review of Acting: From First Audition to Final Bow by Bruce Carroll

Acting

★★★★☆

reviewed by Cy Wyss

Acting: From First Audition to Final Bow is a nonfiction book about the process of being involved in a stage play. The author takes you from preparation for your audition (but makes no claims about how you might have found that audition), through rehearsal and the play run, to closure. Afterward, there are chapters with tips and cheats for the stage, and finally a useful glossary worth at least scanning. The book is short which is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage because the pace is quick and there is no “fluff” or boredom. It is a disadvantage because you’re left wanting more — more discussion, more frame of reference. References, in fact, are a weak point of the book because there does not appear to be a bibliography. A nonfiction book should at the very least have a list of further reading.

I would still recommend this book to anyone wanting to get into stage plays. The information is solid and the author is a director with 30 years or so under his belt, something not to be passed up. I wished there were more anecdotes from those 30 years, however. They would have added to overall length but would have more than made up for it in terms of making this book appealing to a wider audience. As it is, there is some humor but very little else for the non-specialist. If I had someone I knew who wanted to get into stage acting I would tell them to read this book as a decent, quick start guide, I feel it would be especially appropriate for teens and young adults first getting into acting, for example.

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