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An Actor's Work: A Student's Diary Paperback – September 21, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0415551205 ISBN-10: 041555120X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 708 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (September 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041555120X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415551205
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A lively new translation by Jean Benedetti... Stanislavksi was provocative, controversial - and, as An Actor's Work confirms, a genius' - The Times

'A volume that clearly communicates the entire system ... it should be made required reading. - The Guardian

'Getting the system straight from the horses mouth ... An Actor's Work should be a manual not just in drama school, but but on any course where students are taught to assess texts and arugments critically' - Times Literary Supplement

'A landmark achievement in Stanislavski studies ... essential reading for anyone interested in acting, practically or academically, at all levels from schools to the industry.' - Times Higher Educational Supplement

'Benedetti, the author of several previous books on Stanislavski, has both improved and expanded upon the Hapgood editions, and the result is a longer yet much more readable text. ' Libray Journal

'The twin bibles of acting books, Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares and Building a Character, have been recently re-translated into a single tome.' - American Theatre'A far more authentic Stanislavsky.' – Laurence Senelick, Tufts University, Boston

'More complete, much more accurate, and more readable [than the previous translation].’ – Richard Hornby, University of California, Riverside

'Benedetti has done an excellent job... an elegantly presented and valuable volume... This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in acting, practically or academically, at all levels from schools to the industry.' - Times Higher Education

'...Jean Benedetti's translation is fresh, immediate, highly readable, very witty, and, above all, accessible.' - Dramatics 

'This volume is a must for theater collections.  Essential.' CHOICE


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Enamorato on October 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Stanislavski is a familiar name in theatre circles. The legendary director of the Moscow Art Theatre wrote perhaps some of the most influential work on acting in the last century. I could list the big names who cite his influence (most famously, Marlon Brando and Sir John Gielgud), but the fact is his teachings have become so much a part of the way we approach theatre, that almost any actor in the English-speaking world (and abroad) can claim at least some influence.

Unfortunately, most English-speakers are familiar with Stanislavski's `system' in the considerably problematic translation by Elizabeth Hapgood. What's more, the form that translation took (as two separate books, the famous "An Actor Prepares" and "Building a Character") misrepresented Stanislavski's original intentions. In actuality, "An Actor Prepares" and "Building a Character" are two parts of a larger book, called "An Actor's Work on Himself." In the Soviet Union, they were published as volumes one and two of the same book.

Hapgood worked with Stanislavski on an early edition of the first half of the book, which in her translation would become "An Actor Prepares." However, Stanislavski continued revisions on the book after Hapgood had returned home to America in 1935. The translation that was published, in addition to being abridged to half the original's length, was also missing the subsequent revisions that Stanislavski released in a Soviet edition three years later just before his death. Stanislavski did not live to complete part two. Hapgood received fragments from Stanislavski's son, Igor. Not knowing that these were meant as a completion to a single holistic system, she published them as "Building a Character.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jean Benedetti provides the modern translation of this classic text on actor training, a recommended pick for any college-level collection strong in drama theory and actor training. His offers a more accurate new translation of the classic, critiquing Method acting and its legacy and putting Stanislavski's two-volume work back under one cover as he originally intended. The result is a clearer, more revealing legacy than the prior translation, and deserves a spot in any serious college-level acting library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ingrid Torrance on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book combines "An Actor Prepares" and "Building a Character" for a complete text on Stanislavsky's teaching. It's a large book but very readable, and it puts you right in the rehearsal room. A must for any student of acting and certainly one of the books I believe acting students need to read. You get so much information from this book, it's a read over and over work book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dell Owner on October 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read books about the Meisner method by Larry Silverberg, and thought that they had a lot to offer. But this book is just so complete. I have learned so much from it. It has inspired me to work harder and more diligently to be the best actor that I can be. The way that it is written really helps to keep you hooked to it. It is not a simple manual. It is written as a narrative from the point of view of a student taking classes from a Stanislavski-like teacher. You can see the realizations that this student is having, and he speaks for you, the student, by asking questions in class that you would ask for further clarifications. I am a little bit further than halfway through, and reading this book is a definite work in progress type of thing. And I am looking forward to drinking up the knowledge in the sequel to this book: An Actors Work on a Role. I believe that if you are going to read Stanislavski, you should read this translation. It is agreed among scholars, from what I have read, that Jean Benedetti's translation captures the intentions and the essence of what Stanislavksi was trying to teach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cybertron3 on November 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got this for my son's 14th birthday. It looks large and "academic" but is a very accessible, fun, translation. He loves it!
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