Many people mistakenly believe that acting can just be done on a whim. In reality, the entertainment industry is a business that should be taken seriously by those who wish to be part of it. Aside from hiring an acting coach or taking classes, reading acting books is also a big help. They not only provide an in-depth look into the technical details of acting, but they also serve as a more affordable option for individuals looking to study acting on a budget.
Explore Talent lists down the best acting books you can get your hands on below.
5 Acting Books You Need to Read Right Now
1. An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski
As an actor, you probably know who Constantin Stanislavski is. The theater practitioner is one of the most recognized character actors in the business, and his self-developed system has aided a lot of actors in developing their creativity and imagination. His book includes a wide variety of exercises that will help performers connect with their character on a deep emotional level.
2. To the Actor: On the Technique of Acting by Michael Chekhov
Mala Powers revised this classic work by Russian-American actor and director Michael Chekhov. From this book, actors can get a lot of techniques for developing a character using Chekhov’s signature method. It also includes an in-depth look into the history of theater.
Fun fact: Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Anthony Hopkins credit Chekhov’s book for creating a massive impact on their acting.
3. Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen
Uta Hagen‘s book opens a simple and straightforward discussion on actors looking to hone their craft. It provides a series of questions that are geared toward exploring the character. A few examples are “Who am I?” “What do I want?” and “What is my relationship?” Other chapters center around conquering stage fright and how to develop a long-term acting career.
4. Audition by Michael Shurtleff
Among all the acting books on this list, Audition by Michael Shurtleff is the best one for beginners. Shurtleff served as the casting director for top films such as The Graduate, The Sound of Music, and Chicago. His book has everything you need to know about developing an acting career, from coming up with a distinct style to dealing with competition. It will serve as a bible for every aspiring actor out there.
5. The Pursuit of Acting by Starra Andews
The book gathers forty working actors who share their thoughts on auditions, agents, dealing with rejection, and what drives them to keep going when everything seems hopeless. You won’t just read about established actors, you’ll also read about those who are only starting in the business and those who have been in Broadway or film. This book makes a good companion for anyone who want to embark on a long-term career in acting.