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An Actor Prepares, 1st edition, eighth edition Hardcover – 1948


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Theater Arts (1948)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878309837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878309832
  • ASIN: B000OW9CGM
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,979,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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WE WERE EXCITED as we waited for our first lesson with the Director, Tortsov, today. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. Jackson on 23 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Stanislavski, was a pioneer in the way we see acting today. He believed the character was what an actor really needed to get into the mind of aswell as learning lines and cues. ( This is the reviewer's son, as it is in most-reviews).

I started reading the book in the summer of 2009, and found it rather challenging. I found it hard to make sense of at time's because it was too long, and the concept of a story distracted me from seeing what the book was trying to teach. It' a good idea trying to make the book more interesting by involvement of different character's but it was seen through the eye's of a student rather than the teacher.

There is in me much respect for Stanislavski who has influenced my favourite techniques (Michael Chekhov and Uta Hagen). However using personal emotions of the past was very wrong. I was on-stage once and I took a sad memory as I had to perform a monologue and I burst into tears' before it was my cue, and I couldn't control myself. I received many round's of applause after, but inside me I knew what a mistake I had made.

This book is a godo starting-point though for beginning actor's but once you have made sense of the method, I suggest you experiment different techniques until you find the one that's right for you. Every actor has a different way of acting, so go out there and give it all you've got!
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By andy.brown19@btinternet.com on 19 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Stanislavski's teachings can be quite complex if you are new to the theories within his practices. This book, An Actor Prepares, is both full of interesting dialogue between his classmates and his tutor (referred to as "The Director"). On reading the book, I found myself relating to experiences of my own. He deals with what is essentially the truth of good theatre. I have studied the practices of many of the greats, Brecht, Artaud (Bless Him), and Berkoff, and have found, in my opinion, that Stanislavski is probably the greatest of them all. The book deals with all aspects of preparation for a performer, however deals directly with acting (if you are a performer, you should be able to relate no matter what). If you need a study guide for A-Level or even GCSE (if you want to get the best possible grade), An Actor prepares is the source text for you. ...It can really make a difference between good acting/studying/teaching. After finishing An Actor Prepares recently, I am moving on the purchase the other big names of Stanislavski, 'Building A Character' and 'Creating a Role', well worth the read!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Magdalena A. Golden on 16 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I found the content of the book eye-opening and interesting, I was hugely disappointed with this particular edition. At first glance the book seems beautifully published (I love the feel of the cover and design looks clean) but it is littered with typos which begin already in the note by the translator. There is something cringe-inducing in a book about acting that misspells Molière and Comédie-Française even before it properly begins. One could overlook this given that these are foreign names but the entire content looks like somebody scanned an analogue copy of the book that had been published using a serif font, run an OCR, changed the font and published the result without giving it even a quick read-through which gave rise to plenty of annoying little mistakes like "arid" instead of "and" or "acton" or instead of "actors". I was looking forward to buying the other two Stanislavski books published in the series but instead, I am now on a lookout for their older editions and will not go near the Bloomsbury Revelations series again.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By G. Stephens VINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a truly amazing book. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wishes to go beyond the classical approach to theatre and get to grips with the essence of a play and a character. This book is like the actor's Bible and really shows how you can get to truth in your acting in a comprehensive, lesson by lesson approach by one of the greatest acting teachers whose work has been continued to this day, inspiring actors such as the great Marlon Brando, Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman etc.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By crowe@ardyne30.freeserve.co.uk on 17 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
Our cinemas and theatres would be places of great delight if actors both amateur and professional would really take Stanislavski's advice to heart. The book is just as relevant to public speakers and indeed ordinary people who are concerned to present themselves convincingly. Both edifying and entertaining. Andrew Crowe
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By x iLeon on 11 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Stanislavski is arguably the greatest theorist on drama stagecraft and its grandfather too. Now, it is fashionable nowadays to shoot him down in favour of acting that's more in the moment, as propounded by the direction first set out by Meinser and the tradition-demolishing impetus of Mamet. I am all for that. Creating an entire character and performance in your mind, using your own emotional memory, without interacting and being influenced by the other actors sharing the stage with you makes for very dead static theatre indeed. But that is not necesserily what Stanislavski intended. Furthermore, he constantly updated his views in search of truth, as all great self-respecting art lovers do. He came a long way from his Chekhov-conflicting days. I think this book has to be read by any budding actor, as it provides a lot of craft basics that should still form a part of an actors preparation. It covers physical, emotional and psychological preparation. It is, in fact, a classic whose offshoots you'll encounter in many and varied guises across the acting spectrum.

This volume will furthermore raise questions, which is always healthy. And it will also inspire. Combined with the works of Hagen, Meisner, Donnellan and Johnstone, you get a great armoury of the techniques available to the actor today - up to you, then, how to use them in your explorations.
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