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Audition Mass Market Paperback – December 2, 1979
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"What a book! Yet it's so simple that you learn without feeling it happen. Thank you, Michael; we needed it."--Joshua Logan
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Top Customer Reviews
Much has been written already about his twelve guideposts, and I have nothing new to add to those already glowing (and well deserved) comments. What I did find most illuminative and refreshing is his comments on how to behave at the job interview. It is in this chapter that this book becomes helpful to even the non actor. In this chapter/section, Shurtleff urges all people to realize that ultimately the pressure in the job interview is on the employer and that a good prospect will immediately put the interview board at ease. All too often actors become so self centered and fail to realize that their performance is really about their audience, not them. The same is true therefore of the job interview. It is about the employer, not the employee.
As a teacher, Audition has been most helpful to me as it has provided objective certainty to an area filled with far too many subjective judgements. In other words, Shurtleff has helped define the skills and tasks necessary to train actors in a manner that will help them transition successfully from the educational venue to the professional market. He has given us clear, active objectives to teach toward.
In Audition, Shurtleff articulates what constitutes good, effective acting. Once that becomes defined clearly, then success becomes not a nebulous ideal, but rather a concrete proposition.
If this is not in your theatre library, it is time you add it now.
I got into acting on a lark, as a hobby. I had been studying and auditioning for about three years with no success, and very little progress.
An instructor recommended this book. I read it, and then read it again. All of a sudden, things that had been drilled in my head during acting classes finally started to make sense. Within the following 6 months, my skills grew in a series of leaps, and I began booking at auditions. Not a lot, not yet. But the sudden increase in my abilities was astounding.
I am still not a great actor. But this book helped me get out of the "student" mode and into the "working" mode. Well worth it.
This book may be called "Audition", but the discussions go way beyond the audition. Granted, the opening chapter (Practical Aspects of the Audition) contains sage advice applicable only to the audition. What follows in the book are the "12 Guideposts", the bible of scene study and character development. Following the very readable discussion of the "Guideposts", Shurtleff writes essays on topics such as musical theatre, comedy, pace, and monologues. I know that my copy will become well-worn as I refer back to it again and again.
I am currently in two shows, and I'm putting the "Guideposts" to work for me. I've not had an audition since buying the book, but I am looking forward to using Shurtleff's advice the next time I read for a part.
This is a must-read for actors and directors. Highly recommended.