Front cover image for The complete idiot's guide to acting

The complete idiot's guide to acting

Provides advice for amateur and professional actors about theater skills, auditions, rehearsals, openings, and how to become a professional, and discusses the benefits of acting for non-professionals
Print Book, English, ©2001
Alpha Books, Indianapolis, IN, ©2001
xxvi, 357 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9780028641539, 0028641531
Part 1: The Acting Bug1(52)
Lifelong Susceptibility
Discover why the acting bug can strike at any age, as well as the many possibilities open to you
Proud Parents
Find out about grade school pageants and historical plays for the youngest actors
A High School Schedule
Learn about using your time so that you can play sports and be in the school play at the same time
College Triumphs
Recognize that college acting can enhance your education and be valuable for the future
A Place in Your Community
Explore the pleasures and rewards of acting in community theater
Part 2: Skills of the Theater53(56)
Natural Gifts
Recognize your natural gifts for speaking, singing, and movement
Lessons Can't Hurt
Find out about acting, singing, and dancing classes, as well as the value of special talents
Learning on Your Own
Discover the many ways you can increase your knowledge of acting by reading, attending plays and movies, and just by looking around you
Experience Counts
Learn why experience is so important, and why even playing small parts or working backstage is valuable
Looks Aren't Everything
Recognize that actors with all kinds of faces and builds can be successful, and find out how to act as though you're very good-looking
Part 3: Oh, Those Auditions109(66)
Picture and Resume
Learn how to put together a resume and picture package that will make a strong impression at auditions
Know What They're Looking For
Find out how to choose the right parts to read for and deal with the terrors of ``cold'' readings
I Feel a Song Coming On
Learn the in-and-outs of choosing audition songs that will maximize your talent and let you stand out from the crowd
Dressing the Part?
Discover the secrets of what to wear to auditions
Audition Etiquette
Learn the rules of how to behave at auditions, and why those judging you have got their problems, too
The Waiting Game
Understand the reasons why casting decisions take time, and find out how to cope with the wait
Part 4: Rehearsal Rigors175(58)
Scheduling Nightmares
Find out why rehearsal schedules are so complicated, and how to deal with problems when they arise
The Early Stages
Discover the rules of blocking, the best ways to memorize your lines, and when to ask questions
Cast Dynamics
Explore how relationships between cast members work and how to deal with backstage gossip
Taking Direction
Learn about the importance of the director's notes, when to argue, and how to cope with directorial mistakes
Making Progress
Find out about ways to fine-tune your performance, and how to be a giving actor who makes everyone look better
Part 5: ``We Open Next Thursday''233(60)
Creative Costuming
Learn all about the importance of costumes, and what to do when you run into costume problems
Tech and ``Techies''
Understand the importance of the technical crew, and learn how to deal with tech rehearsals
Dress Rehearsals
Explore the ups-and-downs of dress rehearsals, and learn about that all-important curtain call
Opening Night
Experience the nervous thrills of opening night and find out how to deal with all those compliments
The Run of the Play
Learn how to take reviews-good or bad-with a grain of salt, and give the audience your best at every performance
Part 6: What Is a Professional?293(54)
Experience and Dependability
Understand why many community theater actors are professionals in terms of skill, even though they don't have a union card
Getting Paid
Find out about the possibility of being paid small sums to act in community theater, and how to negotiate for payment of some kind
Should You Turn Pro?
Explore the reasons for and against making acting your career
Getting a Union Card
Get the facts on how to become a member of the major acting unions, should you decide on a professional career
A Stage Directions Glossary
B Acting School Directory
C Play and Sheet Music Sources
D Further Reading