If you’re interested in the art of acting you’ll find something exciting in these suggestions of books on actors and acting. Elizabeth Streb will make you want to become your own film action hero. Uta Hagen offers a bible for actors. The star of My Dinner With Andre provides short snippets of a remarkable life. Actors ranging from Kenneth Branagh to Kevin Kline expound on the challenges and the rewards of working with Shakespeare’s texts in film, theatre and television. And after forty years in the business, Kathleen Turner knows what she’s talking about.
Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen
Uta Hagen was the recipient of innumerable honors and awards during her long career, including the prestigious National Medal of Arts in 2003. She died in 2004 at the age of 84. This fascinating and detailed book about acting is Miss Hagen’s credo, the accumulated wisdom of her years spent in intimate communion with her art. It is at once the voicing of her exacting standards for herself and those she [taught], and an explanation of the means to the end.
This is Not My Memoir by Andre Gregory
For the first time, Gregory shares memories from a life lived for art, including stories from the making of My Dinner with André. Taking on the dizzying, wondrous nature of a fever dream, This is Not My Memoir includes fantastic and fantastical stories that take the listener from wartime Paris to golden-age Hollywood, from avant-garde theaters to monasteries in India. Along the way we meet Jerzy Grotowski, Helene Weigel, Gregory Peck, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Wallace Shawn, and many other larger-than-life personalities.
Actors Talk About Shakespeare by Mary Z. Maher
Shakespeare. Even today, his plays challenge celebrated actors to hone their skills and electrify audiences. Imagine the process actors undergo to recreate these spellbinding roles on stage. In an interview with the author, Kevin Kline declared that playing Shakespeare “uses a different muscle group in your head.” Actors Talk About Shakespeare features personal interviews with a stellar collection of prominent American, Canadian, and British performers of Shakespeare onstage, including Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Stacy Keach, Zoe Caldwell, Martha Henry, William Hutt, Tony Church, Nicholas Pennell, and Geoff Hutchings. In conversations equivalent to a magician telling his secrets, Mary Z. Maher uncovers the actors’ process. The book speaks to theater patrons, to actors both novice and experienced, and to educators who teach Shakespeare. Each chapter profiles a career in context, using the actor’s words along with supporting research material. The result is a treasury of talents, tactics, and tales from veteran performers who return often to Shakespeare from careers in film and television.
How to Become an Extreme Action Hero by Elizabeth Streb
Called “the Evel Knievel of Dance,” Elizabeth Streb has been pushing boundaries and testing the potential of the human body since childhood. Can she fly? Can she run up walls? Can she break through glass? How fast can she go?
With clarity and humor—and with her internationally-renowned dance troupe STREB—she continues to investigate what movement truly is and has come to these conclusions: It’s off the ground! It creates impact! And it hurts trying to stop!
Here, Streb combines memoir and analysis to convey how she became an extreme action dancer and choreographer, developing a form of movement that’s more NASCAR than modern dance, more boxing than ballet, and more than most people can handle.
Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television and Theatre by Kathleen Turner
Few actors have had the kind of dynamic career that Kathleen Turner has; success has followed her from television screens to major blockbusters, from indie films to the theater stage. Over her forty-year career, Turner has developed an instinctual knowledge of what it takes to be a successful actor and, in her conversations with esteemed film professor Dustin Morrow, she shares these lessons with the world.
With her iconic wit on full display, Turner dazzles readers with her shrewd insights on the craft of acting and charming anecdotes from her own storied career. Touching on each of her roles, she expounds on the lessons she’s learned and describes her journey of discovery in the world of acting.