On Acting ... and Life: A New Look at an Old Craft

On Acting ... and Life: A New Look at an Old Craft

by William B Davis
On Acting ... and Life: A New Look at an Old Craft

On Acting ... and Life: A New Look at an Old Craft

by William B Davis


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Dozens of books on acting exist, but none of them are quite like this. On Acting and Life provides both insightful acting advice and the memoir of an acclaimed actor of both stage and screen. Modelled after Stephen King's bestseller, On Writing, the book is divided into two parts.

Part one takes readers on a seventy-year journey that begins with William B. Davis, at age twelve, riding his bicycle through the streets of Toronto to his first acting classes, and eventually leads to him starring in the long-running television series, The X-Files. From a summer theatre in Ontario to the National Theatre of Great Britain to the National Theatre School of Canada to the William Davis Centre for Actors' Study in Vancouver, few have achieved such a colourful journey. Along the way, Davis met all sorts of familiar faces, including Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox, Albert Finney, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, David Duchovny, and Gillian Anderson, among others.

Although there is a lot about acting in part one, the heart of the book for an aspiring or working actor is in part two. What has Davis learned in seventy years of working both in the theatre and in film and television? A lot, as you will see. Davis' grasp of the art of acting is vast and practical. And in some ways, original.

In his final chapter, Davis explores the underlying philosophy of acting and actor training and argues for bringing the work in to the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781039124271
Publisher: FriesenPress
Publication date: 04/22/2022
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

After decades of working as a theatre director and actor in Canada, the UK, and the US, William B. Davis rose to prominence as the Cigarette Smoking Man on TV's The X-Files. Besides appearing in numerous other TV shows and movies, most recently, Upload and Midnight Club, Davis also founded his own acting school, the William Davis Centre for Actors' Study.

Davis has written one other book, a memoir entitled Where There's Smoke... The Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man. He lives in Vancouver, B.C., with his wife, Emmanuelle Davis.
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