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Life Is Like a Musical: How Broadway Can Help You Live Your Best Life

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From the author of the hit cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin comes a guide to getting ahead in life, love, and leadership-Broadway style! Before Tim Federle became a beloved author (his award-winning novels include Better Nate Than Ever, which Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda declared as "highly recommended" in the New York Times), Tim worked in the sho From the author of the hit cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin comes a guide to getting ahead in life, love, and leadership-Broadway style! Before Tim Federle became a beloved author (his award-winning novels include Better Nate Than Ever, which Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda declared as "highly recommended" in the New York Times), Tim worked in the showbiz trenches as a Christina Aguilera back-up dancer, Radio City Polar bear, and card-carrying chorus boy on Broadway. Along the way, he discovered that the hard-earned lessons he was learning onstage could be applied to his life, too. Life is Like a Musical features 50 tips and anecdotes, with chapters such as "Let Someone Else Take a Bow," "Dance Like Everyone's Watching," and "Save the Drama for the Stage." This charming and clever guide will appeal to all ages and inspire readers to remember that they're the stars of their own life story.


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From the author of the hit cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin comes a guide to getting ahead in life, love, and leadership-Broadway style! Before Tim Federle became a beloved author (his award-winning novels include Better Nate Than Ever, which Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda declared as "highly recommended" in the New York Times), Tim worked in the sho From the author of the hit cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin comes a guide to getting ahead in life, love, and leadership-Broadway style! Before Tim Federle became a beloved author (his award-winning novels include Better Nate Than Ever, which Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda declared as "highly recommended" in the New York Times), Tim worked in the showbiz trenches as a Christina Aguilera back-up dancer, Radio City Polar bear, and card-carrying chorus boy on Broadway. Along the way, he discovered that the hard-earned lessons he was learning onstage could be applied to his life, too. Life is Like a Musical features 50 tips and anecdotes, with chapters such as "Let Someone Else Take a Bow," "Dance Like Everyone's Watching," and "Save the Drama for the Stage." This charming and clever guide will appeal to all ages and inspire readers to remember that they're the stars of their own life story.

30 review for Life Is Like a Musical: How Broadway Can Help You Live Your Best Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    I have been in love with the theater since my highly regarded performance as Sir Joseph in Marlboro Elementary School's production of HMS Pinafore . My rendition of "I Am the Monarch of the Sea" brought the house down, as much as I can remember, seeing I was in 4th grade at the time. Growing up in New Jersey, I was fortunate enough to get to see Broadway shows fairly often, and I was persuasive enough that my parents or grandmother bought me the original cast album, which I quickly devoured an I have been in love with the theater since my highly regarded performance as Sir Joseph in Marlboro Elementary School's production of HMS Pinafore . My rendition of "I Am the Monarch of the Sea" brought the house down, as much as I can remember, seeing I was in 4th grade at the time. Growing up in New Jersey, I was fortunate enough to get to see Broadway shows fairly often, and I was persuasive enough that my parents or grandmother bought me the original cast album, which I quickly devoured and memorized every single word of. And even though I never pursued acting as a career, I have had my Tony Award acceptance speech written since I was about 14. With all of that in mind, even though I don't read self-help books, I couldn't resist reading Life is Like a Musical , described as "a self-help guide—with jazz hands!" The advice that Tim Federle shares in this book doesn't require experience in the theater, knowledge of the theater, or even enjoyment of the theater. Instead, he applies lessons he learned in his years as a performer, dance captain, director's assistant, and playwright to "real life," and the results are entertaining. "First off, the key to approximately 90 percent of adulthood is appearing more interested in something than you actually are. Seriously. So, hack number one: When you are attempting to appear at worst neutral or at best enthusiastic—especially when you don't feel particularly jazzed about something—simply uncross your arms. That's it." (From Chapter 9, "Don't Cross Your Arms When the Director is Talking.") Federle's advice isn't necessarily earth-shattering. You don't have to know the lyrics to any musical or even have set foot in the theater in order to identify with at least some of what Federle is saying. The book focuses a lot on living your best life, prizing courage over confidence, treating everyone—even those who don't seem important—as if they were, and recognizing that "no" doesn't always mean "never" (except in social situations). But even though I'm fairly cynical and jaded, I still found some helpful perspectives here, things I'll try to remember in the heat of the moment, no matter what that moment is. "We either mistrust people's enthusiasm for us or, worse, we vastly undervalue what it means to be appreciated, constantly looking over our shoulders for an even deeper high. We think there must be something wrong with people if they think there's something so right about us." (From Chapter 23, "Go Where the Love Is.") The book is tremendously easy to read, and is written in a friendly, humorous, breezy style. Federle punctuates his "lessons" with his own experience, good and bad, from moments of triumph to moments of defeat. And sometimes he shares interesting anecdotes while sharing advice, like: "When Bob Fosse had a bald spot, he put on a stylish hat. Where's your bald spot? Or blind spot? Or thing that you can barely accept about yourself? Go put a hat on it, and make it something beautiful." (From Chapter 6, "Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths.") I found this book enjoyable and, dare I say, even helpful. It's perfect for someone wondering how to get to the next step in their career or relationship, someone struggling with confidence issues, or someone considering or stepping into a leadership role for the first time. Plus, there are jazz hands, too! See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Life is Like a Musical is a cute, self-helpish book, full of the wisdom Tim Federle gleaned from years of experience on the stage. "Basically, think of this book as 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' with jazz hands." Introduction. Tim's advice is common sense, but I appreciated it anyway. Make your weaknesses your strengths. Be nice to everybody. Pay attention. Don't try to be a perfectionist, and so on. He pairs these nuggets with his life stories. So, it's part-memoir, part-self help. "When Bob Fosse Life is Like a Musical is a cute, self-helpish book, full of the wisdom Tim Federle gleaned from years of experience on the stage. "Basically, think of this book as 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' with jazz hands." Introduction. Tim's advice is common sense, but I appreciated it anyway. Make your weaknesses your strengths. Be nice to everybody. Pay attention. Don't try to be a perfectionist, and so on. He pairs these nuggets with his life stories. So, it's part-memoir, part-self help. "When Bob Fosse had a bald spot, he put on a stylish hat. Where's your bald spot? Or blind spot? Or thing that you can barely accept about yourself? Go put a hat on it, and make it something wonderful." pg 23. There's nothing wrong with advice like that. First off, the key to approximately 90 percent of adulthood is appearing more interested in something than you actually are. Seriously." pg 31. Truth bombs, people. Don't give your power away. Remember who you are: "Please, never forget you're the leading character in your own life. Read that sentence again: You aren't the supporting cast. You're it, baby." pg 48. And most importantly of all, have a sense of humor about the whole thing. "Forgive yourself when you screw up. Develop a sense of humor that allows you to snort-giggle before anyone else can." pg 139. None of us are getting out of this thing called life alive. We may as well make the most of it. I enjoyed this book. I was also a huge fan of his drink recipe book mixed with classic book titles: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist. Recommended for people who are looking for a peppy voice to get them back on track and singing throughout the soundtrack of their own lives. This read will do the trick.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I got an ARC of LIFE IS LIKE A MUSICAL at BookCon last month and, I'm going to be honest, I didn't know a thing about this book except the title and the author when I got in line for a copy. It's the author that hooked me - I read Tim Federle's GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER last year and fell in love with his writing. This book is listed as self-help/personal growth, which normally would have turned me away, but Tim's voice is unique and never falls into the cheesiness that I tend to associate with th I got an ARC of LIFE IS LIKE A MUSICAL at BookCon last month and, I'm going to be honest, I didn't know a thing about this book except the title and the author when I got in line for a copy. It's the author that hooked me - I read Tim Federle's GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER last year and fell in love with his writing. This book is listed as self-help/personal growth, which normally would have turned me away, but Tim's voice is unique and never falls into the cheesiness that I tend to associate with the genre. He delves into his own past - from a kid dreaming of making it as a Broadway dancer to a successful writer - and uses his experiences to provide tips on how to change your perspective on life. While there are (obviously) a lot of musical theater references, someone with no interest in theater can still gain a lot from reading this book. One of the elements of Tim's writing that I admire and appreciate greatly is its emotional rawness. He isn't afraid to hold back, even if it means putting himself in a position to be judged. That honesty has often helped me feel less alone in my own thoughts and feelings. He also acknowledges his privilege and points out where his advice might not be applicable, which is refreshing; these aren't prescriptions, but suggestions. If you follow Tim on Twitter (if you don't, I strongly recommend that you do; I'll wait), you know he's hilarious. That humor is strongly present in this book, which was unfortunate when I was reading in public and couldn't help but laugh out loud at some of his one-liners. Then again, a good portion of this book is spent encouraging you to claim your space in the world and be unapologetic in expressing yourself, so maybe it isn't so unfortunate after all. What I love the most about LIFE IS LIKE A MUSICAL and what makes me want to gift it to every single person I care about is that every chapter pushes the reader to pursue their passion. Every single person has a yearning within them, something they won't feel fulfilled without having accomplished. Some people I know are strong enough and brave enough to work toward achieving that fulfillment, but some have given it up as a pipe dream. They see it as something that could never happen, so they give up trying. Well, Tim doesn't want anyone to settle for less than the life their eight-year-old self envisioned and his latest work contains exactly the kind of inspiration necessary to start finding ways to make your dreams a reality. The one problem I have with this book: Every time a song was mentioned, it immediately started playing in my head and I had to pause for a dramatic song and dance number. It's a small price to pay for the great advice Tim gives.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    A self-help book for anyone who's ever wanted to be in a play! Surprisingly good at taking theater terms and ideas and presenting them in a way for anyone to get something out of it. And it's totally true too--theater kids find their niche and totally embrace themselves. I have a couple of theater friends and they seem to have everything figured out! I can't attest to whether this self-help book is on the same writing plane as his previous books since I haven't read them, but on its own it defin A self-help book for anyone who's ever wanted to be in a play! Surprisingly good at taking theater terms and ideas and presenting them in a way for anyone to get something out of it. And it's totally true too--theater kids find their niche and totally embrace themselves. I have a couple of theater friends and they seem to have everything figured out! I can't attest to whether this self-help book is on the same writing plane as his previous books since I haven't read them, but on its own it definitely has merit.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    As a theater lover (performing and watching), I v loved this book. It bills itself as a theater geek's version of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, which is an apt comparison. The life advice at times might seem like common sense, but is dispensed with wit and humor and a huge helping of theater trivia and magic. Creative people will enjoy this book. It seems to be especially geared towards teens but adults who love theater will enjoy this too. Expect lots of Hamilton references and more. I received an As a theater lover (performing and watching), I v loved this book. It bills itself as a theater geek's version of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, which is an apt comparison. The life advice at times might seem like common sense, but is dispensed with wit and humor and a huge helping of theater trivia and magic. Creative people will enjoy this book. It seems to be especially geared towards teens but adults who love theater will enjoy this too. Expect lots of Hamilton references and more. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lois R. Gross

    Let me start by saying that I love Tim Federle. Several years ago, he wrote a Young Adult book called "Better Nate Than Ever," roughly based on his own life as a theatre loving pre-teen who didn't fit in his Pittsburgh town. I loved it. NO, I adored it. I knew that kid. I had been that kid. Somehow, his middle school didn't share the love because they cancelled a personal appearance of this famous alum because the book promoted values with which they didn't agree, i.e., it addressed the issue of Let me start by saying that I love Tim Federle. Several years ago, he wrote a Young Adult book called "Better Nate Than Ever," roughly based on his own life as a theatre loving pre-teen who didn't fit in his Pittsburgh town. I loved it. NO, I adored it. I knew that kid. I had been that kid. Somehow, his middle school didn't share the love because they cancelled a personal appearance of this famous alum because the book promoted values with which they didn't agree, i.e., it addressed the issue of being gay. I wrote a letter to Mr. Federle and he wrote back. He also got me into a fairly exclusive preview for books which was amazing. So, yes I'm biased. However, I hope that Mr. Federle will accept some notes from me in the spirit in which they are meant. This book is a hybrid. It's a bit of a memoir or his time on Broadway and in the provinces; it's a bit of how to survive in the theatre. He also tries to extend it to how to apply theater lessons (i.e. show up ahead of time, be prepared for disappointment, applaud the competition even when you don't feel like it) to real world day jobs. That part doesn't work because it keeps circling back to, "When I was teaching kids how to dance in "Billy Elliot." Please understand. I loved every minute of the Broadway remembrances and I had seen or knew the backstory of almost every show. But, then, I'm a freak, a theatre kid turned stage mom yo devoted audience member. This book spoke directly to me and I loved that Bernadette Peters was as professional as I knew she would be and Laura Benanti was the sweetheart I knew she would be. Other people, civilians, may not love, love, love the book as much as I did. However, the one place that the book succeeds over-the-top well is in addressing the issue of being different, specifically being gay, as a young adult. The funny thing is, Mr. Federle never hits you over the head with his experiences. It's just there in the text. He alludes to being an adolescent who searched for his tribe and craving New York City where he perceived that the streets would be awash in LGBTQ folk. Mainly, though, he just talks about it as an absolutely normal part of his life and for that reason, I would hand this book to any kid who is questioning their identity, even if their questions are not about gender identity but just about being different. "Find your tribe" is the best advice I've ever heard. So, Mr. Federle, I did enjoy your book. Honestly. And if, for some reason you read this, I still think that Nate's neighbor, the girl director, needs a book of her own because there are lots of questioning girls around; girls who need to know that strength is a positive quality, not "bossiness" despite what other kids say. BTW, I'm not sure that I consider Pittsburgh the "Midwest," but I'm from the other end of PA so my perception is different. Mr. Federle, if you happen to see this, I'm still a fan. BIG FAN. And I'm waiting for the distaff spin-off of the Nate books, anxiously.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    I’m not much for self help books, but apparently if you wrapped it up in something ai like I can enjoy them, and I do love musical theater. This self help/memoir was a lot of fun.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky Ginther

    I love all of Tim Federle's books, so I was excited to see a "self help" sort of book that sounded like I would be able to relate to it a lot. As a theater person this resonates with me. Each “chapter” is only about 3-4 pages and focuses on one single topic or idea that he learned from the theater life. There really are so many things I’ve learned from the theater life, and reading them written out just makes it feel even more real for me. There are lots of references to musicals and other examp I love all of Tim Federle's books, so I was excited to see a "self help" sort of book that sounded like I would be able to relate to it a lot. As a theater person this resonates with me. Each “chapter” is only about 3-4 pages and focuses on one single topic or idea that he learned from the theater life. There really are so many things I’ve learned from the theater life, and reading them written out just makes it feel even more real for me. There are lots of references to musicals and other examples, and I found it to be an enjoyable book that has great life advice but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Some of the passages/ideas I really enjoyed here: -The difference between confidence and courage. "Confidence is the by-product of doing something that you were afraid to do, but you did anyway. Courage is what you get after trying the thing you thought you'd royally suck at, and learning afterward that you only suck at it a little bit." (p.5) -Congratulate the person who got "your" part (and let go of bitterness) (p.9) -"I've learned that the minute you start paying people to do something they'd always previously adored is the moment they start checking their watch to see when the next union-required break is." (p. 14) -"What I've grown surest of is nothing is sure - and that building up resilience is a pretty good way to prepare for any tomorrow. It is, after all, only a day away." (p.37) -(he auditioned for a show, didn't get in, and a year later they called him to do it. The choreographer says she wished he had auditioned originally, and he tells her that he actually did). "But if I'd harbored any bitterness, or refused to go back to the drawing board and put myself on the lien for them again, I would have missed out on so much." (p.59) -"All the impressive credits in the world get thrown out when you bring a storm of negativity along with you... reputation beats resume nearly every time." (p. 63) -"A lot of us fall into a pattern of addiction. Not to drugs, or booze. In this case, it's the lightheaded buzz of winning over as many people as possible, as opposed to going where the love already is - where someone is already saying, I like you, I want you, I need you. We write that person off. HE must be crazy. We cast loyalty off as nepotism, and get all starry-eyed about making the next group of people love us." (p.81) -"what the theater teaches us again and again is that it's all just a moment. You can fight it, but it isn't going to change - at the time of this book's printing, nobody has figured out how to live forever." (p.85) -"If you're in a leadership position at work, the giving of feedback is a big part of the territory. At home, not so much. You should mostly be striving for equality in your partnerships, and avoid amassing a list of your partner's flaws. Put another way: Try not to be the boss of your love life so much as the co-producer of your relationship." (p.100) -"The types of people who create an foster the most ambitious work - not to mention healthy relationships, in general - are the ones who never quite lose the attitude of being fans themselves." (p.124) -"Maybe candidate B won't be quite as vivid as candidate A, but vivid wears off quickly when you're stuck with a jerk in a dressing room for eight shows a week. You hire the nice guy. Nice doesn't go out of style. Nice goes with everything. Nice is the little back dress of adulthood." (p.129) -"I do wish that everyone could discover their gang somewhere, the people who get them, who accept and validate and don't even blink at their oddities. Whatever your oddities may be - from dressing up like comic book characters to being obsessed with motorcycle repair - there's a place where your thing is everyone's thing. Get to that place, any way you can." (p.172) Overall I felt like this book had a really positive message, which was refreshing after the last "self help" book I read. It's genuine and all about trying to be a better person. With some sassy musical references thrown in. What's not to love?

  9. 4 out of 5

    D.G. Driver

    This book is so delightful. I think it's a must-have for middle school and high school theater classes. It's not targeted toward young people, but the messages are so uplifting that I think young people (particularly boys) will be motivated by it. I'm a huge fan of Federle's novels, and I bought this book for my musical theater daughter as a Christmas present. Of course, I'm a Theater major myself, so it all appealed to me as well. The book is broken into small chapters, each with a different po This book is so delightful. I think it's a must-have for middle school and high school theater classes. It's not targeted toward young people, but the messages are so uplifting that I think young people (particularly boys) will be motivated by it. I'm a huge fan of Federle's novels, and I bought this book for my musical theater daughter as a Christmas present. Of course, I'm a Theater major myself, so it all appealed to me as well. The book is broken into small chapters, each with a different point to make. Federle takes a concept like "Leave the Drama on the Stage" and does four things: he explains what the phrase means to theater people, he shares a bit from his life as a performer, he expounds on how to use this concept to be a better person if you are a performer yourself, and then he finds a way to make it work in the non-theater real world. I have to admit that if you aren't in any way affiliated with theater, this is probably not the self-help book for you. But even if you've only done theater in school or are just a fan of going to shows, it will have appeal. My favorite parts are the little insights to his life on Broadway as a dancer. I want him to write a full autobiography about that someday because I want to know so much more! In general, his message is about kindness and doing right by others. This is a message that I firmly believe in. Good for all ages and a great gift. Go get a copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Megan Miller

    See, here's the thing. This book has /strong/ self-worship vibes. Which I really really reallyreallyreally do not approve of or agree with or like. But! He is a fabulous writer. And he stuffs some really solid life advice in here that I loved. I like the way he phrases things, I like his humor, I like his tenacity. Also, he has a lot of fun anecdotes about his experiences in theatre, interacting with some super famous people. That was cool. So, idk. To be honest, I only bought it cause I like the t See, here's the thing. This book has /strong/ self-worship vibes. Which I really really reallyreallyreally do not approve of or agree with or like. But! He is a fabulous writer. And he stuffs some really solid life advice in here that I loved. I like the way he phrases things, I like his humor, I like his tenacity. Also, he has a lot of fun anecdotes about his experiences in theatre, interacting with some super famous people. That was cool. So, idk. To be honest, I only bought it cause I like the title and I wanted to display it on my bookshelf. But I did have fun reading it, it's really short and easy, and I do encourage people to (within reason) explore different perspectives and worldviews. So for those reasons, I do recommend it. Yeah. "Wondering only has one cure. It's called Doing." "Never get so big that you stop admiring the efforts of others." "The pauses between talking are just as important as the talking itself, if not more so. Sometimes nothing is more powerful than the person who keeps completely mum." (Some straight from Proverbs wisdom, right here, even if Tim doesn't realize it. Lol) "When you're on the receiving end of feedback in your own life, resist the impulse to get defensive." "If you find yourself trying to figure out what kind of adult you should be, think back to what your younger self paid attention to. There's wisdom in who you were, back before you knew you had to be somebody."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marie Andrews

    As a massive fan of musicals, I really enjoyed this book! Tim gives 50 pieces of advice that he has learnt and discovered when he was younger and during his career. Each piece of advice is fairly short, around 2-4 pages each, which makes it an easy and quick read, or something you can pick up if you have a spare 5 minutes (or read it in one sitting which I did!!!). Most of the advice is quite generic and/or something people are regularly told but it was a great read because it was backed up with As a massive fan of musicals, I really enjoyed this book! Tim gives 50 pieces of advice that he has learnt and discovered when he was younger and during his career. Each piece of advice is fairly short, around 2-4 pages each, which makes it an easy and quick read, or something you can pick up if you have a spare 5 minutes (or read it in one sitting which I did!!!). Most of the advice is quite generic and/or something people are regularly told but it was a great read because it was backed up with little anecdotes and was a fantastic light-hearted read. Throughout there are lots of references to various musicals (not just the old musicals either) which made me love it even more! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of musicals and theatre, and even if you aren't, there are still some valuable things that can be learnt (and you never know, you might find yourself discovering a new passion!!) *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    'Life is Like a Musical' is a book full of theatre-based analogies for situations in life. Although I could (with a bit of artistic licence) manipulate each of the analogies to fit my own life, I felt that this book would be much better suited for someone who is in the performing arts themselves, such is the heavy focus on musicals and suchlike throughout this book. It is however certainly a fun take on a self-help book, and much easier to read than the dreary self-help books full of lectures an 'Life is Like a Musical' is a book full of theatre-based analogies for situations in life. Although I could (with a bit of artistic licence) manipulate each of the analogies to fit my own life, I felt that this book would be much better suited for someone who is in the performing arts themselves, such is the heavy focus on musicals and suchlike throughout this book. It is however certainly a fun take on a self-help book, and much easier to read than the dreary self-help books full of lectures and lessons. There are plenty of life lessons which the reader can certainly take some learning from, but on the whole I'd say this book is better suited as a gift for individuals in similar fields. (Thanks NetGalley for this copy).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    It was fun diving into this self help book written by a Broadway performer and talented writer. I enjoyed the personal stories, name drops and casual mentions of musicals Tim had been in and around over the years. He kept me interested and made me think about how I truly can bring these aspects and ideals into my own life. A great read or gift for fellow fans of the Great White Way. Thanks to NetGallery for giving me an advanced copy for a fair review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily Ross

    Thank you to the publishers for providing an ARC of this book through NetGalley. I loved this book! As a theatre lover, how could I not love a theatre-themed self help book? For once, I knew all the references, which is incredibly rare for me. It was written with wit and humour and it was just incredible. While most of it seems like common sense, it is the advice you need to hear for everyday life.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This was a fun little guide/self-help book that was also basically part memoir. I thought the advice was good, and I really enjoyed all the references to theater throughout the book. Federle's anecdotes from his life as a theater performer and writer were interesting. And the chapters are all nice and short, making this a perfect book to pick up in small bites. It is also a quick read. This was a fun little guide/self-help book that was also basically part memoir. I thought the advice was good, and I really enjoyed all the references to theater throughout the book. Federle's anecdotes from his life as a theater performer and writer were interesting. And the chapters are all nice and short, making this a perfect book to pick up in small bites. It is also a quick read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ilaria

    So inspiring! I loved all the author's anectodes about his theatre (and not) experience, probably because I love that theatre world as well, so the "lessons" are even more useful. He explains how to apply them to every situation, though, so I'm sure it can be inspiring for everyone, not just actors or dancers. So inspiring! I loved all the author's anectodes about his theatre (and not) experience, probably because I love that theatre world as well, so the "lessons" are even more useful. He explains how to apply them to every situation, though, so I'm sure it can be inspiring for everyone, not just actors or dancers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Probably best for the 14-16 year-old crowd, but this self-help book about channeling positivity, respect and taking care of oneself and others will appeal to theatre geeks of all ages. The "I don't know what to give my drama club" sibling gift book of 2017. Probably best for the 14-16 year-old crowd, but this self-help book about channeling positivity, respect and taking care of oneself and others will appeal to theatre geeks of all ages. The "I don't know what to give my drama club" sibling gift book of 2017.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dana Grimes

    I will read (and listen to) anything Tim Federle writes (and narrates). In this part memoir, part self-help lite, we get a taste of Tim's personality along with his good advice on life. If you're a fan of musical theater you will love this and his Nate series. I will read (and listen to) anything Tim Federle writes (and narrates). In this part memoir, part self-help lite, we get a taste of Tim's personality along with his good advice on life. If you're a fan of musical theater you will love this and his Nate series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stefani Sloma

    Really fun, quick, and brilliant. Especially great because Tim narrates it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    I would love to poster my bedroom walls with every dog-eared page of this book, surrounded by framed Playbills from my favorite shows for good measure.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This is a fun self-empowerment book for theatre folks. Of course, it is applicable to the rest of the world, too. A quick read!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Listened to this on audible and it was fantastic - very heartfelt and love the Broadway references. Great advice and I’m thinking this this needs to be used for employee training / team building everywhere.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    No offense to the author, but I just didn't need another "self-help" book in my life right now. No offense to the author, but I just didn't need another "self-help" book in my life right now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I listened to this as an audio book and enjoyed hearing Tim Federle relay his experiences and advice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    Nothing really new, but he totally spoke my language... because life should be like a musical! :) Although I would have preferred the assumptions that musicals are life, instead of auditioning and performing analogies. But it was fun. And, since I realize my bias, I've tried to make my score more accurate. Nothing really new, but he totally spoke my language... because life should be like a musical! :) Although I would have preferred the assumptions that musicals are life, instead of auditioning and performing analogies. But it was fun. And, since I realize my bias, I've tried to make my score more accurate.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zev

    This book was wonderful. The cover was lovely. The content--I did musical youth theatre from ages eleven to nineteen, then again at twenty, then went back into theatre as an adult at twenty-five. I do not think I am ready to do musicals as an adult, but it is a goal. I got all the references except for a few, I think, and--it's such a wonderful feeling to connect so strongly to a book. "Look, theatre nerds, especially those of you who were kids. Do you see yourselves?" "OMG YES. There, and there This book was wonderful. The cover was lovely. The content--I did musical youth theatre from ages eleven to nineteen, then again at twenty, then went back into theatre as an adult at twenty-five. I do not think I am ready to do musicals as an adult, but it is a goal. I got all the references except for a few, I think, and--it's such a wonderful feeling to connect so strongly to a book. "Look, theatre nerds, especially those of you who were kids. Do you see yourselves?" "OMG YES. There, and there, and there! Look! I am here!" I laughed so often reading this, and related so much. Dozens of tidbits seemed like such pertinent advice for me, although it was only one paragraph I copied down into another notebook for myself. Reading this helped me make sense of experiences I'd had as a theatre kid--I was a "bad theatre kid"--director's pet, arrogant, rude to castmates I considered inferior--I was a huge brat who -knew- I was great. I got special treatment all the time. And when I aged out, I'd used up all my privileges. But this had been all with one company. As an adult, I moved to another city and started new. There was definitely some culture shock involved. I read this book three years into my re-entry into the theatre world, and it helped me make sense of -a lot- of what was going on. Why I kept expecting certain things to be, and they weren't (acting with a company vs. Seattle is mostly fringe). How to deal with what seemed to me like enormous changes (warm up by myself before getting to the theatre, please, since there's not really time for huge group warmups I had as a kid). How -competitive- it is when you're not a cute little kid who grows into a cute teenager, anymore. I can still sing after all these years. A ton of other people can sing, too, and better. (I am saving up for a voice teacher.) I have a feeling this is a book I'll keep coming back to. I'm so glad I picked it up by chance. Thank you so much to the author for writing it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily Wrayburn

    Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind October 02, 2017: Tim Federle is my people. If we’d been at school together, we would have been friends because then we would have each had someone to geek out with about musicals when no one else cared. While the advice in this book might be somewhat generic, I really enjoyed the theatre anecdotes that he used to back up his claims, a lot of the time because I could relate, having had a similar experience somewhere in my amateur theatre exp Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind October 02, 2017: Tim Federle is my people. If we’d been at school together, we would have been friends because then we would have each had someone to geek out with about musicals when no one else cared. While the advice in this book might be somewhat generic, I really enjoyed the theatre anecdotes that he used to back up his claims, a lot of the time because I could relate, having had a similar experience somewhere in my amateur theatre experiences. This book is full of lessons Tim learned during his time on Broadway as a dancer, as well as later, writing theatrical material and novels. You can see some of them on the cover: “Let someone else take a bow”, “take the note” (i.e. accept constructive feedback without getting defensive”) and “Dance like everyone’s watching”. He applies these lessons to wider life, careers and relationships. I really enjoyed some of the anecdotes about being backstage at a theatre. I’ve never performed on Broadway, just at a couple of local theatres in the towns where I’ve lived, but the experiences are much the same. I laughed out loud a lot. I also enjoyed the stories about the big names the Tim worked with on Broadway. This book probably isn’t for everyone, and I think it probably will particularly appeal to those like me who have a theatre background (even if it’s not a very extensive one). But I laughed out loud several times and related to Tim’s stories so often, so I definitely recommend checking it out. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Moneda

    I've been an avid reader of Tim Federle's "Better Nate Than Ever" series, and his latest YA novel "Great American Whatever". And, as a bookseller, I am hand-selling "Better Nate Than Ever" (for realsies). Now, "Life is Like a Musical" is truly inspiring - no, enlightening. It's the bittersweet pill adults gotta swallow. Yeah, there are jargons non-musical folks wouldn't get but that doesn't diminishes the effectivity of his writing as a "self-help book". You know something's about to go down when I've been an avid reader of Tim Federle's "Better Nate Than Ever" series, and his latest YA novel "Great American Whatever". And, as a bookseller, I am hand-selling "Better Nate Than Ever" (for realsies). Now, "Life is Like a Musical" is truly inspiring - no, enlightening. It's the bittersweet pill adults gotta swallow. Yeah, there are jargons non-musical folks wouldn't get but that doesn't diminishes the effectivity of his writing as a "self-help book". You know something's about to go down when the "funny man" (that is, in this case Timmy) starts being serious and that's what I love about this book, it made me laugh, that's for sure but it surprised me how Tim (oh, Tim) made me cry after reading this one! THIS is a must-read for all theater people out there. This is essential for the people who dreamed, who dared, and for the people who made it. This is also a book for people like me, who only have the drive but not talent (and that's okay, we're all right). This book reintroduced me to myself -- it, made learn from who i was, helped me accept who i am now, and most of all, it made me realize who I got to be! P.S. Thank you NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This was quite a different style book for me to read but living near London I've grown up going to see shows at the theatre! So this book really appealed to me, and the cover just jumped out straight away. I started this book on holiday but quickly realised that it was one that I wanted to pay more attention to, so I stopped reading and started up again when I could give it more attention. AND I LOVED IT! I read it in one sitting and loved each and every chapter. It honestly gave me some great l This was quite a different style book for me to read but living near London I've grown up going to see shows at the theatre! So this book really appealed to me, and the cover just jumped out straight away. I started this book on holiday but quickly realised that it was one that I wanted to pay more attention to, so I stopped reading and started up again when I could give it more attention. AND I LOVED IT! I read it in one sitting and loved each and every chapter. It honestly gave me some great life advice, and hearing it from Tim's point of view and through his experiences brought it all to life. One quote stood out to me particularly which was 'We might not all be able to hit high C's but we can all give high fives' - I thought that was such a great way to express what can be a difficult thing to do. I also loved the idea that we're all stars of our own shows but forget we're extra's in everyone elses life. It reminded me how I love to help others and that I want to be one of the extra's that they remember for all the good reasons. *I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Tim Federle is my honest-to-goodness hero! I have read every one of his books. This book, semi-autobiographical (remembering Tim's past as a kid, teen, young artist, and as a successful performer, writer, and playwright) and a fun self-help book about living your life to the fullest. His memories of the past reflect many of mine that I myself had, the good, the bad and the downright horrible. He illustrates, not just to the theatre nerds, but to everyone from the aspiring employees, the bosses, Tim Federle is my honest-to-goodness hero! I have read every one of his books. This book, semi-autobiographical (remembering Tim's past as a kid, teen, young artist, and as a successful performer, writer, and playwright) and a fun self-help book about living your life to the fullest. His memories of the past reflect many of mine that I myself had, the good, the bad and the downright horrible. He illustrates, not just to the theatre nerds, but to everyone from the aspiring employees, the bosses, the lowest of the low and to those who have not begun on their journey. The book guides you with Tim's honesty, encouragement, sense of humor and genuine kindness. A self book for all...If you are that theatre nerd who feels that you have fallen by the wayside or are just starting out, this book is for you. If you're struggling in your love life, professional career, or even finding yourself, this book is for you too. There is a reason Tim Federle is one of my favorite authors. This book illustrates that.

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