From the Applause Acting series

Both aspiring actors and curious observers will find something to ponder in this excellent manual.

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A guide to the craft and business of acting.

This comprehensive but unfussy addition to the Applause Acting Series covers the practical aspects of the acting profession while also explaining the meaning behind the artistry. In the very first paragraph, professional acting instructor Kruse (Lockers, 1999) notes that “An actor does not figure out how to say the lines….An actor figures out why a character says the lines.” This sentiment sets the tone for the rest of the book as the author leads readers through each chapter, offering kernels of hard-earned wisdom along the way. Kruse expertly weaves his personal experiences as a veteran actor, filmmaker, producer, and playwright into the narrative, often driving home the point that success doesn’t happen overnight. The topics range from instruction on specific acting techniques to tips on auditioning to monologue exercises and beyond. The book also includes helpful actor’s worksheets with probing questions to get one’s creative juices flowing. The writing style is no-nonsense, and every paragraph gets straight down to business. Indeed, the author does readers a favor by avoiding romantic notions about the profession, choosing to emphasize the often mundane day-to-day reality of being an actor. Ever heard of the term “slating”? Do you know where to stand during an audition and how to hold a script? If not, this book is meant for you. Kruse also doesn’t sugarcoat the cold, hard facts about getting that big break: “It could take three years until [an actor] earns enough money to drop his side or survival job and work only as an actor. It could be twenty years. It could never happen.” However, the author notes, real satisfaction can come from simply knowing that we have “expressed ourselves truthfully.”

Both aspiring actors and curious observers will find something to ponder in this excellent manual.

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4950-7542-1

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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