You Got the Part!: A Casting Director Guides Actors to Successful Auditions for Film and TV.

Marsha Chesley.

Winnipeg, MB: J. Gordon Shillingford, 2004.

130 pp., pbk., $17.95.

ISBN 0-920486-71-1.

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Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Jocelyn A. Dimm.


If you've ever auditioned for a role in a film or a television show and you didn't get it, this book is for you. If you've auditioned for lots of roles, didn't get them, and you wondered why, this book is for you. If you've trained for the stage but want to work in film, if you've done commercials or industrials or worked in any other media and want to try your hand at dramatic programming, this book is for you too. If you've ever directed or thought of directing, you will find this book informative. And if you've ever wondered what really goes on in auditions, then read on.

Chesley goes on to stand behind her claim, in a very engaging and practical account of the "business," show business that is. This book definitely comes from someone "in the know." Chesley's easy-to-understand and well-laid out book covers topics, such as casting, getting an agent, preparing for an audition, etiquette at the audition, and many tips on the "behind the scenes" development.

This book/manual is straightforward in its attempt to give information that would prepare a young person for the "realities" of an audition. Chesley is also quick to point out that this is the "gospel according to me" (p. 8) and seems more concerned about presenting sensible guidelines for "wanna be" young actors than promoting herself as all-knowing (although that might be closer to the truth).

A highlight of the text is a running list of casting myths that weave their way through the chapters and reflect the imagination of the writer, as well as her ever-present sense of humor. These ten myths, outlined at the very beginning of the book, appropriately show up in the text where they belong, according to themes, and offer insights into what's what. Another bonus is numerous anecdotal stories based on Chesley's own personal experiences in the business.

Put this one on the shelves in the school library and in the hands of the serious actors in the drama classes - it will be worth it to shine a little reality on a profession plagued by "Reality"-less TV programming. Highly Recommended.

Jocelyn A. Dimm is a sessional instructor and doctoral student at the University of Victoria where she teaches drama education and young adult literature in the Faculty of Education.

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Published by The Manitoba Library Association ISSN 1201-9364 Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

You Got The Part! is available through the following sources
Publisher J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing Inc.