by Michael Shurtleff
This is a book that helped me to understand why what looks like terrific writing on a page can fall flat in theatre and film.
First published in 1978, Audition has never been out of print. It’s about how to turn a dead scene into an unforgettable moment. If you don’t understand why a scene isn’t working, Shurtleff’s “Twelve Guideposts” can help uncover the problem - just substitute the word ‘writer’ for ‘actor’. If you are writing for actors, it's also an invaluable insight into understanding how actors read scripts.
Actors love it too. I've stopped lending my copy to actors, because it's hard to get back.
Forgive my foray in advertising, but this is the cheapest place I've found it – and they deliver for free.