Respect for Acting (Hardcover) ~ Haskel Frankel (Author) and Ut... Cover Art

Respect for Acting (Hardcover)

By: Uta Hagen

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In her introduction to Respect for Acting, actress and teacher Uta Hagen talks about a time when she herself had no respect for the art of acting. "I used to accept opinions such as: ''You''re just born to be an actor''; ''Actors don''t really know what they''re doing on stage''; ''Acting is just instinct--it can''t be taught.''" But this attitude of "you got it or you don''t" is fundamentally one that denigrates the craft, as she points out. Great actors do not perform effortlessly, or merely through learning the appropriate tricks and cheats to manipulate an audience. Great acting is about the difficult fusion of intellect and action--about sincerely and truthfully connecting to the moment, your fellow actors, and the audience--and Hagen''s thoughtful and profound book contains a series of observations and exercises to help an actor do just that. Her prose style is admirably clear and filled with examples from her own lengthy career both as a performer and in the classroom. While her exercises in sense memory and basic objects skirt close to the sort of self-absorption that followers of "the Method" are routinely accused of, they are presented clearly and with a focus on practical results. And in such places as her chapter "Practical Problems," which includes discussions of stage nerves and how to stay fresh in a long run, her straightforward advice is invaluable. --John Longenbaugh

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Respect for Acting

"This fascinating and detailed book about acting is Miss Hagen''s credo, the accumulated wisdom of her years spent in intimate communion with her art. It is at once the voicing of her exacting standards for herself and those she [taught], and an explanation of the means to the end."
--Publishers Weekly

"Hagen adds to the large corpus of titles on acting with vivid dicta drawn from experience, skill, and a sense of personal and professional worth. Her principal asset in this treatment is her truly significant imagination. Her ''object exercises'' display a wealth of detail with which to stimulate the student preparing a scene for presentation."
--Library Journal

"Uta Hagen''s Respect for Acting . . . is a relatively small book. But within it, Miss Hagen tells the young actor about as much as can be conveyed in print of his craft."
--Los Angeles Times

"There are almost no American actors uninfluenced by Uta Hagen."
--Fritz Weaver

"This is a textbook for aspiring actors, but working thespians can profit much by it. Anyone with just a casual interest in the theater should also enjoy its behind-the-scenes flavor."
--King Features Syndicate

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