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The Actor and the Target: New Edition Paperback – September 1, 2006
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Something in the book particularly resonated. When he stated the uselessness of the actor attempting to answer the classic "Who am I?"
question I thought immediately of Daniel Day Lewis who operates in that very manner which at least in part accounts for his being the
great actor he is.
This book assumes that the reader has been trained in modern acting theory, that the actor reading it has understanding of how to play and build a character, and yet still struggles (as we all do) with forms of "block". The author often uses the phrases/teachings of other acting teachers to point out that it is in fact the framing of some of these "tools" that leads to block. Not that the other theorist's ideas are incorrect, but rather that each actor needs to frame his/her process differently, and that the "target" dictates more of the game than we often think. Little of this is plainly stated in the book, much of it is implied, and if the reader hasn't the breadth of experience much of the potential firepower in this text may be missed. Each time you read it you will see another layer.
It's a fantastic book for any actor trying to re-evaluate, or sharpen his/her process. It is loaded with truth.
If follows the narrative and practices of traditional methods of acting then turns it on edge to reveal a process of thinking that is new and practical, if you can step aside and improve your craft.