ACTING BOOKS EVERY ACTOR SHOULD READ!

The Casting Place
5 min readNov 30, 2022

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“An actor is somebody who, every day, has to reinvent himself. An actor is a lot like a dog: no matter how good he is, he still has to be taken out and fed.” — Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken has been consistent in the world of acting, with a career spanning over forty years. He started acting as a teenager, and he is still considered one of the finest actors in Hollywood. And Walken is far from being a one-hit-wonder. He’s appeared in everything from blockbusters like “The Deer Hunter” and “Pulp Fiction” to indie films like “Catch Me If You Can.” Walken is one of the few actors who can be funny, scary, and serious all at once. He can reinvent himself with every role and no matter what he does, he always delivers, and sometimes we wonder how he does that!

Note: This isn’t about Christopher Walken, but it is about you.

You cannot be an effective actor unless you constantly learn and unlearn through reading, attending workshop sessions, or taking acting classes. You need to be constantly fed to reinvent yourself and evolve in the film industry.

To be a great actor you need to read a lot. Reading is one of the best ways to cultivate your acting skills. It opens your creativity, expands your imagination, and gives you fresh ideas.

When you read, you learn about the craft you’re practicing. You learn about new techniques for honing your acting skills. You learn the history of acting, and how the profession evolved. There’s a lot out there to read, so let’s take a look at some of the best books you need to read as an actor.

1. An Actor Prepares: Constantin Stanislavski

This book shows you what it takes to become a successful actor. He shows you the skills, dedication, and work ethic needed to make it as an actor, and he gives you the advice you need to succeed.

2. Advanced Acting: Style, Character, and Performance: Cohen Robert.

If you were at the first edition of our acting workshop, we are certain that you can vividly remember that this book was given out as a freebie to some of our workshop attendees, if you are among them, say Hi in the comment section! This book is full of great advice, and we believe that everyone can learn something from this book. For example, the book talks about how any actor can be a character actor, but there is a difference in doing so. It shows how the actor can be a character in the show but remain true to himself or herself. The role of the actor is to manipulate the audience into believing that anything that the actor is doing is real. This book covers many different topics on acting and it is great for those who want to learn more about acting. You should check this out!

3. The Actors Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer

You should read this as an aspiring actor! Based on her own memorable and hilarious experiences, this book explains the nuts and bolts of breaking into the profession. You’ll learn how to get the right headshot, what to look for in representation, and the importance of teaming up with other like-minded artists and creating your work — valuable advice she’s gained through her years of struggle. It advises on how to be brave and take risks, how to get good auditions and callbacks, and how to avoid certain scams.

4. “The Actor and the Target” by Declan Donnellan

“The Actor and the Target” by Declan Donnellan is a book that provides us with the opportunity to discover a way of working that can be quite different from the one we are used to. This method of working allows actors to concentrate on what they want to do: play the role. It will explain how to you can transform yourself into the character you are supposed to be playing. It will train you to use the mind and body to create a character from the inside out.

5. Audition by Michael Shurtleff

Acting is a hard skill, so it can be discouraging when you don’t hear back from an audition. So what do you do? Michael Shurtleff offers great advice in this book on how to stay positive and move forward. This book will guide you through the process of preparing for an audition. It advises on how to appear confident, how to best answer those tough questions, and most importantly, how to keep calm and use your emotions to your advantage

Here you go, superstar, these are some of the acting books you should read to boost your career, improve your acting prowess and give yourself an edge in the industry. Which other books are we leaving out? Tell us in the comments.

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