An occasional look at unexpected, utterly original and strangely appealing book titles that cross our desks:takeyourshirt

Take Your Shirt Off and Cry

By Nancy Balbirer

(Bloomsbury, March, trade paperback original)

This "memoir of near-fame experiences" takes the author from her days as an NYU drama student through auditions, rehearsals, a stint in L.A. and a role on "Seinfeld" with Jerry Himself. (Remember the episode about Jon Voight's car? Me neither.) The book's title comes from a piece of advice the author received from playwright David Mamet, master of subtlety: "Being a woman in this business, you'll be asked to do only two things in every f**** role you ever play; take your shirt off and cry. That's it." Who could argue with that assessment? Thankfully, Balbirer refuses to play the victim here, and she can take a well-deserved bow for this frank and funny account of her trek through the perilous world of show biz.

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