An Actor Prepares
I have always been fascinated with the craft of acting, and have read many books on all aspects of it, from the business end, different methods (including “method”), down to stories of those who have failed in their pursuits of making a living at acting. For some time though, a particular book –one that is often regarded as among the finest available on the subject– has managed to elude my grasp, whether by being unavailable as I was to check it out, or just slipping my mind when I had an opportunity to grab it.
It is, as silly as this may sound, my intense interest in acting that often keeps me from being able to enjoy movies. Not so much that I think I could do better (especially since I am completely untrained), but just that I get carried away in thinking about the work that went into developing a character; the training at sword fighting, or whatever other skill the character is proficient in; and just general fantasies about what an amazing job it must be to be an actor. Not that I am deluded and full of only the glamorous aspects of all this. I understand that the term starving artist is so well known for a reason, and that actors (unless they are excellent waiters) are often the hungriest of them all. There’s something about the struggle, the romance, the suffering for art, that seems like magic to me, and makes me want to learn more about this art and those who do it so well.
At last I managed to have my mind on this subject when I was searching the library catalog recently, and came across An Actor Prepares, by Constantin Stanislavski. I’ve only managed 50 pages of reading in the first night, but have so far thoroughly enjoyed it. The way it is written is interesting, almost like a story…here is what Wikipedia says: An Actor Prepares.