ACTing Now: A New Approach to the Old Techniques of Acting

ACTing Now by Norman B. Schwartz is an enlightening book that provides guidance that will help actors prepare for the demands of the contemporary acting world. The content of this book provides advice on topics beyond acting and includes areas such as commercials, film, and even television. The techniques highlighted in this book are not mere postulations and conjectures as Norman Schwartz has experience as an actor, director, film editor, and teacher of creative writing and he brings that experience to bear in this informative book and shares key principles that will help budding actors get and keep an acting job.

The chapters of this book are grouped into three parts – Acting Then, Acting Now, and Acting Next. This organization is essential as it helps guide the reader, and future actor, on what acting used to be, what it is today, and what it will be in the future. Beyond the keen insights, I enjoyed the historical evolution shared here.

In Acting Then, Schwartz covers some of the techniques that theater actors used as far back as the 1920s such as the Strasberg method which leaned on some of Stanislavski’s writings. Stanislavski is one of the first to offer formal training in theater acting. When the first generation who studied at the American Laboratory Theatre began their study of acting, they also based their variations on the Stanislavski system.

Thus, the system evolved to the present form where there is little accommodation for improvisation to performing monologue exercises, being mindful of camera angles and self-taping. Schwartz covers all these old techniques and suggests new ones that embrace the old ones but also better prepares the actor for the new reality of modern acting with lots of multimedia coverage.

One of the outstanding qualities of this book is that it is as expository as it is suggestive. It focuses on the history that has driven acting to where it is today. For instance, Stella Adler’s disagreement with Strasberg’s methods and teaching of tapping into emotions from one’s personal life as opposed to one’s imagination helps one glean some lessons on how best to trigger an emotional response while on stage.

ACTing Now is a must read book for any aspiring actor as it contains actionable advice that can help their career. This is an illuminating book that will also appeal to performing art students who are interested in the evolution of acting and the industry.

Pages: 163 | ASIN: B0BFPP1N2S

Buy Now From Amazon

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 10, 2022, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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