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Best Acting Books: The Ultimate Collection

There are countless Acting courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Sanford Meisner on Acting (1987)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionSanford Meisner was one of the best known and beloved teachers of acting in the country. This book follows one of his acting classes for fifteen months, beginning with the most rudimentary exercises and ending with affecting and polished scenes from contemporary American plays. Written in collaboration with Dennis Longwell, it is essential reading for beginning and professional actors alike. Throughout these pages Meisner is a delight—always empathizing with his students and urging them onward, provoking emotion, laughter, and growing technical mastery from…
Author(s): Sanford Meisner , Dennis Longwell , et al.

2. How to Stop Acting: A Renowned Acting Coach Shares His Revolutionary Approach to Landing Roles, Developing Them and Keeping them Alive (2003)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionHarold Guskin is an “acting doctor” whose clients include Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, James Gandolfini, Bridget Fonda, and dozens more. In How to Stop Acting, Guskin reveals the insights and techniques that have worked wonders for beginners as well as stars. Instead of yet another “method,” Guskin offers a strategy based on a radically simple and refreshing idea: that the actor’s work is not to “create a character” but rather to be continually, personally responsive to the text, wherever his impulse takes him, from first read-through to final performance. From this credo…
Author(s): Harold Guskin, Kevin Kline

3. Acting: The First Six Lessons (2013)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionGet the definitive edition that has taught generations of actors and actresses. This edition includes bonus acting exercises. In his beloved classic, Acting: The First Six Lessons, master acting teacher Richard Boleslavsky presents his acting theory and technique in a lively and accessible narrative form. Widely considered a must-have for beginning as well as established actors, Boleslavsky's work has long helped actors better understand the craft of acting and what it takes to grow as an artist. This enhanced edition includes additional exercises from Samuel Seldon's First Steps in Acting, which provide…
Author(s): Richard Boleslavsky, Edith J. R. Isaacs

4. Acting for Young Actors: The Ultimate Teen Guide (2006)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionDo you know a teen that’s been bitten by the acting bug? Here’s just the book they need! Acting for Young Actors, aimed at teens and tweens, lets kids hone their skills and develop their craft. It begins with the five W’s: WHO am I? WHAT do I want? WHY do I want it? WHERE am I? WHEN does this event take place? Sounds basic – but many young child actors are told simply to "get up there and act." This book explores each of these questions, using helpful exercises to allow young actors to work through problems of character identity and motivation. With…
Author(s): Mary Lou Belli, Dinah Lenney

5. The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide (2017)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionJenna Fischer’s Hollywood journey began at the age of 22 when she moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of St. Louis. With a theater degree in hand, she was determined, she was confident, she was ready to work hard. So, what could go wrong? Uh, basically everything.  The path to being a professional actor was so much more vast and competitive than she’d imagined.  It would be eight long years before she landed her iconic role on The Office, nearly a decade of frustration, struggle, rejection and doubt. If only she’d had a handbook for the aspiring actor. Or, better yet, someone to show her the way—an…
Author(s): Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell

6. Confessions of a Casting Director: Help Actors Land Any Role with Secrets from Inside the Audition Room (2013)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionConfessions of a Casting Director is a must-have for any aspiring actor or stage parent—the definitive guide to breaking into film, television, theater, and even YouTube from longtime casting director and studio executive Jen Rudin.Packed with information that aspiring actors want, her up-to-the-minute expert advice is essential for anyone pursuing an acting career. Jen Rudin demystifies the often intimidating and constantly changing audition process, sharing insider tips on preparing for every type of audition: musical theater, television (including commercials and reality TV), and film to…
Author(s): Jen Rudin

7. Michael Caine – Acting in Film: An Actor’s Take on Movie Making (The Applause Acting Series) Revised Expanded Edition (2000)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionA master actor who’s appeared in an enormous number of films, starring with everyone from Nicholson to Kermit the Frog, Michael Caine is uniquely qualified to provide his view of making movies. This new revised and expanded edition features great photos throughout, with chapters on: Preparation, In Front of the Camera – Before You Shoot, The Take, Characters, Directors, On Being a Star, and much more.“Remarkable material … A treasure … I’m not going to be looking at performances quite the same way … FASCINATING!”– Gene Siskel…
Author(s): Michael Caine

8. Acting for the Camera: Revised Edition (1997)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionCulled from Tony Barr’s 40 years’ experience as a performer, director and acting teacher in Hollywood, this highly praised handbook provides readers with the practical knowledge they need when performing in front of the camera. This updated edition includes plenty of new exercises for honing on-camera skills; additional chapters on imagination and movement; and fresh material on character development, monologues, visual focus, playing comedy and working with directors. Inside tips on the studio system and acting guilds make it particularly helpful for people new to the business, and numerous anecdotes from actors…
Author(s): Tony Barr

9. Acting Professionally: Raw Facts about Careers in Acting (2017)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionThis vital resource will steer you through the hugely competitive industry of stage, film and TV acting, offering wise advice on everything from writing an eye-catching résumé to finding an agent. It will give you a clear understanding of how acting careers are built and sustained, and how actors must position themselves in an environment overseen by directors, agents, casting directors and acting unions. Praised for its honest and critical understanding of the industry, the text has retained its status as the leading book in its field since the first edition published in 1972….
Author(s): James Calleri, Robert Cohen

10. Acting as a Business, Fifth Edition: Strategies for Success (2014)

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate CollectionThe essential handbook for actors—a modern classic—in a newly updated edition. Since its original publication, Acting as a Business has earned a reputation as an indispensable tool for working and aspiring actors. Avoiding the usual advice about persistence and luck, Brian O’Neil provides clear-cut guidelines that will give actors a solid knowledge of the business behind their art. It’s packed with practical information—on everything from what to say in a cover letter to where to stand when performing in an agent’s office—including:  –…
Author(s): Brian O’Neil

Best Acting Books: The Ultimate Collection

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some acting books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Acting Politics: A Critical Sociology of The Political Field

Author(s): Alfredo Joignant
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2019, Size: 25 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2397914

Determined by Reasons: A Competence Account of Acting for a Normative Reason

Author(s): Susanne Mantel
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2235863

Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations about Film, Television, and Theater

Author(s): Kathleen Turner, Dustin Morrow
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Year: 2018, Size: 4 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2287653

Psychology for Actors: Theories and Practices for the Acting Process

Author(s): Kevin Page
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2018, Size: 8 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2301658

The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting as a Nazi

Author(s): Johann Chapoutot
Publisher: Belknap Press, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2323574

The Art of American Screen Acting: 1912-1960

Author(s): Dan Callahan
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc., Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2345922

Praxis: On Acting and Knowing

Author(s): Friedrich V. Kratochwil
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Year: 2018, Size: 6 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2381097

Environmental History in the Making: Volume II: Acting

Author(s): Cristina Joanaz de Melo, Estelita Vaz, Lígia M. Costa Pinto (eds.)
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2017, Size: 10 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1594383

Reverse Engineering the Mind: Consciously Acting Machines and Accelerated Evolution

Author(s): Florian Neukart
Publisher: Springer, Year: 2017, Size: 9 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1594739

Hepatitis C Virus Treatment: Highly Effective Therapy with Direct Acting Antivirals and Associated Viral Resistance

Author(s): Kazuaki Chayama (eds.)
Publisher: Springer Singapore, Year: 2017, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1628054

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are absolutely hot items according to Washington Post, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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