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Respect for Acting (original 1973; edition 2008)
by Uta Hagen, David Hyde Pierce (Foreword), Haskel Frankel (Contributor)
Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen (1973)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0025473905, Hardcover)In her introduction to Respect for Acting, actress and teacher Uta Hagen talks about a time when she herself had no respect for the art of acting. "I used to accept opinions such as: 'You're just born to be an actor'; 'Actors don't really know what they're doing on stage'; 'Acting is just instinct--it can't be taught.'" But this attitude of "you got it or you don't" is fundamentally one that denigrates the craft, as she points out. Great actors do not perform effortlessly, or merely through learning the appropriate tricks and cheats to manipulate an audience. Great acting is about the difficult fusion of intellect and action--about sincerely and truthfully connecting to the moment, your fellow actors, and the audience--and Hagen's thoughtful and profound book contains a series of observations and exercises to help an actor do just that. Her prose style is admirably clear and filled with examples from her own lengthy career both as a performer and in the classroom. While her exercises in sense memory and basic objects skirt close to the sort of self-absorption that followers of "the Method" are routinely accused of, they are presented clearly and with a focus on practical results. And in such places as her chapter "Practical Problems," which includes discussions of stage nerves and how to stay fresh in a long run, her straightforward advice is invaluable. --John Longenbaugh
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:23 -0400)
An account of her own struggle with the techniques of acting -- based on her teachings.
(summary from another edition)
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