A Practical Handbook for the Actor
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A Practical Handbook for the Actor

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  18 reviews
6 working actors describe their methods and philosophies of the theater. All have worked with playwright David Mamet at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
ebook, 112 pages
Published April 25th 2012 by Vintage (first published April 12th 1986)
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(showing 1-30 of 642)
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Zanna Frith
Ok, so don't believe everything you read but this is certainly a great start to understanding the technique of Practical Aesthetics.
Janne Varvára
My boyfriend, when ordering a useful book, orders a stack, so that, if it comes up in conversation that someone needs to read up, or needs a little help on something (be it cognitive therapy or the art of the theatre), he's good and ready to supply works of literature.

A few weeks back, right after we'd started rehearsing for Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, I ordered a bunch of books on Stanislavsky technique in a panic, also because this is a golden opportunity to learn to use it, but because the...more
Louis
I would have to say that this is the Strunk and White of Acting. If you don't know what that is, it is a book to help you write more clearly.

This book is geared towards analyzing and properly determining how to get the most out of a scene in an organic way.

It also helps with what to do after you are asked to change or correct up by the director or because of other stimuli.

I will need to do further homework on breaking down scripts in order to better gain skill in using this handbook. Have star...more
Linawings
One quote from this book reveals what is the meaning of acting to me "If you intend to manipulate, to show, to impress, you may experience mild suffering and pleasant triumphs. If you intend to follow the truth you feel in yourself - to follow your common sense, and force your will to serve you in quest for discipline and simplicity - you will subject yourself to profound despair, loneliness, and constant self-doubt. And if you persevere, the Theatre, which you are learning to serve, will grace...more
Kevin Powe
Short and sweet. Some good practical advice within. Encourages actors to stay away from creating a facsimile of an emotional result, focusing instead on intent and physical action to produce an ultimate outcome. Also encourages a focus on the performance as a product for an audience rather than self-indulgence of the actor, which is a good point to keep in mind.
Travis
This unassuming little tome is the best book I've ever found on the subject of acting. This is essentially the Meisner technique distilled through David Mamet and presented to the actors in workshop form. But you don't have to worry about all that. Just know that this is a book you can pick up and implement immediately. The principles, however, go deep and take time to master.
Matt
David Mamet was right, this is the most important acting book in the last 20 years. This book is a breath of fresh air, because as I grow as an actor I'm finding myself growing apart from The Method...Something I once admired and relished has become dizzyingly tired and worst of all useless.
EMi
Every practising actor should read this. I only found it a bit dull because I read it at the end of my college program so I had already learnt it all over the course of the past two years. =)
Jackeline
Wonderful book on the practical aesthetics technique! Useful for beginners and professionals alike. Highly recommended.
Sonya
Has some redeeming points, but really fairly difficult to teach basic acting from.
Unclear terminology - confusing to students.
Charles
A must for those involved in theater and film, Turn practice into action, comentory on the "methods", Very usable.
Shayla
I had to read this for my college class and found it to be very helpful. Here's hoping I pass the class!
Josie
Good advice, but a bit dated and dry. I enjoyed it because I'm a geek, but I wouldn't actually recommend it.
Isabella Tugman
Terrific book on acting. If I had to pick just one book to read for acting, it would be this.
Charlene
Guess I won't really know if it's helpful till I put the tools in use.
Mary
This is simply the best how to act book ever written. IMHO.
Tracy Morton
Clear and concise tips for actors of every level.
Garrison
very insightful. great handbook
Jerry Williams
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Technique theatre 1 2 Jun 12, 2014 05:19AM  
  • A Challenge For The Actor
  • Acting: The First Six Lessons
  • Audition
  • Sanford Meisner on Acting
  • Building a Character
  • Acting in Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making
  • True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor
  • To the Actor
  • Freeing the Natural Voice
  • Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays
  • Impro
  • The Art of Acting
  • The Empty Space: A Book About the Theatre: Deadly, Holy, Rough, Immediate
  • Directing Actors
  • Improvisation for the Theater
  • Games for Actors and Non-Actors
  • A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre
  • Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting and Selling Your Script

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