Acting at the Speed of Life: Conquering Theatrical Style Paperback – February 21, 2011
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Paperback : 295 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0983181209
- ISBN-13 : 978-0983181200
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.67 x 9 inches
- Publisher : TMRT Press (February 21, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book combines a comprehensive understanding of modern "method" based performance styles with a reflection back to an older system that apprenticed young actors into a troupe, and gave them the basic skills needed to survive as a theatre professional. Powerful and empowering.
By looking elsewhere at Amazon, you can find any number of basic acting texts and professional advice guides. Both of these types are handy in their own way, but this book is unique. It's not afraid to call both to task for their limitations. One type concentrates on inner life and imagination, the other on survival. What Tim manages to do is to concentrate on a lifetime of acting, the skills needed and how to insure that the performance gets done (and pleases the audience-and gets you cast for the next show, too).
While the book is extremely readable, it's not limited to one or two "beginners" exercises, it is far more complex and necessary than that. I would probably not use it for a replacement to Benedetti or Cohen, but it's necessary for every serious actor's shelf.
"What are the actors' two most fundamental responsibilities?" This question opens the preface to Acting at the Speed of Light and speaks to the heart of an actor's job. It is a question I ask my high school students and we play round-robin with the same insightful answers Mooney quotes in his book ("Being in character," "Feeling the emotion," "Listening," "Telling the story," Having fun..."). Until we get to "Being seen" and "Being heard." Bingo!
Acting at the Speed of Light is filled with practicalities - the insights that students forget as they delve into character and don't always see the forest for the trees. Mooney's practicalities (follow the punctuation, make sure the audience hears you, make sure the audience sees you) often gets lost in today's various methods of "how to act." It is never lost on Mooney that actors are acting for an audience.
The students are learning how to read text as an actor and not as an English student. They are also learning to respect that text, respect the process and respect the audience. Working in an aura of respect will take out the "drama" teen students may bring to rehearsal. It also creates a safety net for creating.
Acting at the Speed of Life is filled with insights for creating a fully-realized, imaginative production. From the basics of memorization to the clearing of the cobwebs surrounding the classics, the book documents how to transform "play practice" into an energetic, productive rehearsal period. And it does all with grace and great humor. The book delivers. I highly recommend it.
Acting at the Speed of Life: Conquering Theatrical Style