Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "The Art of Acting” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 49% off the $29.99 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Art of Acting Hardcover – November 1, 2000
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
Adler was an eloquent and reverential philosopher of acting, a teacher and acting coach extraordinaire of Brando, de Niro, Warren Beatty, Harvey Keitel, Candice Bergen, and many more. As a young, serious actress she had traveled to Paris, in order to study with Konstantin Stanislavsky, founder of "Method" acting. She was his only American student. She brought his philosophy back to the US, but added her own considerable beliefs to it. She cautions students: "Don't read his book, because it makes absolutely no sense. He came from a culture entirely alien to yours, and you won't understand it."
The twenty-two classes are seemingly presented verbatim. Each 'class' forms a chapter, and has a named subject as its organizing principle. ("Acting is Doing," "Developing the Imagination," Building a Vocabulary of Actions," "Understanding the Text," Dressing the Part," "Instant and Inner Justifications," etc.) Each class is clear, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and wonderfully stimulating. Adler focuses on meaning and the soul of the thing - at all times. In addition, she is delightfully concrete, so you are never lost in well-meaning platitudes.
Right off the bat, you are educated as to why acting is not a cousin to, for example, fashion modeling. Adler is blunt, and supports her assertions.Read more ›
Addler says that "The whole thing about acting is to give. The actor must above everything be generous. He doesn't hoard his riches...But before you can be giving and magnanimous, you must have something to give. Ideas don't come from your legs. They don't come from your voice. They come from your mind. The theatre is built on developing your mind. It's an education for your mind."
She works on critical seeing, self-awareness, discipline, self-control - skills that are important to everyone, not just actors. She discusses the importance of developing your imagination, "Eventually your imaginative reach will extend to other things, until you can say, I know how it feels to be in mourning, how it feels to be isolated, what it means to be abandoned, what it's like to be engaged or to be married." She means this in the context of acting on stage, but for the non-actor, it translates into becoming truly empathetic, to being able to truly understand and communicate with others.
Every page is full of memorable comments:
"You must be aware that even a subject of profound importance can be trivialized and degraded if you haven't the energy and interest to match it."
"Sometimes, when a husband and a wife go on a trip together, he might say, "My God! Do you know what that is? Why that's Notre Dame!" and she replies, "Yes I know. I can see it." They are seeing in Notre Dame something entirely different. As actors you must make everything you see come alive."
"You will fail.Read more ›
After reading the first 5 chapters I was so amazed. The most important thing I learned was that I could use my imagination to act as my ideal self and therefore create it.
I imagine all the time being a fabulous, stylish, slender Queen as well as everything around me. I imagine wearing the stylish clothes, eating slowly and with delicate, fancy silverware on gold lined royal plates with high-quality, artfully designed foods. I sit like a Queen, I walk like a Queen, I even drive my car like a Queen. Just totally elegant, confident, beautiful and like I am so important and lucky. And it's so fun!
As silly as it sounds — it totally works! I barely have food cravings or overeat. I feel so much more confident in myself. I feel like I honor and respect myself more. And definitely a whole lot happier :)
Highly recommend this book not just for acting but if you want to change the way you think about yourself. And to change negative habits, thoughts, and self-sabotaging behavior.
And that's just where the fun begins. From there, an actor must learn to dissect text and create circumstances. An actor must learn to visualize and experience those circumstances in vivid detail. An actor must learn to identify action and disassemble it until every bit of that action is seen and performed by every bit of the actor.
I enjoyed Sanford Meisner on Acting. It presented a series of exercises and examples of students failing at those exercises. At the end of the book, one appreciated Meisner's system and how the practises may help develop strong impulses. Stella's book has exercises too, and it also has short examples of students attempting them. But this is not where the heart of the book is. The heart is in its passionate declaration of what an actor's responsibility is, and how an actor - an artist - perceives the work and seeks to be worthy of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a great book for sure, but I personally did not enjoy it very much cuz it was more like a book to teach you ways of life rather than acting !Published 1 month ago by Shahin
I'm not an actor but I bought it to understand method acting and Marlon Brando (her most famous disciple) lot of good tips in life actor or not, but one thing I can't understand... Read morePublished 2 months ago by I'm Just a Man
Brilliant book, my wife can't put it down which is a problem as there's no dinner:)Published 3 months ago by TDB
interesting perspectives and advice, but better to be in the class I think. Tough to make it come alive in a book like this.Published 4 months ago by glenn meister
The classic. If you want to act, get this book, read it, do the exercises, practice them and just go for it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Victoria O