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To the Actor

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  447 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
How does an actor learn to:
* Call up emotion?
* Develop a character?
* Strengthen awareness?
These are essential techniques for every actor, and Michael Chekhov's classic work To the Actor explains, clearly and concisely, how to develop them. Chekhov's simple and practical method - successfully used by professional actors all over the world - trains the actor's imaginati
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 2nd 2002 by Routledge (first published 1953)
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The Technique of Acting by Stella AdlerThe Stanislavski System by Sonia MooreAn Actor Prepares by Konstantin StanislavskiOn the Technique of Acting by Michael ChekhovMy Life in Art by Konstantin Stanislavski
Best Acting Books
22nd out of 32 books — 23 voters
Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell MaltzWho's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael S. GazzanigaHow to Find the Right Person to Date by Celia JohnHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThrow Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke
Understanding Yourself
20th out of 25 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,349)
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Natasha
Jun 06, 2007 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists of all types!
Holy Shit. Seriously, holy shit.

I picked up this book on a whim, because I sortof recognized the name and thought, why not, its been a while since I read an acting text.

This book relates the craft of acting in such a way that it rediscovers it as an artform, at least for me. It draws parallels with every other type of art, and relies on the actor's existing talent and imagination as the basis for a successful acting experience, rather than just saying "remember how you felt when your dog died,
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Brittannia
Jan 05, 2016 Brittannia rated it really liked it
Theatre pedagogy, if you will. Although I don't agree with the 'Method' philosophy, this was an incredibly insightful book. I knew about annoying improv exercises (which pale in comparison to actually performing), but I never knew theatre technique could be so physical and complex. I definitely learned a lot, and this book promotes hard work and resourcefulness in artists; looking within and using one's present atmosphere instead of looking to the past. Ultimately, this book teaches us to be in ...more
Luisalex Delarosa
Apr 13, 2015 Luisalex Delarosa rated it it was amazing
I thought acting is just pretending to be someone your not was a good enough method. It's the Sir Ian McKellen way. Went very slow with this book because there was much highlightable material. Great read for actors or those who want to understand the craft of acting
Peter Catania
Sep 19, 2014 Peter Catania rated it it was amazing
I thought acting is just pretending to be someone your not was a good enough method. It's the Sir Ian McKellen way. Went very slow with this book because there was much highlightable material. Great read for actors or those who want to understand the craft of acting.
Ian
Jan 07, 2015 Ian rated it it was ok
One of the least natural approaches to acting I've ever learned, but not without a certain sense of poetry.
Viktoras Mic
Apr 15, 2016 Viktoras Mic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Turbūt geriausia mano skaityta knyga apie aktorinį meistriškumą. Pradžioje ji gali pasirodyti kiek ezoteriška, bet vis tik joje aprašyta vaizduote paremta prieitis prie niuansuoto, gyvybe pulsuojančio vaidmens nustebina mane kaskart, kai vėl paskaitau šią knygą. Labai rekomenduoju.
Justin
Apr 08, 2009 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most creative and innovative alternatives to pure Stanislavski technique. Perhaps not the best place to delve into acting theory, but certainly one of the most mind-broadening experiences you can have in the area -- like diving into the deep end after dipping your toes.
Algeria Harding
Jan 13, 2008 Algeria Harding rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Algeria by: Random
Shelves: already-read
As a previous Vocalist / aspiring Actress, this book changed my life! It helped me to not only apply many of the approaches to the art of being a performer, but it also helped me to apply it to an array of other aspects of my life. A must have for the "Performing Artist".
Paul Kelman
Mar 30, 2016 Paul Kelman rated it it was amazing
An essential read for the performer. Indispensable understanding of what the art form is and how to discover its essence. One of the original thinkers in the modern theatre whose ideas changed and deepened the art form changing theatre itself.
Teresa
Jan 15, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
All aspiring actors should read this inspiring and informative book by Michael Chekhov. I've learned more in the past year from reading his work, than in my entire career.
Nika
Jun 01, 2007 Nika rated it liked it
I own the hardcover its been so long since I read it so I probably should again. However I recall liking it.He was reknown for being awsome.
Jorge Garcia
Mar 30, 2014 Jorge Garcia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Genial.
Teresa
Dec 11, 2010 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Rocked my world. I've always been slightly out of sync with Stanislawski but didn't know why until I read this amazing book.
Eduardo Brasil
Jan 31, 2008 Eduardo Brasil rated it liked it
I own a copy of it in Portuguese. Excellent insight into the craft of acting and good proposed practical exercises
Dave Cotton
May 13, 2013 Dave Cotton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
You really need a teacher trained in Chekhov's style of acting to work with you to get the most out of this book.
Aly Zhang
Jun 12, 2015 Aly Zhang rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Absolutely elucidating, motivating and technically inspiring. Highly worth the read.
Will Bellais
Jun 01, 2007 Will Bellais rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Required reading
Shelves: referenceworks
Here is a text all actors must read, digest, and make part of their intuitive knowing.
Jeffrey
Jan 16, 2008 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those that are seious about their acting craft
delicious discoveries from the greatest teacher in technique for the actor.
Erin
Aug 20, 2007 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theatre
changed the way i see and do performance
Carolyn
Aug 03, 2011 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theatre-film
The BEST acting book I have ever read!
Neelhari Kafle
i want to read this book
Andy
Feb 27, 2011 Andy added it
my favorite book about acting
Ned
Jan 27, 2011 Ned rated it it was ok
didn't help me much
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  • A Challenge For The Actor
  • Building a Character
  • Sanford Meisner on Acting
  • The Technique of Acting
  • Acting: The First Six Lessons
  • Acting in Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making
  • Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part
  • Freeing the Natural Voice
  • Towards a Poor Theatre
  • On Directing
  • Acting for the Camera: Revised Edition
  • Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus
  • A Practical Handbook for the Actor
  • The Empty Space: A Book About the Theatre: Deadly, Holy, Rough, Immediate
  • A Dream of Passion: The Development of the Method
  • No Acting Please: A Revolutionary Approach to Acting and Living
  • The Stanislavski System: The Professional Training of an Actor (Penguin Handbooks)
  • Voice and the Actor

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“All you experience in the course of your life, all you observe and think, all that makes you happy or unhappy, all your regrets or satisfactions, all your love or hate, all you long for or avoid, all your achievements and failures, all you brought with you into this life at birth – your temperament, abilities, inclinations, whether they remain unfulfilled, underdeveloped or overdeveloped – all are part of the region of your so-called subconscious depth. There, being forgotten by you, or never known to you, they undergo the process of being purified of all egotism. They become feelings per se. Thus purged and transformed, they become part of the material from which your individuality creates the psychology, the illusory “soul” of the character.” 0 likes
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