Foreword Reviews

A New Slant on Acting

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Providing a wealth of technical information, A New Slant on Acting is a complete manual for film actors.

With A New Slant on Acting, esteemed stage and film veteran Charese Mongiello empowers actors with the film-set operations knowledge they need to come across as true professionals and be hired over and over again.

Mongiello’s comprehensive book makes a compelling case that, contrary to what many think, Hollywood really needs actors, especially actors who see themselves as part of a team dedicated to creating the best film possible. It goes through the nuts-and-bolts of film sets; explains the roles of crew members, editors, producers, and directors; and reveals how an actor who understands the needs of each member of the team can stand out as a true professional.

As presented here, an actor—whether they are in a lead or a supporting role—must have the attitude that everyone involved in a project is working toward the same goal: to deliver a quality product while making the complex process as smooth, uncomplicated, and cost effective as possible. The text reveals, in a no-nonsense manner, exactly what these goals involve and indicates the steps an actor should take to succeed.

Enhancing actors’ perspectives on filmmaking with information on how things were done prior to the digital age, the text includes helpful tips and exercises for conquering nervousness in front of the camera, getting good at hitting marks, and understanding filmmaking terminology, along with examples of the many differences between stage and screen acting. It elevates the craft by demonstrating how much real work and study are involved beyond showing up and knowing the lines and makes a compelling case for personal development and self-care, highlighting the attitudes and behaviors that lead to lasting success not only in acting but in life.

Myths about what it takes to “make it” in Hollywood are dispelled, and related surprises—such as the fact that ethics are as important as knowledge in one’s career—arise. Quotes from famous directors and diagrams and sketches enliven and clarify the text. Suggestions for actors who wish to improve the sound of their voice, learn how to handle props, and achieve emotional continuity throughout the filming process are based in experience, and advice is delivered in a clear, precise manner that inspires confidence.

Friendly and always to the point, the book is at once firm and encouraging. It engenders respect for the depth and complexity of filmmaking and leaves no room for slackers, self-admirers, or exhibitionists. Neat and organized in a clear way, with no-fluff chapter titles, the text is easy to navigate, and its layout and font are appealing. Decorative illustrations add a touch of elegance.

Providing a wealth of technical information, A New Slant on Acting is a complete manual for film actors.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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