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 exercises that builds a solid foundation of acting skills from the ground up, and that is flexible enough to be applied to any challenge an actor faces, from soap operas to Shakespeare. Co-writer Damon DiMarco, a former student of Esper's, spent over a year observing his mentor teaching first-year acting students. In this book he recreates that experience for us, allowing us to see how the progression of exercises works in practice. The Actor's Art and Craft vividly demonstrates that good training does not constrain actors' instincts—it frees them to create characters with truthful and compelling inner lives.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: The Actor's Art and Craft|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
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The Actor's Art and Craft
EMPTY YOUR CUP
"How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it."
Sixteen students wait for Bill to arrive, eight men and eight women. These actors have been carefully selected for their talent, potential, and seriousness of purpose. They come from across the United States and around the world. Some have long resumes stocked with impressive credits; some have acted only in small theaters. Many have studied with various teachers who have espoused different approaches to the craft of acting. Each actor seems to possess talent. In their admission interviews, however, each disclosed unique problems--issues and obstacles that have blocked them from fully realizing their talent.
Everyone smiles in a nervous but genuine way. Introductions are made here and there. We wait.
The room's walls are painted neutral gray. There are no windows and only one door. The class is seated in chairs on low risers stacked against the room's southern end, facing this door across an open space. The risers form the students' gallery. Bill's desk is situated to the side--also looking into the playing area.
The floor is bare, save for two mattresses lying on low bed frames, one against the west wall, one against the east. A shelving unit set to one side contains an array of props: liquor bottles, vases, books, plates, kitchen utensils, strings of Christmas lights, coffee mugs, and a manual typewriter that easily dates back to the 1940s, all available for communal use.
The door to studio C swings open and Bill enters. Everyone quiets instantly. Bill moves to his desk without pausing and g...