The acting books everyone should read

These are some fantastic books for people interested in acting and understanding the actor’s process.

Acting: The First Six Lessons
By Richard Boleslavsky
My father’s first teacher – a GREAT acting book. The first thing I recommend every actor read.

A Dream of Passion: The Development of the Method
By Lee Strasberg
My father’s book on Method Acting. Enough said….

Strasberg at the Actors Studio: Tape-Recorded Sessions
Edited by Robert Hethmon
Filled with transcripts from my father’s sessions, this book contains phenomenal material. Fair warning – it is more suited as a reference for those who have some understanding of our work rather than those looking for a cover-to-cover read. Digest it a bit at a time, or use the Index for notes on a specific topic.

Friendly Enemies: The Director-Actor Relationship
By Delia Salvi
Delia Salvi studied with my dad and is still teaching at UCLA. A fantastic book with practical guidance for directors trying to figure out what to do with their

The Fervent Years: The Group Theatre And The Thirties
By Harold Clurman
The roots of Method Acting in a America were planted by the Group Theatre. A good read.

Method Acting Reconsidered: Theory, Practice, Future
Edited by David Krasner
Good analysis if you want to get into the Method Acting debate.

Published on February 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Acting is something which you do from your heart not from your mind.

    • Agreed, but how do you DO that? Where does your mind go? If you happen to be inspired, your heart may lead you.
      Unfortunately, as a professional actor, you are required to work whether or not your heart happens to be in the mood. You train so that your heart, as you call it, is more accessible to you.

      Sometimes that access takes little or no effort – we call that inspiration. Having a craft, though, means that you can find inspiration even when it doesn’t come easily.


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