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Sanford Meisner on Acting Paperback – 1 Jun 1990

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 1 edition (1 Jun. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394750594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394750590
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

This book, written in collaboration with Dennis Longwell, follows an acting class of eight men and eight women for fifteen months, beginning with the most rudimentary exercises and ending with affecting and polished scenes from contemporary American plays. Throughout these pages Meisner is delight--always empathizing with his students and urging them onward, provoking emotion, laughter, and growing technical mastery from his charges. With an introduction by Sydney Pollack, director of "Out of Africa" and "Tootsie," who worked with Meisner for five years.


"This book should be read by anyone who wants to act or even appreciate what acting involves. Like Meisner's way of teaching, it is the straight goods."--Arthur Miller

"If there is a key to good acting, this one is it, above all others. Actors, young and not so young, will find inspiration and excitement in this book."--Gregory Peck


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You will NOT read this book and come away a brilliant actor. Then again, no book can do that for you. You can only learn by doing, either in class or in a performance. With that in mind, this book is packed with incredible insights, some that are basic tips for the beginner, and others that will only be appreciated after years of performing and multiple readings. Sanford Meisner, one of the members of the famed Group Theatre in the 1920's, was one of American theatre's gems, and sitting in on a course of his, through this book, is the only way to capture some of that magic. A "must-have" for any serious actor's library.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike Stanislavsky's "emotional recall," Meisner's approach is much more effective. Having been trained under Mr. Meisner's method, my confidence and emotional accessibility has increased 100%. In short, I've accepted his creed, "to live truthfully under the imaginary circumstances of the theater," as my own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a few acting books and expected this to follow the same kind of formula, I was wrong. This is simply a transcript of multiple Meisner acting lessons over the years. It doesn't teach you much if at all. Other acting books teach you techniques and have excerices for you to pratice, this does not. While it is interesting, it is not an acting book really.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got to recommend this book purely because I was stuck using the method of actioning training in the second year of uni. This has opened my eyes to what acting is about, being realistic and truthful. It gives an insight of what Meisner teaches and his method of how to prepare for any scene as an actor. Definitely using his method from now on!
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Format: Paperback
The man is a total legend. Read this and be inspired. Bought 8 hours of DVD of this guy too and it is THE most amazing thing to watch. Currently studying for an acting degree I found this book invaluable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's really nothing left to say about Meisner that has not already been said. I can see why he earned himself a name in drama. Here is the key thing I got from him - Acting is simplicity. Actors tend to over complicate things a lot. This is just an essential book for any aspiring actor! Buy it. It's practical as well.
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By A Customer on 14 Jun. 1997
Format: Paperback
Acting is about doing. It's not an intellectual theory without practice and this
book clearly shows the actor that simple and brilliant truth.
Do it.
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Format: Paperback
This book is written from the perspective of someone who was sat in class whilst Sanford Meisner taught.

I previously was taught Meisner techniques last year and wanted the book to solidify and develop what I'd been taught - the book did exactly that and a little bit more. Meisner was amazing and the knowledge given in the book is really useful and so simple.

I'm not sure that if I hadn't studied Meisner previously I would have read the book differently, or not found it as useful but I'm a very practical person.

The only flaw with the book is the author, he seems to think details about students clothing are necessary when they really aren't and this can get a little bit annoying.

If you want simple honest acting knowledge get this book it's worth it.
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