Randy Spelling (In Flow Books 2015, Trade Paperback) 265 pages, $17.99 cover price
For San Francisco Book Review
In about five hours from the time I finish writing this review, I'm going to be interviewing Randy Spelling about this book, Unlimiting You. Generally speaking I don't prepare questions for a podcast because
lazy as hell
I prefer a conversation to occur organically, as though the interview
subject and I are two people who end up sat next to one another at a
fundraising dinner. This time around, I do know what that first
question will be: How did your previous career as an actor inform
your current work as a Life Coach and author? Here is why I think
that question works and my reasons for it very much are the rationale
behind this review.
Unlimiting You is not just another self-help book. Yes, there are the chapter-ending suggested exercises that when completed will absolutely assist the reader in removing various blocks in the human psyche. What separates Spelling's book from the masses though is his strong sense of character and narrative. In many important ways Unlimiting You reads like a movie. And that is a good thing.
What Spelling understands as a writer is that to really engage a reader in a subject, that reader must become invested in it. And what are we most fascinated by, from the time our Mums or Dads start reading us our first bedtime stories? We want to hear about interesting people who do interesting things. Spelling fills that need in two ways. First, he is open without being cloying in regards to his own life story. He is the son of the late television producer Aaron Spelling, has fought addictions, has had careers which have not worked out, and now is successfully assisting others. He can look any client in the eye and honestly say, 'I understand what you're going through because I've been through similar.'
The second part of his narrative technique is through Spelling's artfully told summaries of the lives of friends, acquaintances and colleagues. He recognizes, without clubbing the reader over the head with it, that people who will pick up a book like Unlimiting You are probably feeling isolated, alone, even drowning in their own lives; treading water with no shore to be seen. Within those life summaries, a great choice Spelling makes is to include a couple that don't have happy endings! A friend of his has a dream to market flavored popcorn but a work colleague points out all the obstacles, so the idea goes on the scrap heap. Telling that story in this book is such a smart choice. See, we modern civilized people are clad in an armor of cynicism. Everyone is metaphorically from the Show Me state of Missouri. Hence, if all the life stories presented had happy endings, we paradoxically would be much less likely to believe in Randy Spelling's methods.
Coming back to that interview question, I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that Spelling confirms that acting was a great help to Life Coaching. Acting, or at least good acting requires the ability to listen, to relate and to project a clear meaning to an audience. In his book Unlimiting You, Randy Spelling proves himself as a fantastic actor who happens to now work in a different field. This is an excellent book that will make a positive difference in your life.
Be seeing you.