I want to be a star!

Auditioning for TV: How to Prepare for Success as a Television Actor
Begley and MacCrae

Wow, a career book from 1955.  This was submitted from a Catholic high school library.  Careers in television are absolutely reliant on relevancy and currency.  The industry has changed drastically since the 1950s.  I mean, a career as a TV actor was just becoming an option when this book was published!  It’s an interesting historical look at the industry, but useless in a Catholic high school library (or any other high school library, for that matter!).





  1. Were the people who checked out this book in 1955 auditioning for a bit part in I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners. One look at reading the title on the cover screams “Good God I’m OLD!”

  2. Notice who the foreword is by. According to Wikipedia: “In 1954, Montgomery took an unpaid position as consultant and coach to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, advising him on how to look his best in his television appearances before the nation. A pioneering media consultant, Montgomery had an office in the White House during this time.”
    He also testified against the “Commies” before Congress.

    He was in tons of movies like “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” but his only television work was hosting “Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theater.”

  3. As a historical piece I think that it would be very interesting to read. When you think about the fact the majority of TV then was still live there are probably advice and pointers that would not apply today. Of course I’m am usually fascinated by obsolete history in the “modern” world; there is so much of it just in this blog alone!

  4. If this book was written for high-school students, those kids would be in the range of 70 to 75 now. Wow. Time seems to stand still inside the coves of books.

  5. Don’t forget, Robert Montgomery was the father of Elizabeth “Bewitched” Montgomery. She’s deceased too. A lot of stuff has happened since 1955.

  6. I love that the jacket design has illustrations based on the Greek comedy/tragedy masks. Shows how early television programming was not only aired live (as Tom mentions upthread) but also relied on the theater for programming content and style. Today it seems to be the other way around–theatrical productions are often based on tv shows and movies.

    This book would be great for a library with a special collections for television and film books.

  7. I can see how Sister Mary Librarian-for-Life was being thrifty by keeping every book that might possibly cover the topic without buying new ones. Imagine this entry showing up in a student’s bibliography! That must have been one quiet library!

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