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Sanford Meisner on Acting Paperback – July 12, 1987
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In the first chapter (Setting The Scene: Duse's Blush), we are giving a chronology of Meisners life and how he came to be such a great and beloved teacher. It is also in this first chapter that Meisner recounts the story of Elenora Duse, a legendary Italian actress who played the role of Magda in Hermann Sundermanns Heimat. In the first scene of this play, as the story goes, she is a young girl that has an affair with a guy from the same village, and she has a child by him. Twenty-five years later, or thereabouts, she comes back to visit her family who live in this town, and her ex-lover comes to call on her. She accepts his flowers and they sit and talk. All of a sudden the actor realizes that she is blushing, and it gets so bad that she drops her head and hides her face in embarrassment. Although we learn that this does not happen every performance, it is this blush that is the epitome of living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. This is Meisners definition of all good acting.
The foundation of acting, is the reality of doing. It is this basic premise that is the spine of this book of exercises intended to bring the actor closer to their emotional self. It is an approach that is based on bringing the actor away from the intellectualizing of character analysis back to his emotional impulses and to acting that is firmly rooted in the instinctive.Read more ›
Sandy was an extraordinary pragmatist and a man of deep sensitivity. However, he was unsentimental; astringent; and gifted with a wonderfully mordaunt sense of humor. He once said, "I like to think that I prepare artists to survive in a world that doesn't always want them." In a way, he was preparing his students for battle. If he was tough, he did so only in order to be kind. Personally, I really liked him and I always think of him with real affection. Learning from him personally was a privilege and an honor.
All in all, he was one of the most extraordinary people whom I have ever known, as well as one of the most influential. In a field all too often occupied by charlatans, he took a stand against pseudo-intellectuality and some self syled amateur psychiatrists posing as men and women of the theatre. His close friends included Harold Clurman and Stella Adler, whose influence he never failed to credit.
Sandy didn't live in an ivory tower, or teach in some backwater college. He was truly a man of the theatre, with more than 30 Broadway credits. In fact, he was a very good actor. You can see for yourself in the 1958 movie THE STORY ON PAGE ONE, written and directed by his close friend, Clifford Odets.
If you aspire to be an actor, you can get an idea from this book of what is involved in learning the Meisner Technique. Sandy had no "b.s.Read more ›
As with any great teacher, Meisner's lessons can be applied to more than just the subject material. There are several Life's Lessons in this book, and I would even recommend it to people who are not actors or students of theater.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An absolute gem. The book was in perfect condition and it's contents are timeless.Published 7 days ago by Danny U
Sanford Meisner is one of the greats in the acting field. He shows his ability to teach and inspire. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
I think even if you are not a formal student of Meisner, this book is a good read for studying scene analysis and getting to the bottom of characters.Published 1 month ago by Nathan from Texas
Well written, I truly enjoyed it. I feel if you're considering taking an acting course and curious to get a feel for what it might be like, this is your book.Published 1 month ago by Anne M
I read this book before I wrote my book. Great book if you want to stay with the acting hustle, of which I applaud anybody who does. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brian Laesch, Author of "The Verge of Psychosis: An Aspiring Actor's Journal"
I use this in an Advanced Acting class I teach to high school students. The depth he provides in the experience of acting and truth is unparalleled.Published 2 months ago by WVTeacher
pretty informative book that was helpful before auditions to a local performing arts center!Published 3 months ago by Gabriel
Great read that opened up my understanding of the Meisner technique. Helped with my classes@Published 3 months ago by wunk