Book Review: Amy Lyndon’s ‘The 15 Guideline Map To Booking’

Amy Lyndon has just released her first book, The 15 Guideline Map To Booking, and I’m happy to report that it’s excellent. You know how when you read something a friend wrote and you’re afraid its going to stink? Not so here (full disclosure, if you’ve read this site for any length of time, you know that Amy has written several popular columns) and I promise I’m not blowing smoke. This is a solid, practical, concise guide on how to break down a scene.

Why should you read this book? Because Amy is an actress like you and me. She knows what its like and knows what we go through as actors day to day. She’s not someone who has stopped acting and became a teacher – you know who I mean.

I’m sure you’ve read acting books that are hundreds of pages long and takes forever just get to the point. This book is all meat and no fluff. It starts from page one and doesn’t stop spilling out insightful information. And best of all, it clocks in at a sleek 58 pages.

The “guidelines” are what Amy has been teaching for years. All of them, from Guideline 7: Every Line Is A Separate Thought to Guideline 14: Why Are You In The Script teaches you the details you need to properly break down a scene and be remembered by casting directors.

I obviously won’t go through all the guidelines but I will tell you my favorite, Guideline #3: What Is The Character’s Emotional State Of Mind (at the top of the scene). She says, “If your opening emotion is strong, nothing else will bother you. 90% of your work is done before you walk in the door.” So true! If you’re stumbling out of the gate all you do the rest of the scene is to try and find your footing. If you absolutely know what your beginning emotion is nothing can stop you. Amy even says it herself, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, then you will appear insecure in the room. Knowing what you are doing will give you the confidence you need to go after the job.”

Yes, Amy writes, these guidelines are not an easy thing to learn but once you do, breaking down a scene will never be easier. “Every script you pick up is like a puzzle,” she says. ” The clues to your character are in each and every line.”

She likes to say, Be in your heart, not in your head.” This book will definitely lead you there.

To order The 15 Guideline Map To Booking, click here.

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