Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Reading List Recommendation: A DREAM OF PASSION
But seriously, the book I'm going to recommend is a must-read for aspiring actor-folk who are serious about improving their craft and who (like me) have struggled to understand and focus their ongoing practice.
The book is called A DREAM OF PASSION and is written by Lee Strasberg, eminent teacher/actor/director/theoretician. You might know him from the highly revered Actor's Studio in New York City (although he is not to be confused with James Lipton, the bearded dude who interviews famous people in front of an audience of actor-students, and asks for literal answers to rhetorical questions, like, "Up....or down?" (FYI: Lee Strasberg is deceased, James Lipton is not)).
Anyway. Per the recommendation of my acting coach, I have just now finished A DREAM OF PASSION and have found it wonderfully affirming. If you've ever struggled to articulate or conceptualize the process of finding out who you are as an actor -- your weaknesses, your goals, your impetus for improving -- this book is like a warm bath filled with epsom salt wisdom, gooey bath pearls of encouragement, and floating rose petals of clarity and direction. While much of its prose is technical and/or historical, I found myself smiling throughout the read, stumbling upon countless "aha!" moments, as Strasberg crystallizes questions I've long struggled to put into words, and, in the most clear, detailed and ordered manner, deconstructs the oft-referenced but rarely understood "Method."
In summary: he teaches yous guys how to act good.
If you've read A DREAM OF PASSION, feel free to submit comments below... And if you haven't read it: read it!