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True & False by David Mamet

True & False (edition 1998)

by David Mamet

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Title:True & False
Authors:David Mamet
Info:Faber Paperbacks (1998), Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Your library

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True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor by David Mamet



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This is an intriguing and thought provoking book. Definitely a must read for anyone who is seriously involved in the theatre. Mamet has a very anti-establishment point of view that challenges many ideas held dear by those of the theatre community. I disagree with quite a bit of what Mamet says, but he did make me re-evaluate some of my ideas. His assertion that he knows so much about acting is more than just a bit pretentious; he admits himself that he tried and failed to become an actor. And I find his insistence that actors stay out of school to be hypocritical since he opened his own acting school and he doesn't have a problem teaching. In spite of that this book is definitely worth the time spent with it.
  moonradio | Feb 18, 2008 |
"Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mamet (e.g., Glengarry Glen Ross), considered a foremost contemporary American dramatist by most critics, here offers a bold new approach to acting. Mamet draws on his decades of observing good (and bad) acting to present a slim but intriguing volume of musings. Disdainful of studios, acting schools, and graduate school, he declares, "The classroom will teach you how to obey, and obedience in the theater will get you nowhere." Mamet exhorts actors to show up early, have their lines down cold, and have a single objective for each scene. He contends that overthinking and too much emotional interpretation is not the actor's role. Essential reading for theater collections." J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Regional Lib., Tifton, Ga. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc ( )
  mmckay | Apr 27, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679772642, Paperback)

To hell with Stanislavsky. To hell with the Method. "The actor is onstage to communicate the play to the audience," says David Mamet. "That is the beginning and the end of his and her job. To do so the actor needs a strong voice, superb diction, a supple, well-proportioned body and a rudimentary understanding of the play." Anything else--"becoming" one's part, "feeling" the character's emotions--devalues the practice of a noble craft and is useless to the play. "The 'work' you do 'on the script' will make no difference," he cautions. "That work has already been done by a person with a different job title than yours. That person is the author."

But True and False does not confine itself to the work done on the actual stage. Its brief essays contain sound advice on how an actor might apply himself or herself to the life of the actor: the proper consideration due the audition process, the selection of parts that one accepts, and so on. Mamet delivers these kernels of wisdom in the taut, no-nonsense prose for which he is justifiably famous, and, ultimately, his core principles are applicable beyond the theater. "Speak up, speak clearly, open yourself out, relax your body, find a simple objective," he instructs. "Practice in these goals is practice in respect for the audience, and without respect for the audience, there is no respect for the theater; there is only self-absorption." Substitute "others" for "the audience" and "life" for "the theater," and could any Taoist say it better? --Ron Hogan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, director, and teacher gives us a blunt, irreverent, unsparingly honest guide to acting that overturns conventional truths and tells aspiring actors what they really need to know. David Mamet leaves no acting tenet untouched: How to judge the role, approach the part, work with the playwright. How to concentrate and think about the scene. How to avoid becoming the Paint-by-Numbers Mechanical Actor, the "How'm I Doing?" Ham Actor, the over-the-top "Hollywood Huff" Actor. The right way to undertake auditions and rehearsals. The proper approach to agents, to individual jobs, and to the business in general. The question of talent.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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