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Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Actors need actions. They cannot act adjectives, they need verbs. This thesaurus of active verbs helps the actor to refine the action-word until they hit exactly the right one to make the action come alive.
Published March 17th 2006 by Drama Publishers/Quite Specific Media (first published September 1st 2003)
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Mary Sullivan-haller
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I took a course called “acting for business professionals” (Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC)- I bought it after learning how important objectives are when it comes to a speaker wanting to reach an audience. If you can’t articulate what you are seeking from your listener. The foundation for communication is on shaky ground. I’m an English teacher and expect to use it often.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forget all of those annoying, confusing books that try to teach you how to act, this is all you need. If you're serious about acting, this is a great investment to make. ...more
Fc O'neill
Actor? Essential!
Zara West
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-tips
If you are a writer and never heard of actioning, then you need this book. This is a thesaurus of transitive verbs. A transitive verb is one that fits in the sentence: He ___ her, or she ___ him, or I ___ you.

In actioning, actors label each line of dialogue in a script with an action they will be doing as they speak the line. So for example. The actor might be saying: Take your umbrella. But if the verb is love - he will say it and act in a loving way. If the verb is compel, he will say it and
Shiana Tyler
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Very useful tool for actor's. It provides lists of synonyms for various action verbs. This book is used when working through a script and placing actions behind sections of the text. I am not using the proper jargon here, but I'm a little out of practice using correct terminology, I haven't had to in over ten months. ...more
Carolyn Page
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic resource for me, as a student actor. Actioning is a great way to explore the depths of the text and find ways to bring meaning and life to it in a way that speaks to the audience and inspires your castmates to greater reactions. The more you give, the more you get.
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome, must-have book for any actor/creative.

The more you use it, the better it’ll get. So start using it now!
Alessia’s Books
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Pepper Wight
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must have for actors who are working on a script and trying to figure out their characters motives and tactics!
Grant Conversano
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Huge help in understand the tools of drama, I certainly haven't mastered it yet. ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
After having acted for over 35 years, I'm trying to further hone my skills by taking on some formal training. This is one of the books that have been recommended to me.

The American school of acting that began with the Group Theatre took off from Stanislavsky's work and created its own distinct branch. That branch says that an actor doesn't (or shouldn't) try to reproduce an emotion or a "quality", but should always be playing an action. Something that can be encompassed in the form of a transiti
Craig Russell
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent sourcebook for actors and directors (as well as writers!)

The authors (Marina Calderone, Maggie Lloyd-Williams and Terry Johnson) make it easy to find a nuanced action for each piece of dialogue of any play. Well done!

Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for rehearsal process.
Juliet the Book Slayer
Very interesting and informative! It'll doubtlessly help with superobjectives - I'll rate it when I've tried actioning and put the book to use properly. ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
ALWAYS useful. I still use this for rehearsals.
Emma Sea
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Joshua Stephen
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Invaluable in assisting directors to quickly translate notes into the actor's language. I keep a copy with me on all projects. ...more
Rase McCray
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great for writers AND actors! This is a reference tool that's indelibly helpful when you need it. ...more
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think this is a nice book for actors to have. It is pretty simple, but it was helpful when I was doing character development and finding objectives for a character.
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
So many great words, but there are many that I didn't feel were truly actable actions. But many were. ...more
Andrea Draper
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Every Actor should read.
Lassha Pafford
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Oct 11, 2020
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