Every successful human being is a life-long learner, and one of the best ways to learn something is through reading. We, as actors, should read even more than our scripts. What are some of the best books every actor should read? We should educate ourselves in areas we think could be useful. But mainly in ACTING. The books can motivate you, educate you, and develop you. Every book you read influences you.
The Books every Actor should read
Here we go with the list of 10 books every actor should to read.
“The Actor’s Bible.” A book with the basics of modern acting, Stanislavsky’s self-developed system helps the actor master his craft and develop himself as a creative human being. The book includes exercises and development techniques. Almost every actor and many acting schools are influenced by the Stanislavski method. “Every one of our movements onstage, every word must be the result of a truthful imagination.”
“The foundation of acting is the reality of doing.” Sanford Meisner is one of the best-known acting teachers. This book describes the process of 15 months of Meisner’s class. He is learning not just to be an Actor, but to be a human being living under specific circumstances. Great study material for every actor.
More than 30 years old book about auditioning, still helping many aspiring actors today. Auditions are the main work of actors, and this book will give you many insights by the former casting director Michael Shurtleff, providing many examples. “Don’t settle for anything less than the biggest dream in your future.” You will know more, and it helps you built your confidence.
Another great book. William Esper, one of the leading teachers of our time, is learning and extending Meisner’s technique to approach being a creative actor. Step by step, easy and understandable form.
“Certain words, certain expressions. Things like ‘I love you’ and ‘I hate you.’ They’re big traps for actors. They can tempt you away from the connection you’ve developed with your partner and lead you into swamplands of clichéd performing. ‘Love’ and ‘hate’ are powerful words, and for some reason, we feel like we must fulfill them—and other words like them—whenever we say them. But we don’t have to.”
“Keep pace with the present. Take a trip to the moon. envision the future.” This book explained the “method” in understandable terms by highly influential actresses Uta Hagen.
Written by Jenna Fisher, maybe you will know her as Pam Beesly from The Office. This book describes the reality behind the scene of 22 yrs old aspiring actresses (Jenna Fisher). Everything is described in a kind but realistic way. You can get many insights and advice from this book. I would recommend it to everyone who is an actor or want to be an actor. “The single best thing an actor can do, both professionally and personally, is to create their own work.”
“Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who wishes to can play in the theater and learn to become stage-worthy.” A valuable resource for theater actors, teachers, or aspiring actors.
Acting is a business if you want to do it professionally. This book is a must-read for all actors! The clear-cut guidelines on how to approach acting as a business with many useful insights. All the things you need to know, especially if you are starting your acting career.
“Sanford Meisner taught actors never to look at the punctuation in a script. His belief was that it would force you into giving a particular line reading that might not be your own—meaning that you would get stuck in a certain way of saying it instead of following the impulses arising from your intention.” Academy awards winners Helen Hunt and Hilary Swank credited Larry Moss for his guidance. Another worth-to-read book about acting.
And 10th book in our list is interesting tool for actors who are working on scripts. The thesaurus of active verbs to help you bring the right action.
About the author:
I am a never-ending fighter for the perfect ART, enjoying the process of unperfectness. I am many things and nothing, but my main focus is acting. I've studied at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts. I've been an actor in Theater Around The Corner, Moravian Theater Olomouc, Theater DiGoknu, or Mlada Scena II. And I am working hard on my craft.