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Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part
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Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,156 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The casting director for Chicago, Pippin, Becket, Gypsy, The Graduate, the Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar tells you how you can find your dream! Absolutely everything an actor needs to know to get the part is here: What to do that moment before, how to use humour; create mystery; how to develop a distinct style; and how to evaluate the place, the relationships a ...more
Paperback, 187 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Walker & Company (first published 1978)
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Jul 01, 2007 Z rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!
Shelves: acting
The best book on acting I have ever read, and also full of great insights into human psychology.
The BEST Acting book I've ever read! I refer to this book constantly.
Keith Moser
Oct 02, 2014 Keith Moser rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring actors
Shelves: education
Anyone who wants to be an actor needs to read this book. It is, by far, the best book on acting I've ever read.

It is filled with fantastic advice--some of it kind of obvious, much of it I've already been following for years, but still several good reminders of how to audition well. Of course, I've already read this twice since I bought it about a decade ago, so I shouldn't be too surprised that not much seemed new to me.

Michael Shurtleff was a major Broadway and Hollywood casting director. He of
Linda C.
Jun 20, 2007 Linda C. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a book I have bought many times over. I keep lending it to people and never getting it back.

I use this book to remind me of what goes into good drama.

Here is a link to a blog entry that I wrote about this book:

Great read. Super insightful and extremely helpful. Any actor subjecting themselves to the madness of theater should read this.
Shaun Shaun
Jun 24, 2008 Shaun Shaun rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: actors.
Recommended to Shaun by: Billy Merrit
A must read for anyone who aspires to be an actor.
Not just for actors! While aimed at actors who need knowledge or help with auditions, it is a lifetime's worth of good anecdotes from a big deal insider, told with the force and tenderness of a relative who knows you can make it, but is not sure your passion for the field will survive all the hoops. It's about how to present yourself to people who will judge you in moments, how to be pragmatic, authentic to yourself and yet totally surprise them into thinking well and memorably of you--even if y ...more
Emily Giuffre
Jan 22, 2015 Emily Giuffre rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ALL ACTORS!!!
Recommended to Emily by: Professor
Shelves: film-making
The absolute must read for actors. If you want to have successful auditions you have to get this book for yourself and read it a few times. Known by all in the business as the "bible" on how to audition and very good just to go deeper into characters after you've been cast in a play.
The best book on the topic of acting ever written. I have used it countless times, both as a teaching tool and as a reference for myself. MUST READ if you want to get better at getting cast.
Mark Amacker
Excellent book! It helps teach much more than auditioning, it also teaches exploring and approaching scenes. Excellent for anyone who is into acting if even a little, it'll help you out!
Definitely read this if you want to do anything in the field of drama. Or if you like philosophy. Or if you like weird, random stories about Barbra Streisand.
Use it in my acting classes. It is great for beginning actors and experienced actors alike. Easy to understand and apply as an actor.
I thought this would be cheesy, but damned if it's not really, really helpful.
Shurtleff shares many nuggets of wisdom for actors in this book, though those nuggets are sometimes buried due to the book's lack of clear structure.

I am an improvisor, and I haven't auditioned for a scripted play since I was a kid. Some of the advice in this book is particularly useful for actors auditioning for scripted plays, but I still found a lot of useful advice for acting in improvised scenes as well.

The core of the book sets forth the 12 "guideposts" for reading a script in an audition.
Michael's book changed my view on human behavior. It has given me some practical insight to why people do what they do. He does not need to go into great depth, or give endless examples he because he states it so clearly. Even if you aren't an actor, this will help you see deeper into your fellow humans.

One example is when someone says, "What?" It is rare that they say this because they didn't hear you. So what makes a person say this? Time to think? Caught at something? Surprised?

Another exampl
Very practical. Strong opinions but lots of interesting food for thought. His experiences are dated but the underlying ideas are still quite relevant. Fun read.
Boneza Hanchock
Fantastic book for any actor. Whether you are starting out or a seasoned vet, it's a must read and an essential tool for any actors' tool box.
Burke Moses
Still the best book on auditioning. After thirty years in the theater, I still adhere to Mr. Shurtleff’s advice.
Elis Madison
I didn't tread the boards for long before I recognized that I'm constitutionally built for the backstage. But my aunt, once an actor, recommended this gem to me and she's right. Even for writers, it's a terrific, quick, to the gut way of finding the deepest needs of a character, the "what are you fighting for" motivation, and building on it in every scene.

If you want to know how to build a character on the fly, this is your book. And in between some of the best tips I've seen, there are some de
Amit Bolakani
Excellent read. His unique take on acting and his experience dealing with actors is worth a study.
As a young aspiring actress I lived by this book. I carry lessons from it to this day.
I love the great insight to set up the moment before the scene.
Valerie Jones
"Audition" is by far the best organized, and understandable acting book I've ever read. Not only can Shurtleff's guidelines be applied to auditioning, they are the fundamental building blocks for all character development.Shurtleff breaks auditioning down into 12 realistic, easy to achieve "guideposts." By following these, I have become a better actor and director.

Unfortunately, due to some explicit content within the book, I do not use it as a text for my acting classes. However, I do use a han
as i am actor i want to read this book
The Bible for actors.
An oasis in the desert of empty "audtion tips" books, Audition is by far a gem to any aspiring actor. Though aimed more toward broadway aspirees, Audition still as some wisdom to offer about how to impress, shock and leave a lasting memory in the minds of the sometimes ceemingly creul casting directors of the entertainment business. There are moments that definitely date the piece however, there are invaluble moments of gold that are sure to guide a young actor into a promising situation.
alot of good information in here. i had to read this for a collage class , at first i was like "no this is what ever", but as ive applied the information to various auditions & life expierances , its proved to be almost one hundred precent correct ! like dont be affraid aproch with a open heart take risk , this is how you grow as a actor & a human being ! benneficial in any small library!
This book is full of incredible information, cover-to-cover. I'm sure it will serve as an invaluable resource to me during my acting career. The only thing I wasn't too thrilled about while reading this was his occasional stories. He would tell these stories to make a point, but they just felt so long and drawn out. He could have cut it down and the book could have been a bit shorter.
Absolutely amazing. While Shurtleff has a way of being somewhat sexist in the examples he provides of his masterclasses with acting students, he is in general a total genius in the industry and I learned a lot through this book about how to navigate this tricky career I've chosen. This is an absolutely necessary read for anyone entering the industry!
Oct 23, 2010 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Actors
Shelves: acting, favorites
The BEST practical advice on audition and acting ever written. This is the kind of book you'd carry around in your back pocket if it would fit. Don't let the publishing date mislead you. The acting craft doesn't change that much over the years. Acting is still acting. Human motivations never change. If you're an actor, you need to read this!
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