Does anyone have a book they recommend on an acting technique that was a fascinating read? I dont want a book on the business of acting but am trying to read more so figured I would read a book on an acting technique for fun
Here are a few..
Stella Adler - "The Art of Acting"
Harold Guskin - "How to Stop Acting & Start Living"
Tony Barr - "Acting for the Camera"
Larry Moss - "Intent to Live"
Scott Sedita - "8 Characters of Comedy"
Michael Caine - "Acting in Film"
To add to Chadwhy's list:
-Actor's Art and Craft-William Esper
-15 Guideline Map to Booking-Amy Lyndon
-How to Get the Part Without Falling Apart-Margie Haber
-The Art of Film Acting-Jeremiah Comey
TT, is it worth reading Margies book if you studied with her or Annie Grindlay?
I'm surprised noone has said Uta Hagen yet. She's a basic "given" right there, and gives a bunch of practical tricks to use if you get stuck or have a curve ball thrown at you.
After Uta, Meisner rounds it out nicely.
. . . IMHO
If you already did study with either Margie, Annie, or Saxon, then no need to get Margie's book.
If you're going to read Uta's stuff, read BOTH books. Uta changed some of her beliefs and wrote
"Challenge to the Actor" and asked the publishing company to take "Respect for Acting" off of the shelves. The publishing company refused because "Respect..." was such a money maker.
Though many people like her stuff, it never really resonated with me. Substitution whether it be in preparation or performance doesn't work for me. I also found that a more instinctual approach has worked better for me than a more intellectual approach.
I agree with you about the instinctual over the intellectual, and being immersed in the scene over using substitution. I still like to have her techniques just incase. For example, going in to film a scene last week, I had a curve ball thrown at me to "play sick. be sick. go in having the flu." Huh? How am I going to be sick w/o indicating and making this now look like a telenovela? So, I used Uta's technique of being hot on stage. I focused on a part of my body that gets particularly affected when I've had the flu: my forehead. It schweats like a rain forest and gets really hot. So, I went in the scene w/ some extra focus on my hot schweaty forehead (that is prone to sweating anyways), and I was told, "Nice adjustment" by the Director. That is why I feel Uta may help in last minute out-of-left-field situations like that.
I hate substitution. I cant use it at an audition for a dramatic show and then an hour later go and audition for a comedy.
I like to create my own story but TRUTH.... Is there a book that talks about the instinctual approach to acting or the imagination aspect?
Improv and Meisner are big on instincts and are best learned by doing.
William Esper has the best book on Meisner. Sandy's book was incomplete and William reiterates and expands on it.
Best place to study Meisner?
If you want to learn the traditional 2 year way then Baron/Brown or Elizabeth Mestnik would be it.
I don't have that kind of patience to commit to one school for two years. I studied with R.J. Adams who studied with Meisner, himself, and Charles Conrad, who was one of Meisner's greatest disciples who adapted Meisner to on camera. He doesn't believe that you need the two years to be good.
Other Meisner based schools:
Sandy Meisner on Acting - Sandy Meisner
Audition - Michael Shurtleff
Irreverent Acting - Eric Morris
No Acting Please - Eric Morris
I studied with William Alderson who studied with Meisner and taught alongside him. He also ran the Neighborhood Playhouse for 20 years in NYC after Meisner died.
Alderson and Esper are considered the two best Meisner teachers on each coast. If you want old school nuts and bolts Meisner, Alderson is the guy in LA. Many, many well known actors and playwrights, including David Mamet and Jeff Goldblum credit Alderson for much of their training.
Check out http://www.aldersonstudio.com/
To the Actor - Michael Chekhov
The Stanislavski System - Sonia Moore
A Practical Handbook for the Actor - Melissa Bruder et al
Secrets of Screen Acting - Patrick Tucker
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