11 Best Books About Acting Update 05/2022

When we train to be actors, we are never done. Acting, like any other skill, takes a lot of practice, training, and a lot of hard work to get better at. Always stay on the path of learning whether we’re working on a project or taking a class with ASC. At ASC, we think it’s a good idea to pick up a good book on the subject and learn something new. Here are our top 10 books that all actors should read, in that order. Do this: Take the books and pass them on. You might not have seen them before. Because, after all, that’s what the art of acting is all about!

The Actors Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer  

Fischer talks about how to get started in the field with honesty and wit, based on her own memorable and hilarious experiences in the field. She tells you how to get the right headshot, what to look for in representation, and how important it is to work with other artists and make your own work, all of which she has learned through years of hard work. If you want to be brave and take risks, she gives you advice on how to do that, how to do good auditions and callbacks, and how not to fall for certain scams. She also tells you how to be brave and take risks.

On The Technique of Acting by Michael Chekhov 

Since To the Actor was written by Michael Chekhov 40 years ago, it has become an important text for theater students. But the great director, actor, and teacher’s original manuscript, “To the Actor,” is a short version that has been changed a lot. On the Technique of Acting is the first and only book to include the full text of that manuscript. Scholars and teachers of Chekhov’s acting technique have praised On the Technique of Acting as the best way to learn about the principles he taught.

A Practical Handbook For the Actor by Bruder and others

If you are an actor who has ever been frustrated by acting classes that didn’t make sense or give you reliable tools, this book is for you. It’s called A Practical Handbook for the Actor. People who write about acting say that actors have to figure out a way to live truthfully in a play that doesn’t exist. The ways an actor can get to that truth are what this book is all about.

The Intent To Live: Achieving Your True Potential As An Actor by Larry Moss

If you are an actor who has ever been frustrated by acting classes that didn’t make sense or give you reliable tools, this book is for you. It’s called A Practical Handbook for the Actor. People who write about acting say that actors have to figure out a way to live truthfully in a play that doesn’t exist. The ways an actor can get to that truth are what this book is all about.

The Actor And The Target by  Declan Donnellan

One of the most well-known and always useful books on acting cuts right to the heart of actors’ fears, allowing them to unleash their talents on stage. You can tell it is simple and unpretentious, with a strong sense of artistic and personal freedom in it.

The Art Of Acting by Stella Adler

Stella Adler was one of the most important people in the 20th century. If you look at American history, she is almost certainly the most important person who has ever taught people how to act. Actors like Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, and Robert De Niro learned a lot from her during her long career in both New York and Hollywood. The great voice finally died in the early Nineties, but the twenty-two lessons in this book by Howard Kissel are a great way to remember all that she has learned and taught over the years.

Freeing The Natural Voice by Kristen Linklater

Describes how the voice works and what can get in the way of spontaneous, effective vocal expression. It also talks about exercises for developing and strengthening the voice as a human and actor’s tool.

Actions: The Actors Thesaurus by Calderone and Loyd-Williams

A thesaurus of action words is a must-have for actors when they’re rehearsing.

Acting As A Business by Brian O’Neil

Acting as a Business has become known as one of the most important books for actors, both working and aspiring. Brian O’Neil doesn’t give actors the usual advice about perseverance and luck. Instead, he gives actors clear-cut rules that will help them understand the business behind their art. In this book, you’ll learn about everything from how to write a cover letter and where to stand when you’re performing in front of an agent’s office to what to say in a cover letter.

Acting in Chicago by Chris Agos

An actor and teacher in Chicago called Chris Agos wrote Acting In Chicago to answer the question of how to make a living as an actor. It makes the question clearer. It has been used in acting programs at universities and recommended by agents and acting teachers. It has become the actor’s go-to guide for starting and growing a career in the Midwest’s growing entertainment business. You’ll learn about the seven ways Chicago actors make money while they’re on stage, how much they can make as a professional, how to find an agent, casting directors, and more. Self-taped auditions, moving to LA, and getting a child actor into the business are some of the new things this edition talks about.

Audition by Michael Shurtleff

Our favorite of the books we’ve recommended to you! Michael Shurtleff’s class on auditioning is one of the most well-known in the world. It has led to many successful careers. How to be an actor is important for everyone, from a newbie to a veteran actor who wants to land that one-in-a-million role. In this book, he tells you how to do it.

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