The Actor In You: Sixteen Simple Steps to Understanding the Art of Acting / Edition 5

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The Actor in You introduces aspiring actors to beginning acting by helping them realize and develop the basic acting skills they already possess and hone them for the stage. By drawing the principles of acting from observations about everyday behavior, the author shows acting students how they already possess many acting skills. Acclaimed for its direct and enjoyable writing style, The Actor in You draws on exercises and examples from well-known plays, and popular television programs to lead the beginning student through the process of creating a role. Revised based on user reviews, the book succeeds in deducing dramatic principles from those experiences and then applying them to everyday life for artistic purpose.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205781232
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on This Fifth Edition


About the Author

PART ONE Preparing Yourself to Act

1 Understanding the Actor’s Job




Dramatic Function


Summary of Step 1

2 The Tradition of the Actor

The Twentieth Century

Getting into the Tradition

Summary of Step 2

3 Relaxing and Centering


Finding Center

Summary of Step 3

4 Breathing, Sounding, and Moving from Center

Your Cycle of Energy

Your Relationship to Gravity

Phrasing Movement

Summary of Step 4

5 Collaboration

Leading and Following

Seeing and Hearing

Getting and Giving Notes

Summary of Step 5

Summary of part one

PART TWO Discovering Action

Example Plays

6 Actions and Objectives

Stanislavski’s View of Action

Public Solitude

Dual Consciousness


Raising the Stakes

Summary of Step 6

7 Action, Emotion, and Character: The Magic If

Action and Emotion

Character and the Magic If

The Actor in You

Selecting Your Scene

Dramatic Function Revisited

Summary of Step 7

8 Defining Objectives and Actions

Defining Useful Objectives


Not Doing

Obstacles and Counter-Actions

Summary of Step 8

9 The Flow and Shape of Drama

Internal and External Action

The Shape of Drama


Summary of Step 9

10 Exploring Scene Structure and the Given Circumstances

Units of Action (Beats)

The Given Circumstances

Summary of Step 10

Summary of part two

PART THREE Developing the Character

11 The Character’s Traits and Needs

Function Traits

Recognition Traits

Needs and Personalization

Emotion Recall and Substitution

Summary of Step 11

12 Getting into the Character’s Mind

Perception, Arousal, and Attitude

Automatic and Spontaneous Actions

Deliberation and Strategic Choice

The Inner Monologue

Summary of Step 12

13 Exploring the Character’s Language

Word Choice



Summary of Step 13

Summary of part three

PART FOUR Final Rehearsal and Performance

14 Finding the Scenario, Score, Through-Line, and Superobjective

The Score and Pace

The Through-Line and Superobjective

Personalizing the Superobjective

Summary of Step 14

15 Staging

Types of Stages

Moving on Stage


Shaping and Pacing

16 Performing

Emotion in Performance


Evaluating Your Work

Growth After Opening

The Actor’s Sense of Purpose

Summary of Step 16

Summary of part four

Appendix A: A Sample Television Scene

Appendix B: Suggested Plays and Anthologies


Play and Scene Anthologies

Anthologies for Students of Color

Glossary of Theater and Film Terminology


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