The Audition Process: A Guide for Actors

The Audition Process: A Guide for Actors by Bob Funk

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Reviewed by Gabi L.

Bob Funk is an acting professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As an actor and director, he has worked professionally in New York and in regional theatres across the United States. In The Audition Process: A Guide for Actors, Bob Funk covers in detail the importance of headshots, resumes and theatre conferences. He goes beyond what is expected inside the audition room and advises actors on how they should behave from the moment you step into the building till you get the final call way after the in-person audition as ended.

I have been active in theatre for many years and this is by far the best audition book I have come across. Bob Funk provides readers with performing and preparation tips for monologues and songs along with revealing some of the mysteries of actually getting a job in the entertainment industry. The book Bob Funk covers all aspects of the theatre audition realm as he teaches readers the importance of headshots, great resumes, and theatre conferences. He even goes so far as to list the contact info and requirements for each conference! The Audition Process: A Guide for Actors is a wonderful no-nonsense guide that is written very clearly in a way that is easy to understand.

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Book Review: Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Review by Gabi L.

Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is an intriguing story based loosely the Cinderella fairytale. As the first book in her trilogy, Meyer explores the relationship between “Earthans”, who life on Earth, and Lunars, people who live on the moon in space and have adapted mind control abilities. Cinder is a 16-year-old girl who lives on Earth with her abusive step-family. She has learned to adapt as a cyborg and an outcast in a world of humans. Cinder is a very skilled mechanic and eventually her reputation leads for the prince to request her help. She unwillingly commits to helping his cause and becomes invested in the intergalactic conflict between the Earthans and the Lunars.

I am a major fan of the original Cinderella story, so I had high expectations for this book and Marissa Meyer definitely surpassed those expectations. Cinder kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the novel as the story pulls you into Cinder’s world and provides readers with a view into an alternate world as an outcast and as someone who is even unwelcome in their own home. What makes this book even more enjoyable is how likable Cinder is as a character as I was always hoping for the best for her throughout the story.

 

Designing Your Life

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Reviewed by Gabi L.

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Designing Your Life is written by two college professors, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, who have created a college course, and now a book, that teaches students (no matter what age) how to create and live a life of enjoyment. One point that the authors make very clear is to know where you are right now by reflecting on the current levels of your core areas of life: health, work, play, and love. Knowing where are currently, helps to clearly define where it is you want to go, what you should improve and add more of into your everyday life, and what to start cutting out. Burnett and Evans also emphasize the importance of getting “unstuck” rather than just opting for the easiest, closest option when life is not going according to plan or when you are not happy with a situation.

Burnett and Evans offer incredible advice on building the life you want, even if you don’t have a clear picture of where you want to be or what exactly you want to do. They provide exercises throughout the book to help you during your journey to explore your desires and to build the life you want. Bill and Dave present the information needed to take hold of your life and encourage you to be held accountable by others to heighten motivation. Designing Your Life has offered me an eye-opening perspective on my life and the parts that I didn’t particularly enjoy and offered helpful advise to create my own happiness. I still am not finished with the journey, but this book has definitely pushed me in the right direction and I will continue to implement their advice.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Review by Gabi L.

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Malcolm and Maud Angel are worth millions. Maud earns stocks and Malcolm owns a pharmaceutical company. After the couple is found dead in their bedroom with no signs of forced entry, Tandy and her brothers are the main murder suspects. With strange blank spots in her memory, Tandy Angel only knows three things: first, she was the last person to see her parents alive. Second, the police suspect and are only questioning Tandy and her siblings. Third, she can’t trust anybody, maybe not even herself. Tandy is determined to figure out the truth of what happened to her parents, even if it means discovering that she is the guilty one.

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro team up to create this fast pace, intriguing mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. With Tandy as the narrator, readers feel like they are in the situation with Tandy, figuring out who the killer(s) is. Patterson and Paetro create an easy to read writing style with nice short chapters that makes it almost impossible to put this book down. Confessions of a Murder Suspect will make you question every possibility. Who is the killer? And why did they murder Malcolm and Maud Angel?

Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Reviewed by Gabi L.

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What if all your crushes you’ve ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once? Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean has never openly admitted any of her crushes to anybody. Instead, she writes a love letter to each boy, seals it, and keeps them all hidden in a box under her bed. One day, Lara Jean finds out that all five of her secret letters have mysteriously been mailed out to every one of her crushes. With her love letters out in the open, she is confronted by all of her past crushes about the letters, including her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, and her sister’s ex-boyfriend. Lara Jean learns to face her emotions and this awkward, complicated situation head on as her love life suddenly goes from imaginary to out of control.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a book for the hopeful romantics out there. Lara Jean’s crazy life is filled with energy, laughs, and even a few tears. Author Jenny Han creates likable, relatable characters as Lara Jean tries to find a reasonable way to handle all of her past crushes at once. This is a fun, enjoyable the read for those who love romance, comedy, and drama.

Book Review: The Lean

The Lean by Kathy Freston

Reviewed by Gabi L.

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The Lean offers valuable advice on leaning into a new healthful lifestyle. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to adopt healthier habits, Freston provides simple tweaks to add to your daily routine that gently nudges readers into a healthy direction. The Lean is a simple step-by-step guide that encourages the audience to move away from animal products and towards plant-based food. There are thirty chapters in this book and every chapter is based on a daily tweak that you that over time can yield incredible results. These daily tweaks help readers reach sustainable, healthy, long-term weight loss one day at a time.

I have struggled with my weight for years. As a kid, I grew up being close to 20 pounds heavier than friends and the other students in my class. A few years ago I stumbled upon this book and it changed my life. From day one, as soon as I started incorporating Freston’s tips I noticed that I was eating less junk food and that my portions had become much more normal. My skin cleared up, I dropped multiple dress sizes, and my confidence levels were through the roof! This book is arguably the best, most helpful book I have ever read and I 100% recommend The Lean to anybody wanting to shed excess weight or just adopt some healthy habits.

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Reviewed by Gabi L.

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Never Let Me Go begins by looking at the life of Kathy, a thirty-one-year-old carer, who is about to become a donor herself. As a “carer”, Kathy’s job is to look after the health of “donors” until they mysteriously die or “complete”. While caring for one of her last patients, Kathy tells the story of her childhood and relives her memories with her dearest friends Ruth and Tommy. Ruth is a leader and center of attention, while Tommy is the school’s outcast, and Kathy is the glue keeping the three together.

In this alternate universe, scientists in England are cloning human beings and harvesting the clones for their organs. Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy are all clones who attend Hailsham, a boarding school for clones where they are students from ages zero to sixteen. Hailsham is known to be one of the more humane schools for the clones as other, less prestigious schools are rumored to abuse the students. In Never Let Me Go society must decide if the cruelty of cloning is worth the consequences.

Ishiguro’s dystopian world is set in the late 1990s and keeps you on the edge of your seat, eagerly flipping pages. Never Let Me Go is a story that will make you question society and your own morals. Should clones be treated equally to humans? Do clones have emotions? Can they feel pain? Never Let Me Go reveals horrific truths about human nature and the consequences of turning a blind eye to serious issues.