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Other People's Shoes: Thoughts on Acting Paperback – 11 Sep 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books; New edition edition (11 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854597515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854597519
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

My advice to every young actor: read this book. --Sir Richard Eyre

Buy it, and be delightfully and unhectoringly informed about exactly what it is that actors get up to and why... Harriet Walter is sharp, clear, elegant, sturdily sensitive. --Simon Callow, Observer

A fascinating insight into the working life of an actor... very enjoyable. --Jeanette Winterson, The Times

About the Author

Harriet Walter trained at LAMDA and started with fringe groups such as Joint Stock before moving on to the Royal Court (Cloud Nine, Hamlet with Jonathan Pryce), the RSC (Nicholas Nickelby, Three Sisters, Macbeth opposite Antony Sher) and the National (Arcadia). On TV she is best-known as Amy in the sitcom Unfinished Business and as Harriet Vane in the Lord Peter Wimsey series. Film includes Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility and Louis Malle's Milou in Mai. She draws on all of these in the book.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
Harriet Walter provides the reader with intelligent, erudite, honest and frequently hilarious insights into the life of a working actor. This is not an autobiography. Rather, it is the accumulation of thoughts and opinions acquired throughout a varied and distinguished career in acting. She concentrates on certain periods in her working life at times - formative experiences that are always enlightening and truthful - whilst, at other points, she focusses on various aspects of the actor's craft.
This is not a pretentious book in any sense. It retains,to it's credit, an acute sense of being down to earth, whilst addressing key areas of working in the theatre.It is a refreshing blend of personal reflection, critical analysis and anecdotal recollection.
It is an immensely enjoyable book about a notoriously difficult subject. Harriet Walter does not fall into the trap of theorising etc.. Instead she puts herself before you in the pages of the book - much as an actor does on stage.
Anyone interested in the theatre, or indeed working in it, will be thoroughly rewarded in reading this book - excellent!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 2000
Format: Hardcover
Writing about the acting process is fiercely difficult process - most actors are at a complete loss for words when asked to desribe what they do - and this book is most successful when Walter is writing about her life as an actor rather than describing acting exercises. Much of the material she does include on acting technique is better covered in Max Stafford-Clark's "Letters to George". Walter herself is adamant in the introduction that this is not a manual on acting, but simply, as the title suggests, a collection of thoughts that grew out of conversations with a journalist friend.
Having said that (and got my one criticism of the book out of the way) this is a really lovely read. She is a candid and vulnerable writer, with a disarmingly unselfconscious wit. I read this on the tube (London Underground) in 15 min chunks each morning and evening, and felt as though I had had a wonderful travelling companion to distract me from the sweaty, irritable hoards that filled the train.
Thank you, Harriet - you have been great company.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jan. 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a actor-in-training, it is nice to pick up a book that offers a lot of profound insights on acting without being depressingly preachy and uptight. Walter offers acting exercises that she has found useful, describes her rehearsal process, and talks about her acting life in general. She also offers us some wonderful anecdotes about her life in theatre... sometimes funny, sometimes touching, always lovely to learn. Like the previous reviewer, I found this book to be not what I expected... but something a lot better. Unlike many other books on acting I've read, this one left wishing I could grab Harriet Walter and get to know her better and/or work with her (as opposed to closing the book, sighing and thanking god that I live nowhere near her).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
Rather than a tell-all, acting manual, or autobiography, this is a profound yet funny book about acting and life. Not what I had expected, but an amazing insight into a wonderful actor. Ms. Walter, please write some more!!
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