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Acting Books: 11 Books Every Actor Should Have (And Read)

Acting, like any other trade, art or craft, takes training–lots of it. There are very few, if any, overnight successes in this town. Acting is like bodybuilding, you cannot say ‘oh, I’ve done all my training back in 2005. So now I’m in tip top shape. No! Acting requires practice. But just like bodybuilding, simply doing the wrong technique over and over without guidance and correction does not lead to success. So simply getting on stage or on video over and over again without professional critique and analysis will be equally unhelpful.

Read these books and get into serious training if you’re serious about a career on stage or screen!

Contributor: Ross Grossman from the Affinity Artists Agency.

The Affinity Artists Agency has placed 2 series regulars on VEEP, and continues to place actors in many major productions including Orange is The New Black, Wrecked, Shameless, Angie Tribeca and many, many more…

#1 Know Small Parts

This book answers all of the questions you have as an aspiring actor. It was written by LA actress Laura Cayouette who acted in LA for over 20 years.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Find Devon Ryan on Instagram

#2 A Practical Handbook For The Actor

This book gives a practical approach to acting that is no-nonsense and helps actors to cut through the noise of and irrelevance of other acting courses that include methods and manners that have no bearing on acting technique.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ross Grossman from the Affinity Artists Agency.

#3 An Actor’s Work: A Student’s Diary

This is THE Stanislavski book, as far as I am concerned. It is method acting straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were, and it is one of the more influential books around, more than 50 years after it was first published. Stanislavski was a force to be reckoned with, and any actor worth his or her salt will be able to benefit from this book.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Caleb Backe from mapleholistics.com

#4 The Empty Space

A meditation on theater which turns 50 this year. The lectures which comprise this collection are spot-on wonderful, and they are able to provide insight into the actor and director’s mind. The words, the stages, and the performances - what do they mean? How can they be used to bend some rules, break others, and leave an imprint in a person’s mind?

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Caleb Backe from mapleholistics.com

#5 On the Technique of Acting

[This book is] another great staple of theater studies and development, it serves as a more complete version of the previous publication known as To The Actor. Checkov goes into detail on his views as a director and a teacher, and outlines his approach to acting and theater at large. This book also includes various exercises and even a chapter dedicated to acting for the screen.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Caleb Backe from mapleholistics.com

#8 Your Breath in Art: Acting from Within

[This book is] a quirky little classic that collects the original philosophies, ruminations, how-to's, and wry humor of acclaimed stage actor and acting/voice coach, Bea Manley, in one beautiful, easy-to-digest volume.

Start here for ideas and inspiration on breathwork, presence, authenticity, improvisation, overcoming fears, and more.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Sharon Woodhouse from conspirecreative.com

#9 So you want to be on a reality show?

Actors dream of one day getting that big break yet many don't know how to or where to begin. This book is a start. It leads you through the process step by step. The book walks you step-by-step through the entire casting journey from determining your stereotype to creating an audition reel to the final interview.

You’ll learn the ins and outs, the Do’s and Don’ts and even the pet peeves of casting directors that can take you to the next level or eliminate you from the competition before you even start. Featuring expert advice from some of Hollywood’s biggest casting directors and producers and even former contestants from over 30 of your biggest reality TV favorites.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Chantay Bridges from losangelesrealestatenow.com

#10 The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor

Larry Moss is one of the premiere acting teachers in the world and has worked with Jason Alexander (of Seinfeld), Hilary Swank and many others. He combines his knowledge of Stanislavsky, Meisner, Adler and Strasberg to create a must-have book for any serious actor.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ross Grossman from the Affinity Artists Agency.

#11 One Less Bitter Actor: The Actor’s Survival Guide Paperback

Flanagan teaches actors the practical day-to-day business aspects of acting. It teaches actors about the inside world of casting, on-set behavior and all the myriad business decisions an actor must make.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ross Grossman from the Affinity Artists Agency.

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Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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