Until recently, I thought of Jenna Fischer as “The Office” actress who is a fan of Imo’s, the pizza place in her native St. Louis.

Then in November, I heard Marc Maron interview Fischer on his podcast and found out she is so much more than just the actress who professed her love for Imo’s in a 2012 interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

She’s also an author, storyteller, counselor, humorist and food writer, all because of her new book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, which I discovered through the Maron podcast.

I got the book shortly after I heard the interview, and in it, she offers advice to aspiring actors in such chapters as “Getting Started”, “How to Find, Get and Keep an Agent or Manager” and “Auditioning, Rejection and How to Persevere”.

She writes a lot about food, too, and many of her food stories are funny.

Fischer writes about food for struggling actors.

  • Salt sandwiches. “I have a friend who ate salt sandwiches for dinner: two pieces of bread with salt in the middle. I’m not making that up. Peanut butter was a luxury.”
  • Actor’s Pizza. “Slice of bread, 2 ketchup packets, 1 slice of American cheese. Spread ketchup on slice of bread. Put cheese on top. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds.”
  • The Green Bean Sandwich. This concoction comes from Derek Waters, one of four actor friends Fischer interviewed for the book. “You know, a can of green beans on a sandwich. A little butter. A Little Old Bay Seasoning.”

Fischer also writes about the free food for actors working on a set.

Catering provides breakfast and lunch, and it sounds like “The Office” had good grub. Craft Services or “Crafty” means snacks. “If you are on a super duper low-budget production, all bets are off. You might just get a plate of muffins.”

The most hilarious food story involves cast members having to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream cake for an episode of “The Office”.

It sounds like an “I Love Lucy” classic that closes with a survival tip for anyone’s life.

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John E. Bialas
John, 67, is retired from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald newspaper in Gulfport, Miss., after a 45-year career there in which he was a sportswriter, weekend sports editor, book reviewer, rock music critic, copy editor, blogger, Facebook administrator and award-winning headline writer and page designer. He lives in Gulfport with his wife, Patricia, and writes the blog Pictures of Tilly which you can find at http://picturesoftilly.net/.