A Guide to Creating an Actor’s “Book”
If you’re an actor, and you go on auditions, chances are you’re familiar with the importance of the three-ring binder in the life of an auditioning actor. They can be any color, any width, and some might even beautifully styled with the actor’s name bedazzled on the front. But what is under the cover of this binder? Why, it’s the audition book, of course! This is the actor’s “book” or a toolkit when on an audition.
Any materials an actor might possibly need for an audition is contained within this book. Mine includes music (all in clear report sleeves to keep them clean), a few copies of my most recent head shot, a few choice monologues if I need to reference them quickly and, of course, copies of my resume. I’ve seen actors even with a small notepad in the back, in case they need to take notes on something. And every single last one of these actor’s books contain a sharpened no 2 pencil and a highlighter.
Your book should be organized an in sections. I find that dividers come in handy, especially ones with different tabs, with a key at the beginning of your book for a quick reference to where everything is. One section should be dedicated to head shots and resumes (stapled together as most auditions call for), and always make sure to have more than you think you’re going to need. Better to have more and not use them, than need them and not have enough. In general, I make sure to have five on hand.
One section should be dedicated to music, and the music divided accordingly to make it easier to find. And of course all of your music is marked for the accompanist who will be helping you.
The monologue section is optional, but I find it helps. Have three or four, all of different kinds (drama, comedy, younger, older) that you have memorized to the point that you don’t need to think about them anymore, and keep those in your back pocket. Not all auditions will provide sides.
Once you’ve put your book together, it needs to be kept in a clean, dry place where nothing will happen to it. Every time you’re in a show, your resume should be updated and reattached to the headshots. And every time you update your headshot, it should also go into the book.
I hope this little “how-to” helped. Break legs out there!
Photo credit: Support My Class