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Actors & Acting

N to Z by author

Acting as an art, and as a profession, has long since fascinated many. Over the years, techniques, methods and styles have been formulated by the likes of Stanislavski, Strasberg, and Mamet, each with their own particular view on acting. Many of these legendary theatre artists have created accessible, helpful books that not only help demystify the craft, but also offer insight into their particular process. This section has a wealth of titles, ranging from technical handbooks, to intimate memoirs. An enthralling subject, these titles are sure to enlighten.

An Actor's TricksAn Actor's Tricks
Yoshi Oida & Lorna Marshall
Yoshi Oida infuses his acting and directing with the artistry of the Oriental traditions and a mastery of Western forms. An Actor's Tricks offers a meticulous scrutiny of the actor's preparation for performance. Throughout, examples and principles drawn from Oida's work with Peter Brook and from both Western and Eastern disciplines are offered to illuminate the process. This book is a study of the act of creation essential for every actor and director. Softcover, 102 pp. $26.00.

Something Written in the State of Denmark: An Actor's Year with the Royal Shakespeare Company Keith Osborn Following in the footsteps of Nick Asbury's best-sellling Exit Pursued by a Badger, actor and RSC alumnus Keith Osborn tells the story of the company's extraordinary 2008/9 season in Stratford and London. Softcover, 291 pp. $27.95. Something Written in the State of Denmark: An Actor's Year with the Royal Shakespeare Company
Keith Osborn
Following in the footsteps of Nick Asbury's best-sellling Exit Pursued by a Badger, actor and RSC alumnus Keith Osborn tells the story of the company's extraordinary 2008/9 season in Stratford and London. Softcover, 291 pp. $27.95.

Managing Performance Stress: Models and MethodsManaging Performance Stress: Models and Methods

David Pargman
An easy-to-use reference work for performers of all ages and experience levels, this book presents exercises, coaching devices, and strategies for conquering stress and anxiety. It is an invaluable resource for those who are performers, will be performers, or who are preparing to mentor, coach, or teach performers. The issues explored and the theories, principles, models, and hypotheses discussed all bear upon and clarify arousal, stress, and anxiety related to all forms of artistic performance. Softcover, 256 pp. $47.95.

Seeking RepresentationSeeking Representation: A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding a Talent Agent (In Canada)

Valerie L. Poulin
When Poulin wrote the first draft of Seeking Representation in 1995 there were few, if any, books available to guide industry newcomers and emerging actors through the process of finding a talent agent. From the detailed introduction to the business to the nitty-gritty details of getting paid for your work, this book will aid any aspiring performer in need of a helpful guide. Coil-bound, 111 pp. $14.95.

The Acting Bible The Acting Bible
Michael Powell
For drama students and aspiring actors, The Acting Bible is the essential brush-up guide to acting technique. Covering a range of skills, from physical expressiveness to voice projection, and demonstrating how to analyze and understand scripts, this comprehensive reference is designed for actors in all media -- theatre, television, and film. Softcover, 256 pp. $27.50.

The Second Circle
The Second Circle
Patsy Rodenburg
In this book, Patsy Rodenburg expounds on her theory of the Three Circles of Energy. She believes that everyone is born with a vital presence, and with this text you will learn to remember and channel positive energy into every aspect of your life. The charisma you see shimmering around a famous actor is tangible - you have the potential to be that energized. Hardcover, 276 pp. $27.50.

Acting and Singing with Archetypes Acting and Singing with Archetypes
Janet B. Rodgers & Frankie Armstrong
The Mother, the Lover, the Trickster, the Spiritual and Temporal Leader, the Devil -- these are just some of the universal essences, known as archetypes, that lie deep within the human spirit; these are forces that we all recognize and embody in some capacity. This groundbreaking book uses archetypes as the basis of an unprecedented method of study for actors and singers. Includes a full-length audio CD. Softcover, 182 pp. $18.99.

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Actors & Acting

Actor Training / Auditioning / Business
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In Character: Actors Acting In Character: Actors Acting
Howard Schatz
In Character is a landmark project for acclaimed author Howard Schatz. In it he has directed and photographed a host of today's finest thespians acting out a variety of scenarios. Characters might include an evil crime boss, an eight-year-old girl triumphing at a spelling bee, a gambler at the track, a businessman on the prowl, a teenage girl flirting, or a coach imploring his players to play harder and win. The ravishing images are paired with insightful comments which reveal the actors' views on the creative process, developing a character, and their own personal experiences. Large format. Hardcover, 264 pp. $67.00.

Year of the KingYear of the King

Antony Sher
Antony Sher's stunning performance for the Royal Shakespeare Company as a Richard III on crutches -- the so-called "bottled spider" -- won him both the Laurence Olivier and the Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor. This book records, in the actor's own words and drawings, the making of this historic theatrical event. This new edition has been published to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the premiere. Softcover, 249 pp. $25.00.


Michael Shurtleff
This is the all-time bestseller on the subject. It is filled with practical suggestions for preparation and execution of the "winning audition." Mass market, $10.99.

Letters to a Young ArtistLetters to a Young Artist
Anna Deavere Smith
Here is Anna Deavere Smith's brass tacks advice to aspiring artists of all stripes. In vividly anecdotal letters to the young BZ, she addresses the full spectrum of issues that people starting out will face: from questions of confidence, discipline, and self-esteem, to fame, failure, and fear, to staying healthy, presenting yourself effectively, building a diverse social and professional network, and using your art to promote social change. At once inspiring and no-nonsense, Letters to a Young Artist will challenge you, motivate you, and set you on a course to pursue your art without compromise. Softcover, 227 pp. $16.95.

Dreamwork for ActorsDreamwork for Actors
Janet Sonenberg
Dreamwork for Actors brilliantly explores the potential of dreams for actor training and development. Janet Sonenberg demonstrates how the actor seeds dreams with material from the play under study and then uses the resulting dream to affect the acting. This book is a wholly new tool with which actors can unleash startling performances. Softcover 256 pp. $21.95.

Actors At WorkActors At Work

Rosemary Tichler & Barry Jay Kaplan
With a nod to The Paris Review's Writers at Work model, Actors at Work looks at the ways in which some of our most respected stage and film actors approach their calling. Rosemary Tichler and Barry Jay Kaplan explore these performers' influences, their idols and insecurities, their paths to work and success, the uses of training, and the art of acting itself. Softcover, 369 pp. $18.50.

Stanislavski in RehearsalStanislavski in Rehearsal
Vasili Toporokov
This unique perspective on the acting technique of Stanislavski comes courtesy of his former student Vasili Toporokov. Already an accomplished actor when he joined the Moscow Art Theatre, Toporokov was forced to re-train under the master's guidance. Stanislavski in Rehearsal is Toporokov's account of this learning process. All actors will be captivated and educated by this invaluable document of Stanislavski's mature thoughts on acting. Softcover, 163 pp. $31.95.

Other People's Shoes: Thoughts on ActingOther People's Shoes: Thoughts on Acting
Harriet Walter
Divided into 4 parts -- "Why Do It?", "Preparations and Rehearsals", "Character and Context", and "Performance" -- this elucidating book takes us step by step through Harriet Walter's creative process as an actor. Every actor can benefit from this book's unparalleled insights, all of which are firmly rooted in Harriet's own experiences. Softcover, 275 pp. $22.95.

Acting ReconsideredActing Reconsidered
Second Edition
Phillip B. Zarrilli
A wide ranging collection of theories of acting, ideas about the body and training, and statements about the actor in performance. Includes discussions by or about figures who have shaped performance in the past century including Meyerhold, Copeau, Artaud, Decroux, Brecht, Fo, Suzuki, Grotowski, Rosenthal and Dafoe. Softcover, 378 pp. $54.95.

What Have You Done? What Have You Done?

Louis Zorich
The facts of an actor's life are often far stranger than any fiction they portray. "The joy in reading this book comes from the realization that we are all constantly auditioning for something -- and we are all the better for it -- win or lose." - Frank Langella. Softcover, $14.95.

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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