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Acting & Drama
Hollywood 101 Series

* Backstage Magazine Readers Choice 2014 Award for The Ultimate Commercial Book for Kids & Teens!

Written by Chambers Stevens, edited by Renee Role-Whatley, published by Children Acting Books, a division of Sandcastle Publishing

By Linda K. Foster

Lights! Camera! Action! Do your kids think they have what it takes to be on television or in commercials? Do you think they have what it takes? If so, the Hollywood 101 study guides by Chambers Stevens will help guide your kids into the world of T.V. Emmy nominee Chambers Stevens has coached over 5000 kids and teens who have appeared in television shows and commercials. Stevens is an accomplished television and theater actor, an award-winning playwright, an author and a teacher. He is a graduate of the Conservatory of Theater Arts at Webster University and the founder of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. In his six-book series entitled Hollywood 101, Stevens combines his qualifications and his inside knowledge of the entertainment field to provide kids and teens with valuable information necessary for success in theater and television.

In August, 2014, Mr. Stevens’ highly-acclaimed book The Ultimate Commercial Book for Kids & Teens received the Backstage Magazine Readers Choice Award for 2014. Backstage is one of the most respected resource publications in the entertainment field, being one the main sources of audition and casting notices, agency news and other pertinent information for anyone in show business.

The Hollywood 101 Series is divided into three groups of study guides: Commercials, Monologues, and Scenes, each providing guidance for different acting levels. The first group includes the aforementioned, award-winning The Ultimate Commercial Book for Kids and Teens and 24-Carat Commercials for Kids. The first book offers step-by-step guide from warm-up exercises, to practice sessions, to auditions. Kids and teens are given advice for succeeding in single-person commercials, gender-specific commercials, group commercials and even public-service announcements. Stevens discusses the role of the agent, the importance of choosing the right agent, and the importance of proper headshots. The Ultimate Commercial Book includes over 150 practice commercials as well as information on writing resumes that work, learning to “talk” to the camera and how to get a work permit. And, as an added bonus, Stevens includes interviews with experts who provide valuable insight into the industry and tips for acting hopefuls. The second book in this group is 24-Carat Commercials for Kids, a compilation of 101 additional practice commercials including 2-person commercials and public-service announcements.

Most theatrical play auditions require the memorization of a monologue and Magnificent Monologues for Kidsand Magnificent Monologues for Teens were written to provide a variety of monologues just that use. While it is important to be able to learn lines and demonstrate the ability to speak -- either alone or with others in commercials -- kids and teens wishing to perform in theater productions need audition material that truly displays their talents in the best light. They also need material that is interesting and is something they can relate to. According to Chambers Stevens “Monologues are the easiest dramatic work to audition with.” They are short “audition pieces” that should never be longer than three minutes and they offer young actors and actresses the chance to show their talents. Both Magnificent Monologues books are filled with acting basics and insider tips that Stevens has used to coach thousands over the years. Each book contains interesting, age- appropriate and gender-specific monologues that help prepare the young actor/actress for the audition and, hopefully, bring a sense of security to that audition. A variety of comedic and dramatic monologues are included in each book along with bibliographies of great plays for study, and all-important, “need-to-know” showbiz words and definitions.

Sensational Scenes for Kids and Sensational Scenes for Teens offers comedic and dramatic scenes in traditional script format that will serve to sharpen the craft of the young actor or actress. According to Chambers Stevens, “To become a great actor, you have to know how to play a scene. Once you’ve grasped scene study, you will not only audition well, but also have the necessary skills to act a role.” Unlike other acting books that include scenes written in the styles from decades past with dialogue that doesn’t relate to today’s youth, bothSensational Scenes books include material that could be on today’s TV shows. Both books include scenes for half-hour (situational comedies) and hour-long dramas and, as with the other books in the series, include insider tips from industry experts and “need-to-know” words and definitions.

In each of the books in the Hollywood 101 acting series, Chambers Stevens is able to bridge the kid/teen/adult communication gap. He provides well-written, easily-understood and youth-friendly guidelines and practice materials that are sure to motivate those bitten by the acting bug, to practice and improve their craft. He stresses the importance of practice and makes it clear that acting is a difficult profession but one that can be extremely fun and rewarding. Using his extensive background in a variety of areas of entertainment, Chambers Stevens is able to communicate with kids and teens in a way that produces results. He has a proven track record of success in coaching classes and, now, offers the same successful coaching methods in this valuable and entertaining acting series. For additional information on the Hollywood 101 acting series, please visit www.childrenactingbooks.com.
L.K.F.

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