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An Actor Prepares (Performance Books) [Paperback]

Constantin Stanislavski
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Mar 2008 Performance Books
"Stanislavsky's now famous book is a contribution to the Theatre and its students all over the world." Sir John Gielgud An Actor Prepares is the most famous acting training book ever to have been written and the work of Stanislavski has inspired generations of actors and trainers. This edition, now reprinted with a new cover and more accessible price has stood the test of time in acting classes all over the world and was the original English language translation. A classic text for every actors library. Stanislavski deals with the inward preparation an actor must undergo in order to explore a role to the full. He introduces the concepts of the 'magic of' units and objectives, of emotion memory, of the super-objective and many more now famous rehearsal aids. An inspirational book presented in a drama class structure to ignite powerful performances. "An Actor must work all his life, cultivate his mind, train his talents systematically, develop his character; he may never despair and never relinquish this main pupose - to love his art with all his strength and love it unselfishly." Constantin Stanislavski

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Drama; Reprint, new cover edition (14 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408100037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408100035
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'A seminal work for all would-be actors, its lessons have stayed with me beyond the proscenium and throughout my career...' --Marketing Bookshelf

About the Author

Constantin Stanislavski died in 1938 and is the most influential person in actor training to date. As co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, he developed his theories of acting. Elizabeth Reynold Hapgood (Translator) - An editor and translator and Head of the Russian Department at Columbia University worked with Stanislavski before he died.

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summed up in one book! 19 May 2001
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The origin of "Method" in a nut-shell 23 Nov 2009
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING 15 Feb 2005
By G. Stephens VINE VOICE
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous and not just for actors 17 Nov 2000
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of the edition, not the book 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best possible books on acting! 24 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every page, every situation and exercise described, is full of truth, useful, practical, full of wisdom and interesting to be reading...! I was astonished to find so much in this book, everything so evident, but the kind of evidence you have to be told before you take conscience of it...
Useful both for students and people interested in theatre or art in general.
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