4 out of 4 stars
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SLAP! Courage for the On-Camera Actor: A Handbook, Journal & Scene Study Book was written by Ann Mahoney. The book sufficiently addresses many issues about on-camera acting starting from identifying one’s type through to the acting itself. Ann Mahoney begins by giving her personal journey in acting. She reveals how she got into this profession filled with ups and downs for the unpopular characters and what has kept her going. The contents of the book have been updated over time, and thus readers will benefit tremendously from her wealth of experiences. The book is 271 pages long and contains 11 chapters.
How did her acting journey start? Who influenced her? How can you accurately identify your type? How do you cry on cue? Must one cry? How do you select your photographer? How should the headshot look like? How do you pose for the headshot? What should you wear? The satisfactory answers to these and many more questions will be gotten in this fascinating book.
The author is indeed a living proof that one does not have to go to an acting conservatory to end up with a career in acting. Her school had no funding for the Speech and Debate Team, and so they had to seek their own funds. She, however, candidly acknowledges she had dedicated and passionate teachers such as Morris Block. Her passion for acting was also clearly evident. She has compiled this book to assist others who would like to pursue a career in acting. The book entails appropriate exercises that will undoubtedly help readers put into practice what they have read. Other issues such as the importance of having an agent were equally handled well.
What I liked most is that the author properly informs the reader about the true nature of the acting career. There are both high and low moments. She remarks that she is placing all her experiences and pride on the line in order to be honest about what acting is really like. She has found herself in successful seasons when she was acting in popular plays, but there have been dreary days when she fell like giving up and changing her career. Those who would like to venture into acting are forewarned that they will need courage and persistence to keep going on. Moreover, there is the place of making sacrifices because the actors have to invest in quality equipment, especially cameras and lighting kits, for self-taped auditions. The significance of constant practice and self-improvement cannot be understated as well. I sincerely believe this is a necessary aid for all actors. There is nothing I did not like about the book.
The language employed in the book was straightforward. Editing was also professionally done. The book was easy to read and thought-provoking. One of the most profound statements in the book was the importance of the actors living their authentic lives fully. There were many other statements that actors will find impactful. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I heartily recommend the book to all readers considering acting as a career. This book will also appeal to actors and acting teachers.
SLAP! Courage for the On-Camera Actor
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