By JV Mercanti
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, $18.99, 178 pages

Auditions are job interviews for the theater world, except you can’t rely on your previous work experience. Every audition is a test of your ability to connect with a piece, to a character, to a particular moment in the story, and to project that emotion, that understanding, that clarity.

There aren’t textbooks for acting for good reason. Every role demands something different. But as someone familiar with the world of theater, let me tell you… In Performance is probably as close as you’re going to come. Mercanti runs the reader through an intellectual and emotional gauntlet before the first monologue appears, offering advice for getting the most out of the pieces that come later. Breaking down monologues as part of a larger journey, encouraging analysis and exploration, even giving tips for how to handle yourself during the audition –  Mercanti covers it all with the practiced hand of someone who knows what casting directors want.

Pieces for both men and women are featured – sometimes different scenes from the same work – evoking a genuine and abiding appreciation of playwriting and adding another level to the commentary. Mercanti wants to see actors audition well, and if they read this book, they will.

Reviewed by Glenn Dallas

Thoroughly 'teen friendly' in organization and presentation, ''In Performance: Contemporary Monologues for Teens'' is strongly recommended for the personal reading lists of aspiring teen actors, as well as a core addition for highschool theatre department supplemental studies curriculums, community theatre reference collections, and community library Theatrical Arts instructional resource shelves. --MBR Bookwatch