The Actor As Storyteller: An Introduction To Acting

Overview

(Book). The Actor as Storyteller is intended for serious beginning actors. It opens with an overview, explaining the differences between theater and its hybrid mediums, the part an actor plays in each of those mediums. It moves on to the acting craft itself, with a special emphasis on analysis and choice-making, introducing the concept of the actor as storyteller, then presents the specific tools an actor works with. Next, it details the process an actor can use to prepare for scene work and rehearsals, complete with a working plan for using the

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The Actor as Storyteller: An Introduction to Acting

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Overview

(Book). The Actor as Storyteller is intended for serious beginning actors. It opens with an overview, explaining the differences between theater and its hybrid mediums, the part an actor plays in each of those mediums. It moves on to the acting craft itself, with a special emphasis on analysis and choice-making, introducing the concept of the actor as storyteller, then presents the specific tools an actor works with. Next, it details the process an actor can use to prepare for scene work and rehearsals, complete with a working plan for using the tools discussed. The book concludes with a discussion of mental preparation, suggestions for auditioning, a process for rehearsing a play, and an overview of the realities of show business. Included in this updated edition are:
• A detailed examination of script analysis of the overall play and of individual scenes
• A sample of an actor's script, filled with useful script notations
• Two new short plays, one written especially for this text
• Updated references, lists of plays, and recommended further reading

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879103866
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 395,563
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Part I Background

Chapter 1 Why the Theatre to Study Acting? 3

Acting Students Today 3

The Ravages of Mass Media 6

Discovering All Your Actor's Roots 7

Going to the Source 8

Summary 12

Chapter 2 What Is Theatre? 13

A Definition of Theatre 13

The Performer 16

The Performance 18

The Audience 19

Summary 21

Chapter 3 Stage Acting and Film Acting: Same Game, Different Surface 23

Some Misconceptions about Stage and Screen Acting 23

The Actor's Medium versus the Director's Medium 25

Adjusting to Technical Demands 29

Summary 34

Chapter 4 Inside Out, Outside In: From Stanislavski to Strasberg? 37

Craft versus Art 37

Technique: Stanislavski or Strasberg? 38

Choosing Wisely 43

Summary 44

Part II Advancing the Story

Chapter 5 The Actor in Service of the Script 47

Good Actors Tell the Story 48

Finding the Conflict and Playing Objectives 49

Building Dramatic Conflict 51

Physical Actions: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends 52

Telling Good Stories 53

Using Each Other: Where the Story Lies 55

Masters Doing the Basics 56

Summary 57

Chapter 6 Given Circumstances and Playing the Action 59

Given Circumstances 59

The "Magic If" 61

Learning the Score 63

Action and Emotion 67

"As If"s 68

Summary 69

Chapter 7 Acting with Conflict 71

Using Conflict 72

Finding the Story 73

Types of Conflict 75

Conflict to Objective 76

Conflict and Character 77

Summary 78

Chapter 8 Finding and Playing Objectives 81

Actions Make Emotions 81

Selection, Control, and Repeatability 83

Playing the Dramatic Situation 83

Discovering Objectives and Stakes 85

Building the Story through Objectives 88

Character through Actions: Tactics and Risk 89

Simplicity and Playing the Positive 90

Summary 92

Chapter 9 Listening and Staying In the Moment 93

The Importance of Listening 93

Improving Your Listening Ability 95

Listening and Playing Objectives 98

Summary 102

Chapter 10 Interpreting and Using Dialogue 103

Contextual Meaning and Subtext 104

The Importance of Subtext and Context 106

Analyzing a Script to Tell the Story 108

Summary 113

Chapter 11 Working with People, Places, and Things 115

Relating to Things 115

Categorizing 122

Defining and Using the Space 122

Defining and Using Relationships 123

Summary 124

Chapter 12 Good Storytelling: Using Objectives and Circumstances Effectively 125

Dialogue and Levels of Meaning 126

Circumstances Define Story 126

Dealing with Emotional Circumstances 127

Objectives and Circumstances 129

Using "As If"s 130

Actions from Emotions and Emotions from Actions 131

Always Analyzing and Making Choices 131

Summary 134

Part III Applying the Tools

Chapter 13 Script Analysis: A Blueprint for Storytelling 137

Reading for the Story 138

Asking the Right Questions 139

Dialogue Serving the Story 141

Summary 148

Chapter 14 Rehearsing the Scene: Preparing for the First Read 149

Choosing a Scene 150

The First Read 151

Using Improv 155

Summary 156

Chapter 15 Rehearsing the Scene: Blocking and Working It 157

Using Blocking to Tell the Story 157

Playing in a Defined Space 158

Movement 159

Gestures 161

Props and Business 162

Working through the Scene 164

Final Notes 165

Summary 166

Chapter 16 Using the Words: Discovering and Telling the Story 167

Elevated Language 167

Using Literal, Contextual, and Sub textual Meaning 174

Justifying the Lines 182

Summary 186

Chapter 17 Taking the Script Apart and Putting It Together: A Review and Practice

A Review 187

The Physical Aspects of Acting 188

The Script 188

Analysis 194

Synthesis: Finding and Playing the Actions 202

Summary 203

Chapter 18 Theatrical Conventions and Style 205

Conventions and Believability 208

Language and the Playwright's Style 209

Types of Style 211

The Roots of Style 214

The World of "Realism" 215

Some Concluding Thoughts about Style 217

Summary 217

Chapter 19 Criticism 219

Critiquing a Production 221

Critiquing Work in Class 225

Receiving Criticism Effectively 227

Summary 230

Part IV Putting the Pieces Together

Chapter 20 Auditioning 233

Casting 233

Auditioning with a Scene 236

Cold Readings 237

Auditioning with a Monologue 239

Performing the Audition 245

Auditioning with a Song 246

Summary 249

Chapter 21 Defining the Role 251

Putting the Pieces Together 251

Characters Serve the Play 253

Research and Analysis 254

Reading for the Author's Viewpoint 255

Reading for the Audience's Viewpoint 257

Reading for the Character's Viewpoint 260

Summary 263

Chapter 22 Developing the Role: The Rehearsal Process 265

The Arc or Throughline of Action 265

Developing the Role through the Rehearsal Process 271

Summary 281

Chapter 23 What You Need to Succeed 283

Luck 285

Knowing the Right People 286

Money to Sustain You 287

Looks and the Willingness to Recognize Yourself as a Commodity 287

A Healthy Ego 289

Patience 291

Aggressiveness 292

Avoiding Comparisons 293

Talent and Training 294

Summary 295

Train Coming, by Alan Haehnel 297

Acknowledgments 305

Suggested Reading 307

Glossary 313

Bibliography 321

Index 323

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