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The Actor's Art and Craft: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique
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The Actor's Art and Craft: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique

4.49  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
William Esper, one of the leading acting teachers of our time, explains and extends Sanford Meisner's legendary technique, offering a clear, concrete, step-by-step approach to becoming a truly creative actor.

Esper worked closely with Meisner for seventeen years and has spent decades developing his famous program for actor's training. The result is a rigorous system of exer
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2008)
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Eric Kibler
Mar 27, 2012 Eric Kibler rated it it was amazing
This book leads you through the course of training that many of the best actors go through. Esper's course is a continuation of the line begun by Stanislavsky in the late 19th century. The "method" school. Stanislavsky begat the American Group Theater, which begat Meisner, who begat Esper and others. Esper is one of the Master Teachers of the craft.

Whereas the method originally required actors to fully live their characters, and to invent whole lives and memories for them, the modern actor uses
Dusty Bayers
Mar 21, 2016 Dusty Bayers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: career
LOVED! It was a fantastic review of my first year at the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown studio. The way Bill explains concepts and ideas of how the Meisner Technique works is so easy to follow and understand. I wish I would've picked this book up last year and read along with my class. Can't wait to start the 2nd book!!!
David Fielding
Mar 05, 2012 David Fielding rated it it was amazing
A truly brilliant and inspiring book. If you study acting or are curious about what a real acting class is about... read this book.
Jul 30, 2015 Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
This book brought me back to my acting classes at Rutgers. Bill was my director twice and he is so insightful. This book is a must-read for any actor interested in Meisner technique. Brilliant!
Sep 11, 2016 Roberto rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books of acting that I have read. It's written over a year in a Meisner class. You get to know all the techniques and you get to see the students using the techniques in scenes. It's as close to being in a class as you can get without actually being in a class. Whether you are a total beginner or an experienced actor, I'm sure this book will teach you something.
I'll end this review with my favourite quote from the book.

"If you choose this path, the world may not always u
Apr 20, 2013 Lukas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: acting
My god. This book is so good. I wish that I had read this book before I took Meisner in college. And I would encourage anyone about to take a Meisner class to do so. However I think that perhaps the sophomore in college me may not have been ready for this book. I've recently discovered, through the books I'm reading now that I had tried to read before, that I'm a firm believer in the idea that you can't read certain books until you are ready to read them, and to try before you are ready might be ...more
May 22, 2012 Sasha rated it it was amazing
Incredibly inspirational!

Reading this book really gave me an insight on what learning the Meisner technique at the Esper studio is like. I love how most of what Esper is teaching is basically guiding the actor to discover themselves in a way they probably wouldn't have if they had decided on another career path.
This book is about truly living and how through your true self, you will discover how great of an artist you can become. I was really inspired to continue to pursue my dreams of being a
Diona Joi
Jun 07, 2016 Diona Joi rated it it was amazing
Not to be bias due to have already completed my training at The William Esper Studio, but I have to say that it was all because of this book. It breaks down in an interesting and pulling way what you'll experience in 1st year- which I also recommend. Even if you're not an actor- understand what Meisner meant when- I quote, to "find in yourself those things which are Universal". THANK YOU WILLIAM ESPER for continuing on with the legacy and breaking down magic in this book! Enjoy :)
Sep 14, 2009 Whit rated it really liked it
This was so much closer to my natural acting technique than I thought it would be. There were so many things about emotional truth that resonated with me. I loved the format of the book as different sessions in a class, working your way through in an orderly fashion, creating building blocks. Certainly thought provoking.
Found this book extremely helpful in understanding Meisner technique. The exercises are described as they are being played out by students of the craft, so their reactions are also good indicators of how effective the work is for the actor.
Dennis Wynn
Aug 26, 2012 Dennis Wynn rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read with many others if you are currently pursuing a career in performing arts. Sanford Meisner is one of many technique teachers, also including Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler. He gets into detail on emotion and the reality of doing.
Nov 23, 2014 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, acting
FINALLY! I understood the MEANING behind some of the strange exercises we do. I also learned the method of choice for me after going through Strasburg nightmares! I felt like I was right in the class and learned so much about the Meisner technigue. I felt like someone finally GETS IT!
Apr 17, 2011 Danielle rated it liked it
Much better than Meisner's own book, though I am told by people who studied with him that Esper is kinder in the book than he is in person.
Anil Dokkari
Jun 28, 2011 Anil Dokkari rated it it was amazing
Unless you are in the Meisner class for atleast 2 month dont read it... but once u dig in it its just amazing
Nov 25, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing
My only fault with this book is that it made me want to take a Meisner class even more. It's not a technique one can study on their own, unfortunately.
May 28, 2011 Jonelle rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and the examples provided for each technique was clear and powerful. With or without acting experience this book will reveal the process to you in an easy manner.
Jun 20, 2016 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book changed my life. Best acting book to date. I so happy that I read it. The second one is just as good too!!
Dwayne Ackley
Jan 31, 2009 Dwayne Ackley rated it it was amazing
A great book about the Miesner technique in Acting. A good book for any director/actor considering a career in Film.
May 11, 2009 Jason marked it as to-read
I've skipped around in the book so far while preparing for teaching lessons. Seems very promising! I've found some great insights so far.
Dean Temple
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