

If readers find inspiration in my story, that’s a great thing.  But, deeper meaning or not, if all they get is a good laugh, then I am succeeding.   

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.



About the Book:

Author: Marissa Thompson
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 436
Genre: Humor/Fiction

In HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD, Marissa 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 industry.
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.
Marissa wrote HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD 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 leg.”


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