Quirky Books: The Complete Audition Book for Young Actors by Roger Ellis

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Complete Audition Book for Young Actors by Roger Ellis

This is a nonfiction book written for people who are trying to get notoriety in the acting business. Written as a textbook "The Complete Audition Book for Young Actors" is dry and repetitive; however, it offers many valuable ideas and concepts for career actors.

Addressing how people should present themselves at an audition Roger Ellis was an actor, acting coach and director. Directors offer special insight to acting, since they evaluate the quality of a performance. He describes the preferred attitude as being a character portrayed by an individual. A person should not fully separate the character from the individual. Drawing upon individual experience drives the persona of a character. Personality engages audiences. This is only a quick synopsis. Ellis explores this concept in several chapters.

He states, beyond being an individual, actors and actresses should present themselves as winners. "Be more than yourself." Even when playing a somber role, learn how to make it passionate. People don't want to see someone's anguish. They want to see anguish combined with determination. Most of the guidelines relate to popular contests at high schools and colleges, roles are selected by judges. He cites a problem with gimmicks. "Do not rely on gimmicks." Gimmicks can be effective when acting is excellent.

The book discusses technical aspects of auditions and cold reads. It answers questions like how to read a script? What should a person look for? How should they inflect their voice and identify significant lines? What kind of monologue works best in an audition?

The beginning and end reviews how to get jobs in theaters. It covers types of theaters, callbacks, resumes and wardrobe. A well informed person is more likely to secure a part. Briefly discussing auditions for television, film and commercials; it is not the foundation of the book. Most film and television work is available in Los Angeles or New York City. This book is for people who are trying to make a living as actors all over the United States where playhouses supply reliable income.

The insights at the end of chapters are sometimes better than the text. He repeats the same concepts in different ways several times, with a tendency of talking down to the reader, making it difficult to read. Even though "the Complete Audition Book for Young Actors" was originally written in 1943 it was re-released in 2003. Many modern techniques for auditions are combined in one source. It has a broad base of industry standards, helpful to actors and actresses when selecting specialized training or books to further education.

Related Article
Limiting Rejection

Quirky Books
Women by Susan Pomerance