The Actor's Art and Craft: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique

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William Esper, one of the leading acting teachers of our time, explains and extends Sanford Meisner's legendary technique, offering a clear, concrete, step-by-step approach to becoming a truly creative actor.

Esper worked closely with Meisner for seventeen years and has spent decades developing his famous program for actor's training. The result is a rigorous system of exercises that builds a solid foundation of acting skills from the ground up, and that is flexible enough to be applied to any challenge an actor faces, from soap operas to Shakespeare. Co-writer Damon DiMarco, a former student of Esper's, spent over a year observing his mentor teaching first-year acting students. In this book he recreates that experience for us, allowing us to see how the progression of exercises works in practice. The Actor's Art and Craft vividly demonstrates that good training does not constrain actors' instincts—it frees them to create characters with truthful and compelling inner lives.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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About the author

William Esper is a graduate of Western Reserve University and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City. Bill trained as both actor and teacher under Sanford Meisner. Bill and Sandy worked closely together for 17 years, during which time Bill served as Associate Director of the Playhouses's Acting Department (1973-1976). Bill founded the William Esper Studio in 1965 and the Professional Actor Training Program at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1977. These two schools are renowned for routinely contributing actors of the highest quality to the International stage and screen.

Damon DiMarco
earned his M.F.A. from the Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts under Bill Esper's tutelage. He acts professionally on stage, screen, and TV, and teaches at Drew University. Damon's other books include, Tower Stories: an Oral History of 9/11; Heart of War: Soldiers' Voices from the Front Lines of Iraq; and My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary with Baiqiao Tang, which features a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Anchor
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Published on
Dec 10, 2008
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780307481146
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Acting & Auditioning
Performing Arts / Film / General
Performing Arts / Theater / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“I call this book The Intent to Live because great actors don’t seem to be acting, they seem to be actually living.”
–Larry Moss, from the Introduction

When Oscar-winning actors Helen Hunt and Hilary Swank accepted their Academy Awards, each credited Larry Moss’s guidance as key to their career-making performances. There is a two-year waiting list for his advanced acting classes. But now everyone–professionals and amateurs alike–can discover Moss’s passionate, in-depth teaching.

Inviting you to join him in the classroom and onstage, Moss shares the techniques he has developed over thirty years to help actors set their emotions, imagination, and behavior on fire, showing how the hard work of preparation pays off in performances that are spontaneous, fresh, and authentic.

From the foundations of script analysis to the nuances of physicalization and sensory work, here are the case studies, exercises, and insights that enable you to connect personally with a script, develop your character from the inside out, overcome fear and inhibition, and master the technical skills required for success in the theater, television, and movies.

Far more than a handbook, The Intent to Live is the personal credo of a master teacher. Moss’s respect for actors and love of the actor’s craft enliven every page, together with examples from a wealth of plays and films, both current and classic, and vivid appreciations of great performances. Whether you act for a living or simply want a deeper understanding of acting greatness, The Intent to Live will move, instruct, and inspire you.


From the Hardcover edition.
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