Best acting & auditioning books according to redditors

We found 511 Reddit comments discussing the best acting & auditioning books. We ranked the 205 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

Next page

Top Reddit comments about Acting & Auditioning:

u/sezzme · 47 pointsr/todayilearned

Here's a great story for you. Have you ever heard of Harpo Marx? Contrary to urban legend, he could talk perfectly fine in real life. He just chose to be quieter than most people.

Harpo eventually got famous enough to be invited to the Algonquin Round Table, known for their regular crowd of famous sharp wits always trying to verbally out-smart and out-troll each other.

As I remember from his autobiography, Harpo would just happily sit with that esteemed crowd just to listen and enjoy the scene. Eventually he wondered if he actually fit in their meetings because he rarely had much to say.

One day, Harpo expressed his concern to one of the other famed attendees at the Table.

The reply was something resembling this: since this was a crowd of talkers, having someone there who actually listened for a change made Harpo an extremely valuable and welcome member of the group. :)

(Disclaimer: I am quoting this from my memory of reading the book "Harpo Speaks!" many years ago. I know I got the general gist of the story correctly, but for exactness, you need to read the book.)

u/1q2w3 · 36 pointsr/Entrepreneur

Impossible to name one. Books only had significance for me when they addressed a particular lifecycle that the business was in.

u/[deleted] · 28 pointsr/seduction

I am obsessed. Here is my current collection:

Most of these you can find on thepiratebay / etc, but I own a hard copy of all of these except for The Mystery Method, which I read probably 5 times before I found Magic Bullets (actually don't own that either, just the pdf). I'll add to this list if I think of more.

Must Reads:

Magic Bullets - Savoy ==>> [Torrent] it's expensive!

  • This book is so excellent. It's like a PUA encyclopedia. It walks you through the process, and cites every major text along the way.. none of this "my way works best" crap, but not afraid to make judgments either. For pickup books that employ some form of the M3 Model (however loosely.. which I think means: everyone except Ross Jeffries), this is the authoritative text. If you have an approach that is proven, important, and credible, then it is probably cited in this book.

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Robert Cialdini

  • I got this book because it is #1 on this list. Turns out, it is the modern version of Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People (see review below).. only this time, it's by someone who knows a thing or two about applied psychology (which either didn't exist back then, or was too under-developed to matter). This guy freaking went undercover as a used car salesman, working with fundraisers, etc. Interestingly enough, I bought this book in the same order as The Game, and in chapter 1 Strauss mentions reading Cialdini's book to prepare for a trip to Belgrade with Mystery, which was his formal introduction into the PUA community.

    The Art of Seduction - Robert Greene

  • I'm not done with this one yet, but I will say this: if you have a conscience, don't read this. It really is a fascinating study of seduction, but it does focus on seduction as a tool to victimize people.. That said, unlike your typical pick-up type book which does not bother to categorize gamers' personality types, this book categorizes different "types" of seducers. This is extremely helpful because you can figure out what type of seducer fits you best, and what things you need to focus on to improve your game.

    How to Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie

  • This book has sold over 15 million copies. It was originally written in 1937, but has been revised once or twice since it became the best selling self-help type book of all time, which it probably still is. He walks you through the basic principles of how to motivate people.. what works, what doesn't.. etc. Fun, easy, captivating read. It looks thick, but I think I unintentionally read it cover to cover in one sitting the first time I read it in college.. so it's a quick read.

    Should reads:

    The Game - Neil Strauss

  • I think this is one of the best selling pick-up type books. I liked reading it, but it was less of a tutorial book and more of an autobiography.. it does get the job done though. It also is a very entertaining read, and if you doubt that PUA stuff actually works, this will prove to you otherwise because Strauss was a very timid and ugly mofo, but he fucked Jenna Jameson.

    The Mystery Method : How to Get Beautiful Women Into Bed - Mystery, Chris Odom, Neil Strauss

  • This introduced me into the world of PUA my senior year of college when I inadvertently stumbled upon a torrent of it (I was probably looking for something to jerk off to. How poetic). I downloaded it just to skim through it skeptically, but this book eventually introduced me to a whole new world. This is an excellent staple / beginner's text, even though I now recommend Magic Bullets because it is so much more objective and inclusive of alternate styles and approaches along the way.

    How to Get the Women You Desire into Bed - Ross Jeffries

  • Not done with this yet, but Ross Jeffries is a freak (not meant to be insulting to him). I have no doubt that his methods are effective, but they are very different. And he really seems a bit evil, as opposed to merely mischievous like most other PUAs are. I haven't decided how incompatible, if not just different, his methods are with the Mystery / Strauss crowd.. but then again, I have never field tested any of his methods myself.

    Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation - Charna Halpern, Del Close, Kim Johnson

  • A close friend of mine who studied improv in New York lent me this, and I forgot about it until recently -- but it is a very short but brilliant book about comedy. I'm listening now to David DeAngelo's Cock Comedy series, and I realized that almost everything he's saying is straight out of this little text. It's not really something essential for pick-up, which is why I wouldn't put it in Must Reads, but it is excellent nonetheless.

    Meh, they're alright:

    The Pickup Artist: The New and Improved Art of Seduction - Mystery, Neil Strauss

  • You can definitely get some good stuff out of this book, but the whole thing comes across as an excuse for Mystery to brag about how awesome he is. He seriously spends an entire chapter (maybe more) telling a story about him bragging to other PUAs. He does deserve it though, the man is the single most influential PUA ever, if not the most successful in the field.

    Rules of the Game - Neil Strauss

  • This is one of those books that you read once a day for 30 days, and write down statements of intent right in the book like "it is my goal to lose my virginity before my next birthday in 3 months." Probably good for beginners, but I skimmed through this after having been gaming in the field for several months.

    Haven't read yet:

    What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People - Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins

  • This looks really good.

    NLP: The New Technology of Achievement - NLP Comprehensive

    Easy Mind-Reading Tricks - Robert Mandelberg, Ferruccio Sardella

    Palm Reading for Beginners: Find Your Future in the Palm of Your Hand (For Beginners (Llewellyn's)) - Richard Webster

    There are also some good videos out there (links are to torrents. these are all several hundred $$):

    Excellent Videos

    The Annihilation Method - Neil Strauss

  • I met a guy who said he was looking around his apartment for things to sell so he could afford the $375 this costs. apparently he didn't think to check thepiratebay ;)

    Mystery and Style

  • The videos of Mystery in here are just excellent. It's very interesting to see Mystery actually interacting with other people (not in a set), since he is the god of pick-up.

    Decent Videos

    Psychic Influence - Ross Jeffries

  • This is interesting.. I'm not much of a Jeffries guy though, mostly because he's the most oddball of the group, and I haven't studied his material enough.
u/redditbannedmeagain · 26 pointsr/

On the "10 Quick Steps" page you should see an "Add to Cart" button that takes you to PayPal. The Amazon link is broken.

mp3 download (via PayPal checkout) $35.00

Hardcover on Amazon $34.99

Paperback on Amazon $11.55

Kindle eBook on Amazon $13.79

u/YakkoPinky · 23 pointsr/IAmA

Listen to my podcast (, visit Dee Bradley Baker's site about VO Info, buy Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt's book Voiceover Voice actor ( Start there, take an Improv class if you can.

u/refreshthis · 18 pointsr/seinfeld

Fred Stoller. He wrote a book called Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star.

u/JayceMJ · 17 pointsr/gamegrumps

If anyone is interested in the Upright Citizens Brigade there's a book you can purchase that's quite good and is the standard resource for anyone interested in rat dicks.

u/Righteous_Dude · 16 pointsr/RedditDayOf

He already made a book titled "Just A Geek".

u/Big_Jamming_Burst · 13 pointsr/improv

Aerodynamics of Yes by Christian Capozzoli

Improvise (Scenes from the inside out) by Mick Napier

Directing Improv by Asaf Ronen

u/shachaf · 12 pointsr/AskReddit

A few that come to mind:

  • Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, by Keith Johnstone. Discusses many things in the context of improvisational theatre, such as human interaction, creativity/spontaneity, stories, perception, and teaching.
  • The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are, by Robert Wright. Evolutionary psychology. Puts some concreteness, even obviousness, to many irrational human behaviors.
  • The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul, edited by Hofstadter and Dennett. A selection of texts on consciousness, and reflections by the editors. Some is fictional, some non-fictional.
  • The Tao is Silent, by Raymond Smullyan. Eastern philosophy in an Eastern way by someone who thoroughly understands the Western perspective on things.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig. No one has mentioned this book so far, so I feel like I should; although it did not affect me directly in the way some of the other books here did, it certainly planted some ideas for "independent rediscovery" later on. Some things I've only thought of some time after reading it and then made the connection. This is Taoism from a Western perspective. I'll read it again in a few years and see how it's different.
  • The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence, by Josh Waitzkin. A book about learning that says some important things quite well. I read this only a few days ago, but it's influenced my perspective on learning/teaching (and doing in general), so I thought I should add it to the list.
u/sambalaya · 12 pointsr/improv

Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual by Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh

u/pixelsnbits · 12 pointsr/twincitiessocial

Hey! I finally get to say something relevant!!!

I'm currently in my third Improv class (Improv 301) at HUGE Theater! I was in the first Improv 101 class to be offered by HUGE just before they opened their doors to the public.

Anyone who is the slightest bit interested in Improv should take the 101 level class. 101 classes start this Sunday, May 1st!
Go here to register!

If you have concerns about paying the $200 up front, send the instructor an e-mail and they may be willing to work with you. They're super nice folks. It's a ten week class and they're really great. There's no pressure and you have a lot of fun... Seriously, I highly recommend it.

HUGE classes specialize in longform improv which are made up of longer, more engaging scenes. What you see in 'Who's Line..' is more considered shortform. Both forms involve games and characters, but longform allows you to really dig into scene work.

There is no straight line from taking classes to going into performing. I've had classes with experienced performers looking for a refresher.

Brave New Workshop has workshops available that guide you towards performance and some require an audition. HUGE and Brave New Workshop have great working relationships with each other and you'll see improvisors reporting in at both spots.

If you take a class at HUGE, you also get to go to their shows for free Sunday through Wednesday nights as a student. Shows are $5 normally and usually start around 8pm.

If you're looking to get your nerd on with the other improvisers, you may find some solace in the Minneapolis Improv Boards, although I don't think it's extremely active.

Disclaimer: I had ZERO improv or acting experience before going into class .. I had a friend who suggested I try a workshop for fun and I ended up signing up for the 101 class and loved it. I plan to continue on and even try my hand at performing after this class.

Good luck and I'll see you out there!

Edit: Oh yeah, if you're interested in some light reading, I recommend Truth in Comedy. Del Close helped start Improv as we know it today. Also, it used to be on Netflix Watch Instantly, but you definitely want to watch Trust Us, This Is All Made Up to see how amazing Improv can be.

u/Join_You_In_The_Sun · 12 pointsr/movies

I hadn't heard of Del Close until I moved to NYC and lived with a guy who did improv. He gave me Del's book "Truth in Comedy", which was an incredible read (and I'm not a comedy writer or performer).

u/ReliableSource · 11 pointsr/Standup

I don't think you need to read the whole book (there's a small summary that's a few pages out there), but I found Greg Dean's book helpful for learning how to write simple setup/punchline jokes.

For improv (and it applies to sketch too imo), the UCB manual is the best book I've read.

For writing, this book from one of the founders of The Onion is really good. I think if I had to recommend just one comedy book, it would be this one.

u/hypno_beam · 11 pointsr/improv

Format is only half of the story. A big part of long form improv is the mentality, structure, and approach. My highest recommendation is to read a very short book called Truth in Comedy.

u/mplsrpg · 9 pointsr/rpg

I didn't read all of your other post. However, I did read the part where you say that you take a few minutes to come up with dialogue in the middle of the game. I don't know what's going on at your gaming table specifically, but I would recommend playing as a fantasy version of yourself. That way, you don't need to think as much about what your character would say. You just say what you would say. You also probably won't have to practice as much during the week.

Also to answer your question, I don't think anyone practices as their current character. However, if you want to practice improvisational speaking, you should check out the improv comedy scene in your town. Also, this improv comedy book has specific drills you can do with your friends to get better at improvisational speaking.

u/Maeglom · 9 pointsr/IAmA

You might be interested in the book Truth In Comedy. I used it for Improv classes.

u/haleym · 8 pointsr/acting

Unless you're doing some sort of highly stylized melodrama or something along those lines (which it doesn't sound like you are) you don't "act" emotions. That's going to come across as superficial and unconvincing. For the type of naturalistic acting your project is most likely going for, you act objectives, obstacles and tactics and use "what if" to stimulate your imagination and get yourself into the situation. Then the emotions come naturally.

In this case, your objective is to get to safety. This is very high-stakes; if you don't get to safety, you die. So what if you were really in that type of situation? Imagine if suddenly, right now, right behind you, you caught in the reflection of your screen the image of a man with a giant butcher knife about to stab you. You're going to freak out, right? You're going to scream, run, pull out your phone and call 911 and/or your friends and family and do whatever it takes to get out of there and get help and be safe again. Start out by practicing as if that was the scene. Have someone stand behind you as if they were the killer, then run screaming and shouting with reckless abandon from one side of the room to the other, yelling the names of all your most trusted friends and family for help, as if this was the one moment in your life you need them most of all. It doesn't matter how you look doing it, it doesn't matter if anyone's convinced, the only thing that matters is that you, Ahmed11105, get away from the person that wants to kill you as fast as possible and get to a safe place. Feel what it's like to go after that goal with everything you've got.

Once you've done that, once you're feeling that urgency and immediacy, start adding in the given circumstances to the exercise, one at a time, and see how they create obstacles to your goal of getting to safety, and how you have to change your tactics to get there. For example, instead of right behind you, the killer's in some unknown place nearby. How does that affect things? Can you still risk screaming for help, or will that alert him to your presence? Can you still run in a straight line, or do you know have to pay more attention to your surroundings, since you don't know where he is? Now imagine that you've forgotten who you are. How does that affect your character's situation, feeling that instinct to find someone to help them but not knowing if any such people even exist? How does that influence the choices the character makes? Remember, underneath everything your prime focus is to get to safety - these are just added obstacles that are standing in your way. It's the tension between the character's objective and the obstacles that stand in the way of that which create the emotion in the actor's body.

Read up on Method/Stanislavski/Etc. for further info about how to develop this sort of technique (the sidebar's a good start, I also highly recommend "Practical Handbook for the Actor" as a great crash course in this stuff), or, better yet, take an actual acting class, and this all makes a lot more sense if you have an experienced teacher guiding you through exercises that teach these principles.

(*Edit: I guess that "Practical Handbook" link is only the first chapter, but here it is on Amazon.)

u/Portmantoad · 8 pointsr/userexperience

Having specific characters that represent your different audiences allow you to embody/emulate those characters as "masks" (an idea from theater, outlined brilliantly in Keith Johnstone's Impro).

The human brain is extremely good at simulating other people, predicting their needs and desires: if someone says "I heard dead my mothers voice telling me not to do it" do you assume their dead mother is literally communicating telepathically, or do you accept that they just know what their mother would say? Writers also work this way all the time with "characters that write themselves"—these fictional entities have personalities, needs, and wants, and help the writer see things from a perspective that is unlike their own.

While heavily researched personas are more accurate, DIY "fanfiction" personas really do get you 80% of the way there—these are just tools that allow designers to roleplay as or "find empathy for" different types of users. They're not supposed to cover every possible thing or to replace the need for validation, they just get you in the right headspace.

u/khafra · 8 pointsr/DebateReligion

Interrupting someone lowers their status. Allowing someone to break a social taboo without comment raises their status. Really, if you want to know more, you've gotta obtain this book (and/or go to a local improv class, most of which take that book as their basis).

u/tpounds0 · 8 pointsr/improv

I have this handy!

Accents, a Manual for Actors

Learning IPA(International Phonetic Alphabet) is a real game changer with dialect and accent work. I have a little collection of index cards of accents(the ones a white guy like me are expected to do) that have a cheat sheet of the most important sound differences.

u/Goblin-Guru · 8 pointsr/seinfeld

I’ve been wanting to check that out! He also wrote this book that sounds interesting as well.

u/Leveraged_Breakdowns · 7 pointsr/FinancialCareers

First, actually find a therapist.


Second, since you probably won't actually find a therapist (even though you should), below are a few strategies that got me through my roughest patches in investment banking and private equity:

  • Life will challenge you at every corner, a new career will also be stressful in its own right
  • Maximizing every decision leads to undue stress, learn to satisfice (Barry Schwartz TED Talk on the Paradox of Choice)
  • Learn to control your mindset to identify and note negative thought patterns (Headspace teaches Mindfulness -- try it for forty lessons and be amazed at your improved perspective)
  • Treat yourself to purposeful rest every day. You probably don't have rest time every day. But when you have a bit of a weekend or a couple hours before bed, set aside a strict portion of that time for purposeful relaxation. Don't half-work -- watch TV, play video games, do something stupid and unproductive that makes you happy and relaxed.
  • Stay fit, even if it's a couple core exercises, some foam rolling, and some stretching
  • These books helped me: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Zorba the Greek, Seneca: Letters from a Stoic, Truth in Comedy
u/Hoobahoo · 6 pointsr/Filmmakers

Read A Practical Handbook for the Actor to help understand what it is an actor needs to do in a seen. In this way, you can guide your actors in the direction you want by using their vernacular or one that makes sense to them. Not to say every actor uses this book, but it is a damn good one. Hope this helps.

u/TheLastGiraffe · 6 pointsr/acting

I agree. Your hunger is an incredibly good thing. But you should always be training and stretching If you're interested in some books on technique here's what I've been reading.

A Practical Handbook for the Actor by a bunch of interesting people. It's a practical, repeatable, and analytical way of approaching acting. While it is best practiced in a classroom with a knowledgable instructor, the text is good enough to stand on it's own.

History of the Theatre by Brockett is a longggggg read. But it's detailed and a great perspective on what was happening when in relation to plays. Also you can older editions for way way less.

I'm just now reading Sanford Meisner on Acting and that's been an interesting so far, it has a lot more of a narrative which is enjoyable to read.

Hope any of that helps someone!

u/enderandrew42 · 6 pointsr/todayilearned

Method acting was supposedly invented by Constantin Stanislavski. He has a trilogy of books on the subject, starting with An Actor Prepares (which really hammers in the core concept enough).

People have misconstrued his message for ages since. To get in the mindset of a Black man (a Moor) for Othello, he put chocolate frosting on his face. Yes, his pivotal example was blackface. But he described acting savage and trying to get insider the head of the character. He IMAGINED he was that person to get in their head.

He didn't say he truly had to live his life and do everything that character said.

This notion that you can only portray being a taxi driver unless you drive a taxi is absurd. That is saying you can't play a killer unless you go kill people.

A method actor only needs to spend time analyzing the character and their motivations. If you keep asking "why" the character says and does what is in the script, you are better prepared to perform the role.

As obvious as that sounds, before Stanislavski, directors and actors apparently didn't discuss motive. At least there is no recorded history of them doing so.

u/HooptyDooDooMeister · 6 pointsr/funny
u/WinonaPortman · 6 pointsr/acting

Comedy is the most difficult genre in TV Land. Especially multi-cam.

I do my character and organic work like I would with anything else except that I'll recognize that I'm usually dealing with very high stakes over very small matters which is what makes it funny. It's also written in a very specific rhythm and contains a lot of script devices like threes, reversals, lists, builds, antitheticals, and callbacks that it's very helpful to know how to identify and execute. Thus it's a lot like scansion in classical verse or reading a piece of music meaning that unlike with some drama, I absolutely will not change a word or ignore punctuation because that would throw the rhythm off.

If you want to read a good book on how it's typically written and executed, check out The Eight Characters of Comedy by Scott Sedita.

u/GoatOfThrones · 6 pointsr/Screenwriting

not necessarily. characters commonly get paired off for stories, see IASIP.

the basic wisdom is that there are 6 to 8 archetypes of sitcom character. (this book lays out 8:

in multi-cams all of these characters often inhabit the same main setting (Cheers, Big Bang Theory), and sometimes in single cam too (The Office, P&R, 30 Rock).

and time allotted per story is usually a hierarchy. A story might be 13 minutes, B story 5 minutes, and C story 2 minutes (with 3 beats throughout the show).

also OP, check out Ellen Sandler's TV Writer's Workbook. She's teaches you to track # of characters/scenes. if you break down your favorite shows/eps or at least shows you think are similar to your idea, you'll get a sense of your answer.

u/richardcornish · 6 pointsr/improv
  • Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual is usually the first one that people speak highly of. Half of it is theory, and the other half is exercises. I find it the most solid gathering of tactics, but maybe a comparison to other schools would help me understand why their “game” makes them so different.
  • Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out by Mick Napier is probably the next best one on my list. It personally resonated with me because the idea of “take care of your partner by taking care of yourself” identified one of the less-spoken of but more critical parts of improv. I’ve been in many scenes where the who/what/where slips through the cracks because we were too polite to not make a bold choice and each of us were scared to decide what the scene should be about. If each of us collectively decides individually and “yes, and,” we’re on a really good trajectory.
  • Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ and Dave Book is my long-form inspiration. You get a lot of mindset here, not as tactical as the others.

    Interestingly, this one blog post “How to Be a Better Improviser” is actually a brilliant distillation of the most important concepts.

    It goes without saying that without practice reading alone will have limited utility.
u/EvilRazcal · 6 pointsr/improv

I didn't get involved in the improv scene until after I moved away from there but I've looked into it a little when visiting.

I've seen some shows and taken a workshop at Spectacles in Fullerton that were a lot of fun but the age group may be slightly older than you're looking for. They seem to be the most active and organized group and I think I've seem them post on this sub in the past.

Here are some other organizations I found you may reach out to:

Improv City High Schools

OC Crazies

Nothing about training but maybe a resource.

South Coast Repertory

If you're looking to do Long Form Improv you could pick up the UCB Handbook and some friends and start on your own. After several weeks of consistent practices you could try and hire a coach from one of the resources above. I've found that many coaches are more interested in helping dedicated improvisers improve and not in getting rich... hopefully you'll have the same experience.

u/EazyCheeze1978 · 5 pointsr/startrek

Oh yeah... As I recall, he actually did have some emotional issues and depression over people quite stupidly conflating his "actual personal actor" self with his "at times unfortunately written" character, and being inundated with very unpleasant things from said "fans" of the show.

But he's over that now; he actually wrote several books about his experiences: Dancing Barefoot (actually a hard-copy of some of his anecdotes from his blog), Just A Geek, and The Happiest Days of Our Lives, and probably more, which chronicle his development and his literal apotheosis beyond the mistaken but very understandable (to a very young, developing teenage mind) idea that the failures of Wesley Crusher were his, Wil Wheaton's, fault. (These books are ALL out of print on Amazon, and their prices here unfortunately have skyrocketed as a result; perhaps Wil has links to other storefronts where they can be bought.)

He's an entertaining guy to watch, a humorous but also very inspiring guy to read.

u/ohjein · 5 pointsr/Learnmusic

Have you ever seen Whose Line Is It Anyway? If you haven't, the idea is that a bunch of actors get on stage, take suggestions from the audience, and create wildly creative set pieces on the fly. Improv seems like an unachievable creative feat--but it's not.

In his book Impro, Keith Johnstone demystifies improv and narrative play. At one point, he has a lady who insists she's not creative participate in a narrative game. She asks plot questions about an unwritten story, and he answers yes or no depending on the way she phrases her questions. In the end, this "uncreative" creates a story about giant killer ants seemingly from nothing!

The key to creativity is being open to stupid ideas. People have ideas all the time. Deciding to put hot sauce on your pizza is an idea. Deciding to cut through Park Lane while on your morning commute is an idea. Deciding to dance the funky chicken after reading this comment is an idea.

What makes an idea creative? That's a toughie. A lot of times, you'll feel it in your gut or sense it in the approval from your audience. But you normally don't reach that creative peak until you get through some duds. :)

Creativity is easy. Creativity is hard. Anyone can come up with ideas. It's the editing--and the follow-through--that makes the difference.

u/TSpange · 5 pointsr/Theatre

Go ahead and pick up one of these

In the mean time, I'll open up my copy and tell you what Blumenfeld has to say about Cockney. But before that, let me just stress this: You can read all of the phonetics and rules that you want, but at the end of the day, the thing that is going to help you the most is listening to a native speaker. Michael Caine has been a giant help to me. So sit yourself down, watch The Dark Knight trilogy and pay attention to Alfred.

As for what Blumenfeld has to say:

  • The jaws are held loosley with the lips a bit forward. Drop your jaw and say "ah" which will give you the general position of the accent.

  • The accent is non-rhotic, meaning that the final R or the R before another consonant are not pronounced. E.G. "shoogah" instead of "shoogar" for sugar or "tah-tid" instead of "tar-tid" for tarted.

  • H is often not pronounced at the beginning of a word. So hand, how and hat become 'and, 'ow, and 'at.

  • The g in -ing is often dropped. I.E. Runnin' instead of running.
  • The glottal stop is an important stereotype to the accent. It's the absence of vocalization that is used during a "tt" sound. You'd know the sound if you heard it. It's hard to explain the sound through type.
  • Voiced TH (where you use your voice to make the sound) is often replaced by a V. "Together" becomes "tuhgevah." if it's at the beginning of the word it is either replaced by a 'd' or dropped all together. So that can sometimes become either "dat" or "at"
  • Voiceless TH (Where you have your tongue between your teeth and push air out) is substituted with an "F". This is a pretty indicative Cockney trait that will instantly say to the audience "HEY. THIS IS COCKNEY"
  • Now for the vowel sounds. The vowel 'A' in father is a pure open vowel just like in British Received Pronounciation.
  • The 'ay' sound shifts to 'I'. So day and brain sound more like "die" and "brine"
  • The 'I' sound becomes 'oy' so 'I am', 'night', and 'fine' become "oy am" "noyt" and "foyn" But don't make it sound too open or your going to start to sound Australian.
  • The "O" sound in "home" becomes "Ow" So "I know that bloke" becomes "Oy now dat blowk"
  • The final L in a word can often become "oo" Table becomes "tayboo" Even though he's not quite cockney, this is really obvious in Ricky Gervais' accent. He says 'people' a lot and that will always sound like 'peepoo'

    That's a general rundown of the phonetics. There's more to be learned obviously. Now for tips.

  • Go through parts of the script and rewrite it phonetically using these rules.
  • A funny joke people like to make about Cockney is that when Michael Caine tries to say his name, he sounds like he's saying "my cocaine".
  • Seriously. Listen to native speakers.
  • Don't get too caught up in the accent. Still put all your focus on acting and being truthful to the character. Make it another aspect of the character instead of letting it define the character. We've all seen productions where an actor is clearly doing an accent and it's so distracting that you can't pay attention to anything.
  • Definitely buy that book on Accents. It's my baby <3
  • Most importantly, break a leg! Cockney is always fun and fellow actors are ALWAYS willing to be silly and talk in cockney for days. My fellow actors and I have done it for hours on end.
u/keyboredcats · 5 pointsr/LifeProTips

I teach voice workshops sometimes. Not singing, but speaking voice for actors and stuff

The industry standard texts for actors are usually Linklater (for vocal quality) and Skinner (for clarity of speech).

This book is fucking legendary, though perhaps more technical and in depth than you're interested in and also a little formal / outdated. If you follow all the vowel sounds perfectly you'll end up sounding like a British twat (especially with the "ah" sound as in "father" and the "all" sound, just do what's natural). But everything about the consonants pretty much holds up.

This book is a really good place to start. Most of the exercises revolve around freeing the "channel" from your diaphragm through your mouth and making sure you have both the dexterity to communicate with ease and the proprioception (imagery and understanding of the body) to adapt your voice as needed. If you've seen The King's Speech, that's pretty much all the stuff he's doing during that montage where he's shaking his fists around and yelling and stuff. Practice a few times a week.

I'm sure looking up youtube videos of Linklater and Roy Hart technique is also useful if you don't want to buy the book.

Practicing by reading aloud, as others have mentioned, is also really helpful. Generally, the verb is the most important word of the sentence, but it's also prohibitive to set too many rules for yourself in terms of cadence and emphasis since contemporary speech is pretty organic and you don't want to sound like a machine. Also listening to your favorite actors / singers / etc with a critical mind can be helpful, it isn't really useful to try to emulate them since the mechanics of everyone's voices are vastly different, but understanding the quality of their voice and finding that same quality within your own voice is a nice way to start.

u/lonchambers · 5 pointsr/improv

Most groups i'm in have some sort of opening. Whether that's an invocation, a scene paint, or something totally organic I usually don't go from suggestion to scene except in like 1 group.

But I do have a lot to say on the matter.

First, using the sample suggestion of 'Torch'. I'd probably start a scene holding a fucking torch. See where that leads me. Just knowing me I'd probably play a troll-y like character in a cave or something. For some people this is way too on the nose. But in my personal approach I do not A to C think. I just go right with my gut, right away. It gets me out of my head and removes judgement from my choices because I know going in if I follow what I feel, its the right choice. For beginners, I'd coach them to try to avoid making the scene about the torch, and instead make it about each other, hopefully the torch becomes important later organically.

However, there is something I've been experimenting with and have had some AWESOME success with. Basically, I'll take the suggestion and turn it into a verb or an action somehow. You then go into the scene with that action. Just in the nature of it being a verb or an action you will immediately have a want and you start the scene in the middle. You do this all without thinking about those things (which is my favorite thing about it, this just happens).

It also typically gives you a reason to go up and touch your scene partner. Which is always a strong start to a scene. There's just something about physical contact that establishes so much without words. Its probably because we communicate heavily in body language.

Here's another example using torch and this 'action' method. I'd take 'Torch' and place it into either of these sentences and see if it works. 'I you.' Or - 'You me.' Torch works in both of those. Sometimes you have to work with the suggestion a little bit to get it to work. But if I go into a scene with 'I Torch You.' holy shit, that has a ton of meat to it. I could slowly be trying to cook you. I could hit it hard immediately and turn into a maniac that is tying you up onto a stake to burn you (that's so dark, but I love it). That's the initiation. And its quick to go from torch to that. If I like 'You Torch Me' better I might choose to play it like the last thing my scene partner said has emotionally burnt me. I'm going to act hurt. OR I could go with the longer 'want' and try to push the scene towards my scene partner 'torching' me, either literally or metaphorically (I'd probably go with trying to get them to emotionally burn me or something).

If you're interested in coaching this kind of thing I HIGHLY recommend this book: Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus

It's basically a book full of action verbs and I've found in using them people play differently oftentimes more free, fun, and intense.

u/felimimimi · 5 pointsr/VoiceActing

Hey! I'm in the same boat as you... It is definitely easy to get overwhelmed with the crazy amount of info online. I fought that by picking a few resources and making my way through them, I was able to make good headway. There are some amazing resources online that help tremendously, I like these: - great collection of resources - such an amazing site by Dee Bradley Baker - Crispin Freemans podcasts (more tailored to animation voice actors, but the first intro podcasts are so candid and have really invaluable advice).
This book is great:

Before you are ready to make a professional demo, you really need to practice your craft (even signing up for Voiceactingalliance or CastingCallClub etc just to get started practicing for example). I'm sure you've heard this, but acting classes, improv classes, singing classes etc- are part of that practice.

If you do have the experience of acting and cold reads and just want to hear demos in the market now, this site is amazing:
Youtube also has great videos of working voice actors talking about demos, just do a search of "voice acting demo" or something the like.

If you are a pro producer, that is great, but right now it is not just the skills of putting together a demo that is really important for you - it is the character that you bring to the mic that is the kicker (even in Commercial demos), so once again, practising the craft of acting itself is probably the most important thing for you at the moment.
Hope this helps even slightly, it was kinda a stream of consciousness from one new-ish VO to another. :)

u/DeadDillo · 5 pointsr/VoiceActing

Also check out the book "Voice-Over Voice Actor" by Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt for some good info.

The one big book that is considered the textbook for VO is "The Art of Voice Acting: The Craft and Business of Performing for Voiceover" by James Alburger. There is a TON of information in that book that can help you understand more about the industry.

Also, check out my free eBook on getting started. I wrote it specifically for folks on Reddit who ask this question.

To offer some tips:

Practice reading out loud. A lot. Listen to yourself reading. Does it sound natural?

Take acting classes

Take business classes

Get a professional voiceover coach

Study, practice, study more.

Get your demo recorded once you've built up your skills.

Start marketing yourself to companies that hire voice talent.

u/pacoismynickname · 5 pointsr/Earwolf

They even wrote a manual! They definitely treat comedy as a craft.

u/dls2016 · 5 pointsr/Parenting

> Say "yes"

Tina Fey's anecdote about Joan Rivers is from a book called Truth In Comedy. I know it has nothing to do with this thread, but as she says, improv/the book make for a great life manual. I always found it helpful as a teacher... and I guess more subconsciously as a parent.

u/ASnugglyBear · 4 pointsr/rpg

How do I improv?

You read Impro ( The status chapter alone is comedy and dramatic gold. It will also teach you the gestural and postural elements of character, which are easier than funnier accents to do consistently, they also tend to force your mind into the correct behavior for the posture

How do I react better to surprise?

You write down a list of beliefs and instincts (2-3 of each). The beliefs are facts about the world you are extremely likely to confront in the worlds, and what your character will do about them. Instincts are if then statements that add instant reaction. Use this to know exactly what you'll do in a situation, and also use it to get you guys into trouble sometimes

How do I become more active at the table?

Add one or two things to a list you will just not abide. Similar to or equal to your instincts recorded earlier, just act, and accept no discussion when those things occur

u/permaculture · 4 pointsr/books

Read 'Harpo Speaks!' by Harpo Marx. That man went from dire poverty to the kind of worldwide fame that is rare even today, and still kept his sense of humour. It's a great read.

u/Walkercain · 4 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Without more information about your voice, it's really hard to say. A nasal singing voice can result from your voice resonating more in your sinuses than in your face (cheekbones) and chest; it can be related to muscle tension in the tongue, soft palate, jaw, etc. Be wary of people telling you what to do without actually hearing your sound.
Work with a singing teacher, or work on your own with a great voice book. This is my mentor's book - while it's billed as a book for the speaking voice, if you do every exercise you will notice a huge difference in your singing voice. Mrs Linklater knows her stuff; she is the head of Columbia's MFA acting program, and coaches major Hollywood and Broadway actors. Check it out & good luck!

u/azdak · 4 pointsr/ProjectEnrichment

Former professional actor here. Had several years of IPA in college. The key is to have a proper baseline for the way that the characters are actually supposed to sound. It all well and good learning what the symbols are supposed to mean, but if you're teaching yourself, you have no real reference. This is all about sound. You can't just do without hearing the sounds pronounced correctly. That said, if you're really interested in learning more, the definitive textbook is Edith Skinner's Speak with Distinction. Granted, it helps to have studies the works of Kristin Linklater to put a lot of this stuff in context.

u/SmileAndNod64 · 4 pointsr/Magic

I strongly suggest you go outside of the realm of magic to learn these skills. My first recomendation is The Art of Acting by Stella Adler. It's a fantastic book and goes so far beyond what the usual acting for magicians books go into. I find it really interesting that the insights of the greats of magic (Slydini, Vernon, Wonder, etc) have been known to actors for centuries (with regards to acting). Adler talks a lot about motivation and the duality of thought necessary to believe your character and act how your character would act in a situation instead of acting like an actor following a script. It completely changed the way I think about approaching misdirection.

The books that I get the most out of are books that focus on physical movement in theater. The book I'm currently reading is The Expressive Body which discusses non-verbal communication on the stage which is so unbelievably important for magicians, especially with regards to misdirection. I've come to realize that the majority of my struggles with misdirection is that I was subconsciously communicating to my audience through my body language the opposite of what I wanted to communicate (and I constantly try to help magicians realize they are doing the same thing - Think when you see magicians palm a card. Their body language is pointing out where the card is by awkwardly holding the hand floating in the air and perfectly still. It is so much easier to palm a card if your entire body is being used to direct attention to where you want it)

My suggestion is to go to a local library and look for the acting section. There's so much wonderful information there for free. If you're in college, your school library will have a wealth of information, or if you're near a biggish city check out the city library. I know here in the Bay the SF public library has an incredible amount of books (and some really good magic books too). These are resources that are available to you. Use them.

Someone else suggested improv, and I strongly second that suggestion. Improv has helped me so much in learning how to stand on stage, how to interact with people, how to deal with mistakes, how to build tension, how to make people laugh, how to quiet a room, how to incorporate other people, how to handle spectators. It is such a useful skill to have (and it's incredibly fun and builds confidence on stage).

I'm not sure if acting classes are the way to go (maybe they are, idk) but I feel like with an acting class you are limited by the strength of the teacher. If you can find a really good one, then by all means, but a bad teacher can do more harm than good. If you're willing to put in the effort, learn from the greats through their books.

In and near the acting section there'll also be books on mime, speech, storytelling, stage management, improv, writing, lighting, scenery, costuming, etc. These will all help you more than magic books in my opinion.

Good luck!

u/zwolfmanz · 4 pointsr/improv

Improvising Now Rob Norman’s Book, coupled with the podcast the backline is a great resource. I have taken workshops from Rob and Adam and they know their stuff. They are masters of the craft.

How to be the greatest improviser on earth by Will Hines, coupled with his blog “improv nonsense” is also great. Will Hines is one of the most clear articulate thinkers in the improv world. He has the ability to distill the most complex ideas into simple bite sized packets.

Improvise by Mick Napier is a classic. Great for an intermediate player because his ideas and concepts come up all the time.

Podcasts worth checking out: Beat by beat, the backline, improv nerd, and the ask the UCB episodes of I4H.

I’ve read a lot of improv books, but those are the ones I love. Their usefulness never ceases.

u/Yawehg · 3 pointsr/IAmA

Read this book. Treat it as your bible. Never give up.

But in terms of getting work from a production company like mine, there's a lot of casting websites we typically search through and pull from. Your acting talent typically won't matter much so long as you meet the description of the part they're looking for and have a big personality and a lot of energy. Keep in mind though that often these jobs pay very little or nothing at all.

I'm can't remember the names of the sites off the top of my head because I'm exhausted, but I'll post them in this comment tomorrow.

u/jupiterkansas · 3 pointsr/classicfilms

Hollywood Babylon is the Kenneth Anger book about the scandals of classic Hollywood.

You can also watch The Big Knife about how these scandals were covered up.

u/kaythor85 · 3 pointsr/TrueCrime

Some sources/ more reading:

The case is schlocked forever in Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon

General wiki article about Dekker.

Wiki link about his fiancé.

Schlocked forever over at find a death

A wiki link to Thomas Noguchi

A good youtube channel called Scary Mysteries featured the case.

Albert Dekker has his eye on you...

u/too_clever_username · 3 pointsr/3DS

And? Since then he's done virtually nothing of note. Everything he's done in the last decade or so going back to his painfully pretentious autobiography has been about him working on his personal branding as a "geek".

u/jdrake3r · 3 pointsr/worldbuilding

If you can't draw, who drew that awesome map?

Moving on:

Things I have tried:

  • Reverse my approach - If I began top down, maybe with the cosmology, I'll switch to a single town.
  • Focus on a side character - Maybe the main character was going no where, now enter a foil, or a guide, or even just a companion.
  • Exercises from Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
  • Make a mind map - I use FreeMind.
    Currently my map consists of:
    Physical Environment

    Things I'd like to try:

  • Review the tropes associated with the area in question - Start with the most common and/or fundamental/far-reaching ones and maybe dive into the less well known/more specific ones; then subvert them.
  • The Creative Whack Pack
  • A game of Dawn of Worlds, Microscope, or Kingdom depending on the area I was stuck on
u/John_Barleycorn · 3 pointsr/Broadway

In that case, I suggest you read up on Constantin Stanislavski and his best known work An Actor Prepares. Stanislavski invented a technique called Method Acting, and is considered the most famous acting coach of all time to my knowledge.

u/kant-stop-beliebing · 3 pointsr/DMAcademy

My recent revival of my DMing career was inspired by Mercer, so I have been more interested in the roleplay/voice acting aspect, something I never really cared about in the past. Just yesterday, my brother's (and one of my players) birthday gift to me showed up, and I'm really excited about it. Despite having zero experience as a voice actor, I find it relatively easy to follow, at least so far, and I haven't broken out the 2 CDs in the back yet.

Having that variety of voices makes characters feel much more individual and alive, and I hope really increases the immersion and feel of the game.

u/potterarchy · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

You would probably be interested in this book. It goes in detail about different accents - particularly in the UK, but also in India and Australia and whatnot. I haven't listened to the accompanying CD yet, but the book itself goes into really good detail. I'm not an actor myself, I just love phonology, but I find the book well-written and very interesting.

This article on Wikipedia also does a fairly good introduction on the different regional differences of American English, though you might want to brush up on your International Phonetic Alphabet skills to get a good understanding of this subject.

u/YawpBarbaric · 3 pointsr/DnD

I'm a professional voiceover artist, when not DMing, and this book is absolutely essential to me. I've had to learn accents overnight, and this one has saved my skin on a number of occasions.

If you're sticking with one cockney character, try to watch movies with exclusively cockney accents. My Fair Lady is great, but Liza's accent is buried amongst other accents.
Check out any movie with Jason Statham, incl Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Michael Caine in Alfie; This is England, or any episodes of Only Fools and Horses.

u/maclincheese · 3 pointsr/acting

One book that I learned a lot from was Kristen Linklater's "Freeing the Natural Voice". If you can pick up a copy from Amazon or something, it's so worth it. There's lots of useful techniques and exercises for getting down in your gut even if your natural inclination is to be restricted to your upper level. She talks a lot about the core and nature of animals to make noise from their gut.

Link to the book on Amazon.

Link to her Wikipedia page if you want to learn more about her

Give it a try :) If it doesn't work for you, there are plenty of voice coaches out there who would charge a reasonable fee to get you where you want to be.

u/xenophobias · 3 pointsr/acting

You should read this book:

If you are choosing emotions to act, chances are you are playing out those emotions instead of acting. Instead, you should be choosing actions and what you want from the other person from the scene, and letting the emotions come from that... I'm not sure where or if you're taking acting classes, but that's pretty 101 stuff.

u/itty53 · 3 pointsr/futurama

> The Eight Characters of Comedy.

That's the name of the book. It's pretty much a must-read if you ever wanted to be in sitcom/comedy ensembles of any kind.

u/Kaldea · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Get this book. This was one of the most valuable sources of all the little things needed to get into voice acting. Be it commercials, animation, narration, check it out. If you're serious, get this book and read it cover to cover before you decide what and how you want to start. I've done mainly commercials and inter company tutorials, but it's helped me get more into character and figure out what I would need on my demo to get noticed. Good luck and happy travels in the world of VO!

u/Pennwisedom · 3 pointsr/acting

I would highly suggest either Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual or any of the other books listed in the sidebar of /r/improv Or Improvisation For The Theater

The UCB manual is mostly concerned with Long-Form Improvisational Comedy, but it'll have good insight for any other kind of work.

Depending on who you ask, you can get different "tenets" of Improv. But the most basic things two I'd say are:

1.) Yes And - It is not just about literally saying yes, but about agreeing and adding information.
2.) Don't Deny - Again, this isn't about saying no, but about not denying the reality which has been created. As in, if you're in a scene where it is established that you're on normal Earth, don't just start going "Hey, I'm flying!"

u/_bthehuman · 3 pointsr/VoiceActing

Learn IPA (international phonetic alphabet) and identify your accent sounds and dipthongs. Pick up Speak with Distinction by Edith Skinner, and start with the most simple warmups. Learn all the pure vowels and consonant sounds before going into dipthongs and triphthongs. Note that you should aim to learn the Trans-Atlantic accent, which is widely considered as 'neutral' for English and used for most classical work.

Record everything and listen to how you are doing to be able to a) identify sounds you're making and b) diagnose things you're not conscious of doing.

Tongue, soft palate and hard palate exercises will help with your ability to make different sounds. As you learn IPA and can pronounce each sound, from vowels to stop-plosives and affricates, make sure you're expanding your warmup to include these. Do your warmups and exercises every day. You'll be surprised how quickly these muscles go out of shape.

In addition to being super helpful, being able to read and pronounce IPA will help you pick up any other accents.

That's for the phonetic/sound part. Other things to think about are vocal placement and speech 'patterns'. Different dialects are placed differently. Speech 'patterns' refers to how natives speak the language, and the sensibility and melody behind it. This is very subtle and often only native speakers of the language can notice that you don't quite sound like you're from there. The understanding of how culture and attitude informs speech patterns is what will help you get a genuine, non-stereotypical accent that you can express yourself freely with, using vocabulary and idiomatic expressions of the dialect.

EDIT: Also the other tips are great for actual practicing. Make sure you are always practicing whatever you are learning, and make sure you're practicing deliberately. This is the key to making something second-nature.

Source: Not American, trained at an American acting conservatory with the aim of working in local markets and now people are shocked to find out I didn't grow up here.

u/langreddit · 3 pointsr/languagelearning

I would try to find resources from the period it was popular. It's also referred to as the Mid-Atlantic accent.

By searching Mid-Atlantic acting coach book I was able to find this book Speak with Distinction: The Classic Skinner Method to Speech on the Stage from 1942.

I also found this book which briefly touches on the Mid-Atlantic accent according to the description Classically Speaking, the Book

u/b2thekind · 3 pointsr/acting

These are the standard for speech pathology.

This book and the exercises within are the basis for the speech courses at Juilliard, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, and other similar programs.

u/ellimayhem · 3 pointsr/Filmmakers

Interesting and some good points, but not all are true in all situations, and it would have been a more useful piece if it also addressed what you SHOULD say in these scenarios. Neither directing nor acting is my primary area but I've done and studied both, so I have a few thoughts to add I hope will be helpful to others.

  • Withholding info can in the right circumstances be more effective, usually when dealing with reactions that tend to feel contrived without a genuine motivator. Example 1: Hitchcock did not reveal to Tippi Hedrin until the day of shooting the attic scene that she would be lying on the floor with a dozen live birds tethered to her and being flung at her. Example 2: In filming the hotel room scene with Laura Dern in Wild At Heart, Willem Dafoe intentionally freaked her shit by taking a real piss in the set's fake toilet while filming. Hedrin's terror and Dern's panic are made palpable because they're real; their performance is enhanced by a genuine reaction. It's important to avoid harming the actor in the process though - Hedrin had to be hospitalized for a week after shooting the above scene.

  • Specific action and expression direction such as discouraged here is vital when directing mocap or for interaction with an animated CGI character. VFX is my primary area and directing VFX is as different from narrative film/video directing as it is from stage directing, and different rules apply. Be precise with eyeline guides, give greenscreen actors something real to their interaction where you can (see the VFX featurette on Pan's Labyrinth, the girls facial response with the real puppet vs the marker, see also the Sin City Rodriguez flick school, the shooting of multiple scenes between two characters where the actors were never in the same room at the same time.) Direct the action (choreography - action - location of movement relative to where animated character will be) and the expression (facial and body language/stance/reactions) to follow the timing and flow. IME actors thinking about the scene and trying to interact with an imaginary character tend to overdo their expressions and gestures, but if they have a looser outline of the action and are focused on following direction to make certain gestures and expressions, like choreography, the resulting interaction with the animated character is looser, freer, feels less contrived, more real and in the moment. This is the opposite of the article's recommendation, but it's a different type of directing, and acting.

  • He cautions against one dimensionality when talking about judgement, but insists actors, and indeed people, can feel only one emotion at one time. Well, yeah, if you want... a one dimensional character! Has he no familiarity with the word "ambivalent" nor its non-physics definition? Most of the greatest characters on page, stage or screen are fueled my multiple and conflicting emotions. Hatred driven by fear. Fear driven by love. Love driven by revenge. Revenge driven by grief. Grief driven by guilt. Characters are driven by their complex emotional chain reactions, gathered from experience. What directors SHOULD be asking actors is "Why?"; ask of them to examine the character's internal clockwork: Why does s/he react to X with Y? Why does s/he want a specific result from their actions? Why does s/he succeed or fail? Ask actors questions that get them to delve into the forces that are behind the behavior. By discussing these the director can guide the preformance making sure it comes from a place that works with the whole of the narrative.

  • Make no mistake, "production value" is important. Even good acting cannot overcome bad production values. A bad movie cannot be made good with production quality, but a good movie can easily be ruined by the lack thereof. Be sure you consider: Color, Locations, set dressing, lighting (hint: create light sources in the environment for contrast), compositing, costuming, hair, makeup, physical effects... all of these provide visual cues about the character, scene and story. No matter the media, supporting the audience's connection with the story and characters through these visual elements provides a scaffold for the actor's immersion in the scene and makes all the difference between the film's impression as mediocre or exceptional.

  • Michael Caine has published a book on acting for film, as opposed to the stage. Useful for actors and directors alike. URL:

    Long ass coment, hell yes. I hope others make long ass comments with their ideas and experiences too. This article makes a good springboard for a very meaningful exchange on directing actors.

u/dreaminthedark · 3 pointsr/videos

Fred Stoller is a good example of this phenomenon. He even draws attention to it.

u/_apunyhuman_ · 2 pointsr/Theatre

Here's my two cents:

If I had one book, it would be
A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer

This book is a great jumping off point for whatever you want to study. It codifies and connects different types of styles, e.g. it takes a topic like "balance" and says this is an example from mime, from balinese dance, from noh, etc.

In addition to Brecht, I'd recommend picking up Towards a Poor Theater (Grotowski). Grotowski's work is deeply, deeply physical.

Another book, a good primer on the major movements of the last 120 years or so is Twentieth Century Theatre: A Sourcebook, which has a little bit of everyone, in their own words, from Stanislavski and Meyerhold through To Barba. It's not as actor-centric perhaps, but it will give you a good overview, that you can get more specific with.

Lastly, The Practical Handbook for the Actor and The Invisible Actor, two books that help me immensely with how i approach a role.

u/BrotherPoole · 2 pointsr/acting

Doing a monologue for an agent, reading commercial copy, or even addressing an audience. The trick of it is that when you're talking to that lamp, you're still talking to a person. They couldn't make it, but you're talking to them any way. There's a couple ways to do this, but I'll detail one that works pretty well for me, with a TL;DR at the end.

There's a technique called "practical aesthetics" that I haven't seen mentioned on here more than three times, but it's invaluable for auditions and relatively simple to study, especially with what you've described. It's a four-part system, and you should definitely check out A Practical Handbook for the Actor. What you'll mainly want to think about is the as-if bit, used in other methods as well. The things that come before it are important, and I can go through that too, if you like, but here's a go at the essential action and as-if:

When you have your objective, translate that into terms of the essential action of the scene. What is the main thing that you are doing in order to get what you want? Let's say you have a monologue directed toward your boss. The text says that you're asking your boss for a raise, so your objective, conveniently is "I want Larry to give me a raise." Well, how would you do that? "Make them feel like a million bucks," to show them your value? "To get what's owed me," because you've worked hard for your money and it should already be yours? That could be very dynamic. So there it is, your essential action for the scene.

Next, your as-if. You've gotta use yourself now. "Who's someone that I might feel owes me something?" Let's say you've worked your whole life trying to get love from your dad, but he's never really given you the time of day. You really feel like some love is due after all these years. Would it be kind of fun to vent all of that frustration and hurt and rage and sadness all at once to get your dad to finally admit that he loves you? Good, because this is the part where I need to set some rules. First, it has to be fun. If you're gonna have a problem recovering from an as-if, use a different one. There are other techniques that have no problem with this, but this isn't one of them. Second, it can't be a conversation that's happened. It's gotta be spontaneous. Third, it can't be a significant other. I'm really not sure why, but I have never seen this work. Fourth, it can't be about acting. You'll get self conscious. Okay. Ground Rules set, moving on. You can now phrase how you're going to talk to this character. "It's as-if I'm confronting my dad about his lack of affection for me."

Now you've gotta practice. You've by now got your monologue memorized (rote if you can), so how about we start by sitting in a chair across from that lamp you mentioned. A nice lamp, truly. Close your eyes, and picture your dad in your head. The wrinkles that have developed on his forehead from years of stressful work, the grey around his temples, his eyes, his nose, or his ears you share. Maybe think about what he sounds like, the expressions he makes, what he does. Work up the courage. State your essential action to yourself ("To get what's owed me"), open your eyes, and start talking to him. "Dad... I... well. What the fuck, for starters? Are you ever gonna tell me you love me? You sure told Val. It took me long enough to figure out that you weren't just rubbing it in when you told her. And I get that she's your little girl and you don't think that boys need that sort of thing, but god damn. What do I have to do?" You'll notice that he, like the lamp, is not answering. Maybe try a different approach? "I'm sorry. I love you, dad, and I know you love me. You've proven it every way you've known how. You worked your ass off, you put a roof over our heads, you helped me buy my first car may it rest in peace, but I really need to hear it." Do this for maybe a minute, drop it, and launch into your monologue.

This might seem a little far fetched, but to lookers on, what you've just done is created a complex and nuanced relationship with your boss in the scene. What is your boss to you? Christ, he's a Titan. He gave you a chance when you didn't deserve it, he's a mentor, he's someone you look up to, it's almost a father-son relationship even though he's younger than you. And right now, you need that raise, but oh my gosh it's not just about the raise, it's about your self worth. You've created years of history with this person simply by relating it to your own life. It's quick, it's fun, and it can deliver some really great results, especially when you need to get something from a lamp.

TL;DR: When you speak your monologue, do so as if you're speaking to someone you know.

u/J_Sto · 2 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

Practical Handbook for the Actor might interest. (It's way better if you can audit and see how it works in person. Takes about ten minutes to show what the booklet explains. But I know that's not possible for most people.) This technique was developed from Stanislavsky/Meisner by David Mamet and William H. Macy (Atlantic Acting) and it's straightforward. This is where I studied. Related Wikipedia article.

u/created_sequel · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

It's wonderful to hear that you have an interest in his works! If you want a great place to start, I'd recommend going right to the source: An Actor Prepares. That is his famous work, it's the book that did it all. It's actually a surprisingly easy and very fun read, if at times somewhat confusing. You can see the basis for his ideas very clearly. I will say this though: it reads more like a work of philosophy than anything else. Notes on the translation: there are two major versions out: the one I linked you to, which is similar to how it was originally published, and a new one, more reflective of how Stanislavski wished the book published. The Benedetti translation is harder to read (as it includes sections that were taken out specifically for readability), but more academically interesting.

Other good reads are his autobiography, which is very open and contextualizes his later work beautifully, and Benedetti's work, focusing on the writing of An Actor's Work.

For a complete picture of 20th century acting theory, I would also look into Strasberg and Meisner.

u/lovegod_lovepeople · 2 pointsr/acting

You could try looking into different techniques, perhaps something like Meisner. He was all about acting as a result of the moment. Learning the lines in rote (no emotion added, just memorizing the words) and then using the moment to bring out the expression in the phrasing. Might be worth checking out.

Edit: he's got a great book out there

I read it and could feel a difference in my acting.

u/IamTheFreshmaker · 2 pointsr/Showerthoughts

Read Hollywood Babylon by Ken Anger. That industry has been sick for a very long time.

u/GothamCountySheriff · 2 pointsr/vinyl

Absolutely. I think Danzig's infatuation with Monroe was a in partly informed by underground tabloid journalism like Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon amongst others. In fact, it seems Danzig's world view is one of a network of conspiracies. In that, I think he saw Monroe as an innocent victim of both the mainstream media machine and the politically powerful. Aside from her beauty, I think he latched on to her as a type of martyr for his own world mythos.

u/TopRamen713 · 2 pointsr/books

Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America

I've become a fan of Webb since I moved to Virginia, so I decided to read his book. Really enjoyed it too.

Also liked Just a Geek by wil, even though I'm not a Trek fan at all.

u/gte910h · 2 pointsr/rpg

DM: You will find out what your DM is doing and why.

Improv: Go See it, Learn how to do it. is a good source

Stats: pick up a tiny bit of stats and probability: you will understand what bonuses and numbers mean for you, and you'll make decisions faster on that tack

Attention: Pack up your mobile devices. Don't use tools on phones and such to game: The other people at the table don't know what else you're doing necessarily.

Pre-plan: Plan a lot of if-this-then-that scenarios for how your character would react to X or Y or Z happening. Then they can do it quickly. Also plan a few routes your character can progress before you actually have to level. Then on progression time, you take no time at all.

Time-consciousness: Work towards brevity in all parts of being at the table. Take your turn, get in, and get out.

u/Tangurena · 2 pointsr/AskMen

I personally love board games. Our local redditors get together every Wednesday for gaming. Usually my boss creates fucking crises that prevents me from going out most weeks. A good boardgame is one where you can lose and still have fun losing. Chess is not "a good boardgame". Magic the Gathering is a fun card game, but stuff like blackjack or poker makes me think so hard that my head overheats and burns off hair.

/r/Denver/ and in particular, posts by /u/rDenverPosts.

As for improv, I find that it helps to train me to be a more outgoing person. In particular, I strongly recommend the book Impro. While the book is aimed at helping actors, and improvisational work, if you've ever come across any sort of silly interview question such as "fizz buzz", if you read Impro, you'd recognize fizzbuzz as a improv exercise.

I am a programmer, and that has been my income for more than 20 years. Introverted? You can change that. I ran for elected office a few years ago and will run again in 2016. All programmers are weird. If you check my post history, you'll see odd interests, and if I checked your post history, I bet I would think some of your interests to be odd as well.

Avoid becoming sedentary. If surfing and Tae Kwan Do is what it takes to make you active, then for fucks sake, do them. I live 2 miles from my office and walk to work as much as I can. That little bit of exercise was enough to lose 35# since September. I'm still fat, but the blubber is on its way out.

Avoid becoming stagnant. I'm working on my 3rd bachelors degree. This one is in accounting and includes courses for becoming an actuary. Our workgroup/office makes software for accountants and actuaries. In addition, many of the programmers older than myself have found that they hit a brick wall (career-wise) around 54-55 years old. Many of the ones who hit the wall treated education as a vaccine - once you had it, you never had to have it again. So one of my "hobbies" is to always be learning. Do you remember that scene in Glengarry Glen Ross? Always be closing? That is what your career plan should be - always be learning.

My next hobbies will be:
home brewing beer.
home distilling moonshine/liquor.
making kimchi.

Future hobbies might include:
learning some manicure/pedicure skills at the local beauty school.
relearning massage.

u/sucobe · 2 pointsr/acting

It may sound bizarre, but a good actor doesn't act. He just goes about his life infusing his own mechanics and behavioral traits to his character. While I can't attest to theatre, for film/tv as soon as an actor steps into the casting office they go into "actor mode" where nothing they do is natural but instead cued up and ready to regurgitate whatever they need to do whether lines or movements. Best book I ever read that discusses this is AN ACTOR PREPARES.

u/ConnorHuntED · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Seems like this could help you.

In Dutch: Accepted American Pronunciation - A Practical Guide is een geweldig boek als je het normale Amerikaanse accent wil leren. Als je je dat eenmaal aangeleerd hebt is de stap naar het Southern US accent denk ik makkelijker.

u/RPGRhetor · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

I'll second the folks encouraging emphasis on tone and add in word choice - remembering that this character only uses one-syllable words or this character overuses (or misuses) 50-cent words goes a long way towards making them memorable to the PCs.

I have a book from my Speech & Debate days on Accents called Accents - A Manual for Actors that I've found super helpful when I want to make use of an accent: it's got pronunciation guides and a CD to help.

u/thisisnotarealperson · 2 pointsr/acting

I glanced at your post history and saw that this may be from more of a writing angle than one of acting, which makes a little more sense. You might want to take a look at Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus. It may not be the best fit for what you're looking for, but as an actor I'd rather read something in a stage direction like:

BILL (stabbing): OK, I'll leave then

rather than

BILL (loud and quick): OK, I'll leave then.

The second one feels like a line-reading which we as actors tend to look down on, and the first is something more actionable. Though really, if the writing is good enough the need for stuff like that is pretty minimal anyway.

I might be off on your intention, but hopefully that's helpful.

u/Loki77515 · 2 pointsr/VoiceActing

If you really think you want to be a voice actor, then I would recommend you either read this:

Or this:

These both do a good job of explaining what it really means to be a voice actor (turning yourself into a small business).

Taking regular acting lessons is probably your best bet. There isn't really a "voice acting school" that you can go to besides something like Voice Coaches (who are actually pretty good and have a bunch of online courses for you and help you make a demo [a demo being recordings of you reading things so clients can hear what you sound like]).

Also, you need to learn how to "read conversationally," which basically means being able to read in such a way that you don't sound like you're reading off a script. I would actually say that simply being able to read conversationally is more important than being able to act, since a majority of voice work is not for movies or animated features, its for things like commercials, instructional videos, automated messages, etc.

u/Yokuo · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

You should get a copy, then! It sounds pretty helpful. Also, that's a really cool goal.

I also have this book and I've read a fair amount of it. I think it might be helpful for you also!

u/Kalgaar · 2 pointsr/comedy

I've heard good things about the UCB's Comedy Improvisation Manual.

u/MajickmanW · 2 pointsr/funny

If you live near a larger city there's probably some sort of improv happening near you. Otherwise there's a great book for beginners put out by the upright citizens brigade theater you can getright here it's great for beginners and you can learn and find some like minded friends to practice with you.

If you want to get really into it, but don't want to move to one of the three big cities (LA, NYC, Chicago) you can find coaches to meet with you via Skype or Google hangouts. It's not a totally perfect system, but it's really helped me get some great instruction fairly cheaply.

Hopefully though you can find some sort of training center near you and take some classes.

Have fun!

u/heyihavethisidea · 2 pointsr/youtubers

Hey Daniel!

Your video has some really great moments, and you seem like a really genuine and nice guy. Here are a few things I think you should think about:

  • Cheesy tone - There are a few things that give this video a cheesy/childish vibe. First, you seem kind of fake and exaggerated, from the first "What's going on guys?" You also use quirky music in the background, which reinforces the cheese.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with cheese, and a lot of big YouTubers use it heavily, but I think you might want to try and experiment with the voice and tone you establish, and swap the cheese for something more genuine. There's no formal rule of YouTube that says you have to aggressively go "HEY GUYS!" at the top of every video. I think this would help your jokes land better too. The juxtaposition of someone seeming to be genuine/helpful, and then breaking out giant impractical props would land better. It's a better misdirection.

    I really like the premise of the video, but I think if you used the thumbnail, title, and first 15-30 seconds of the video to establish a more serious/genuine tone, the reveal 30 seconds in that this whole thing is a comedic skit would have a lot better payoff. Here's a video from Gus Johnson where he does a decent job of establishing a 'base reality' of a helpful how-to, and then it devolves into ridiculousness.

    You don't have to play as much of a character as you do. That's probably why the bloopers feel so genuinely funny, because you're not putting on a show, that's just you.

  • Comedic heightening - You heighten decently in the video, with the giant jug of water, and with eating the chips, and with the tissues, but I think you would see more success if you heightened more. I think if you did some more riffing with each of the props, and really gave yourself some time to get weird with each one, you would have more options to cut to. This is what iDubbz does in his series 'bad unboxing' where he opens fan mail.

    There are tons of ways you could heighten more in this video, but I think an interesting way for this particular video would be to actually get some footage of you using these ridiculous props in class. If you cut from 'make sure you bring water' and you whipping out that giant ass jug, to then a shot of you doing the same thing in an actual classroom, and attempting to drink from it as people stare at you, I would lose my mind. Same thing with the chips, and the tissues, and the horse, and everything else.

    After looking at your channel, it seems like you're interested in doing comedy YouTube as a career, so I would strongly recommend taking improv classes to learn the fundamentals of improvised and sketch comedy. At the very least, order the UCB Improv Manual from Amazon, and read the first few chapters on base reality, game, and heightening.

    Basically they argue that scenic comedy has three parts:

    Establishing a normal base reality > Introducing a weird thing that sticks out from that reality > Heightening that weird thing to the point of absurdity.

  • Background - The sheet is nice, but why are we looking at it? It feels a lot more normal if you just let the audience see your apartment/space. This would also help you establish that base reality of 'nice guy giving back to school tips.'

    Overall I think your video is leagues better than a lot of the other ones I see on this subreddit. Your channel looks like you've been working really hard to improve, and that's key. I think if you keep at it and experiment with tone a bit, you'll see some really great results. I subbed, and I'm really interested in what you make in the future!
u/LongElm · 2 pointsr/ZenHabits

The Upright Citizens Brigade troop produced a bunch of great improvisers. Amy Pohler being one of them. They're also one of two accredited improv schools in the US. They wrote a book I found really useful to spice up my life. Hope it helps :)

u/LouisIV · 2 pointsr/Theatre

If you're taking the improv route, you may want to try The Second City Almanac of Improvisation or the Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual. Both really great improv 'guides'.

If your friend hasn't read Truth in Comedy, that's a serious must for any comedic performer.

u/LegHumper · 2 pointsr/UniversityofReddit

Find books that teach the International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA for short. It's what we used in Voice class when I was becoming an Acting major. It helps you learn what "replacements" for sounds you use in every day life, and you can then figure out what the "replacement" would be for a Neutral American accent.

This is the book we used. Regardless if it's for being on stage or in real life, it's all the same. Hope this helps!

u/dissonant_worlds · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

Try this book:--


The book is a bit more geared towards formal American English than formal British English, but it should assist you a great deal in your situation.

u/visitingalter · 2 pointsr/acting
u/nip90 · 2 pointsr/seduction

Ok, but I'm wary of you. Your post is very academic, in every sense of the word. I expect field reports from you in return for what I'm about to give you.

A great book on improv was written by a legendary man named Del Close. He's not famous, but his students are very, very well known.

The book is Truth in Comedy.

It will teach you quite a lot about improv, but also about humor in general. It's short, practical, and accessible - but it will make more sense when you've actually tried to do it. Let me know what you think when you've read it.

u/Bullion2 · 2 pointsr/samharris

"Only in the pan-handle can you get away with that"


Everyone laughs.


"The truth is funny. Honest discovery, observation, and reaction is better than contrived invention."
- Del Close & Charna Halpern, from their book Truth in Comedy

u/Laughterkey · 2 pointsr/StandUpComedy

Just a comedy nerd dabbling in writing here - but I'm also a bookseller and my two mainstays on this front are Truth in Comedy and And Here's the Kicker. Both are well-known, but sometimes missed. Also, in terms of general writing habits, Bird by Bird is phenomenal.

u/IVXX_XXIV_VII · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Unless you are drop-dead gorgeous / handsome you had best come to terms with improv.

Every audition has an element of improv, and in most callback situations the director will spring something that you have to be ready to run with.

Try reading Truth in Comedy and try a beginning improv class.

You have to know the rules. Then you can break them.

u/CompactusDiskus · 2 pointsr/Standup

Fred Stoller maybe? I guess he kinda looks like John Tuturro, but he's certainly guest starred on practically everything. (He even has a book called Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star)

u/Psynergy · 2 pointsr/acting

Most of your time playing a character with lines on a show of film will be sitting down in your trailer, or in the green room, or in a holding area for the 'talent'.

For a really good step by step guide to being an actor, I once again CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH Jenna Fischer's book 'The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide

It's LITERALLY the best book you can read on how to become an actor, from performing for your parents in the backyard to being on a film set

u/howaboutgofuckyrself · 1 pointr/acting

It's not that you shouldn't do that, but you want to replace it with an action. This doesn't necessarily mean doing something physically, but if I assume correctly that the narration in the video is your inner monologue, there needs to be some kind of response to that. You are listening to the voice, so you are engaged by it. Having your blocking be as simple as sitting and listening is fine, but there needs to be a connection between your thoughts and your blocking, which is sitting in the shower/tub.

To fix this, you need to realize that in this scene you have two characters. There is the character of your Inner Monologue and the character of Your Character (physical you). Your Inner Monologue wants one thing, and You want another (again, an assumption, but I assume this because all scenes are built on conflict - if you both wanted suicide, that would happen and there would be no scene to speak of). What do you want the voice to do? Do you want it to stop? How will you make it stop? This page has a breakdown of what objectives are and how you play them.

If you still continue to sit and listen, that's totally okay! But there shouldn't be a disconnect between the two characters in the scene. There should be a give and take, an action and a reaction, a response. Then the other character plays from this response.

I strongly suggest the acting book The Anatomy of a Choice by Maura Vaughn. This has helped me in many situations as an actor. Also, read lots of David Mamet. Read his plays, read his essays on acting. Another book I find helpful is A Practical Handbook for the Actor (written by students of Mamet) and The Art of Acting by Stella Adler. Reading is an actor's greatest tool other than just getting out there and performing.

Understanding objective is the first step toward becoming a fully invested actor. It will change the way you look at the stage and screen.

edit: added a thought

u/frankieh456 · 1 pointr/acting
  1. Tell your parents

  2. Try it as soon as you can. Audition for some local community theatre or student/short films. If you know people who create, let them know you are interested. There also may be some acting classes in your area. Try one. It may be worth your while to see if there are any acting facebook groups in your area...actors there will be able to get you up to speed on the local scene.

  3. Don't switch your major immediately, but yes, like someone else commented, see if there is an acting club of some sort at your school. It also wouldn't hurt to try to schedule a meeting with some of the theatre department heads to ask what the program is like. Maybe they would let you sit in on a class.

    If you are interested, you should give it a try and see if you enjoy it. Don't waste time thinking about it. We all have to deal with our shyness and uncertainty, especially at the beginning.

    There are also some books worth reading, maybe? Here are some foundational technique books:

    On Acting by Sanford Meisner

    An Actor's Companion by Seth Barish

    And maybe a good biography of an actor. Charles Grodin and Jenna Fischer (Pam from the office) both have informative books on their journey in acting.

    Nothing beats experience though! Find a place to perform, whether it's stand-up, an audition room, an open mic, a short film...and act!

    Good luck!
u/ademnus · 1 pointr/acting

anything by Meisner

u/ike368 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Read Hollywood Babylon. It is all about this early star system, how Hollywood started, and how celebrity gossip became a national pass-time.

u/zdk · 1 pointr/SocialEngineering

Highjacking this comment to recommend Impro by Keith Johnstone as a fantastic resource for using the techniques of improv to improve the quality of a variety of social situations.

u/ashlykos · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Keith Johnstone's Impro is the classic work on improv. The section on status is great for any kind of dialogue, and the exercises he mentions are excellent for developing spontaneity and creativity.

u/DaftMythic · 1 pointr/needadvice

Ya, I'll echo the "You are 18, calm down" responses, as much as your one response post says you don't like it.

Second, I see you had 5 goals laid out 1) Better social skils, 2) Lucid Dreaming 3) Meditation 4) Positive Thinking 5) Reality Trans-surfing (I googled the book but don't really know what this is, but it seems to have various buzz words I know in theory).

For the 1) "Social Learning" you need to:

  • A) Get out in some sort of social setting that is uncomfortable and just... do stuff, meet people, and talk to them. Some people are naturally better at this, but you will not improve by reading books WITHOUT experience and

  • B) accept you might just have something that makes you inherently socially awkward, at least to most people (in my case, I'm bipolar and so have intense moods that sometimes drive people away... keep at it and eventually you'll find people who fit with you and/or how to work around whatever issues you MAY have).

    So I'm going to group 2-5 and since it seems like (sorta, I'm not sure?) you have some quasi Buddhist interest refer you to this lecture by Wes Cecil on Siddartha: Buddhism, at around 15:15 and 16:00 where he discusses the centrality of the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path... especially common misconceptions about it ( The whole lecture is good too ) Basically, don't worry so much about all these esoteric things and focus on the 8 fold path... not tantra and dreams and such...

    ... also, keep in mind Siddhartha, and most monks, practice extreme acetic practices and meditation for like 7 years and lived as a wandering nomad, after being trained as a Priest. So like, you need to read a bunch of Philosophy and then meditate for a few years before you give up.

    Which brings me to my second point:

    You ARE right

    School and most pop culture on TV and (I suppose, I grew up before it) Social Media are worthless for your development as a human-being. School is at best a sort of bare basic hurdle you need to get thru. Find something tangible that you have passion about. IF it is really philosophy and lucid dreaming and "Reality Trans-surfing" that's fine, but those seem like more solitary, dare I say borderline occult interests.

    And if you want to get in contact with other people, find something that has a community around it. If it is Buddhism you need a Sangha... The community is one of the three jewels.

    HOWEVER I'D REALLY SUGGEST MORE PEDESTRIAN HOBBIES! (Trust me, I was a Philosophy Major in College, most people don't REALLY care about the deep questions).

    Especially if you want to improve your social skills, get some hobbies that other people can relate to and force you to meet people. The art of talking to people is not hard.

  1. Read Dale Carnegie's - How to Win Friends and Influence People

  2. Try Something like an Improv Class - it is an instant way to meet some new people and learn basic ways to keep conversations going and get outside your comfort zone. You will also get feedback on how you present yourself and techniques for improvement. If you are into reading I HIGHLY suggest the book "Impro" by Keith Johnston. It has some amazing discussion about the nature of status and the "subtle clues" in scenes that you will find helpful in everyday life.

  3. Figure out some club or group you can meet once a week and go DO something. For speaking, Toastmasters is great--AND YOU WILL GET FEEDBACK. For just getting outside, find a Hiking group... maybe there is some sort of Lucid Dream Meetup group near you... whatever. That way you know at least there is a common interest you can start from and branch out.

    Get used to not caring about being "rejected" by people, or being "awkward" when trying to talk to them. That's how you learn. The more you do it the better you will get, and there will always be new people to talk to. Eventually you are bound to find friends.

    Hope that helps.
u/spldsz · 1 pointr/seduction

not yet. but there's something that's been on my reading list for a while now. reviews are good, and a friend that i trust with this sort of thing told me about it.

Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre

i skimmed a bit, and there's a section (abut 1/4) of the book on status play, which seems like it's full of good/interesting stuff. some of it probably relevant for seduction, or just social interaction in general.

also, "yes, and..." seems like a good mindset to be in. especially in a group setting when you're trying to be fun.

u/JasonYoakam · 1 pointr/rpg

I'm going to interpret your question a little bit differently and provide some books that are not directly RPG related but will help you to be a better role-player or Game Master. Then, I will finish off with some more RPG specific suggestions.

The essential reads are the following:

  • All of HP Lovecraft
  • Anything you can read from Tolkien
  • Robert E. Howards stories about Conan the Cimmerian
  • Fantasy/Sci-Fi Art Collections (subjective based upon the styles that inspire you and that reflect your campaigns)
  • Collections of Legend or Mythology
  • A book or two about acting and/or improvisation, I recommend Impro: Improvisation and the Theater

    For GM-specific materials, I really love the spirit conveyed by Dungeon World and Fate Core (and the Fate System Toolkit for that matter). If you learn nothing else from Dungeon World, learn the GM principles and how to set up Fronts. Fronts (or something similar) are the way you should be preparing as a GM that very few other books convey. The Alexandrian has a lot of amazing materials. I know that Play Unsafe was recommended here, but it was a little short and basic for my taste... much of the same principles will be covered by reading the other recommended texts in my post. If you absolutely must learn about improvisation as a skill in and of itself, read Impro. The author of Play Unsafe drew heavily from this text and most of the truly unique ideas can be found within Impro.
u/beren323 · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Read Impro: improvisation and the theater.

It will really jumpstart your creativity.

u/mr_nickel · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Harpo Speaks! by Harpo Marx and Rowland Barber

Best autobiography/biography I've ever read: great life story, lots of funny stories, touching stuff too. I've been planning to read it again.

(BTW, my first Reddit comment!)

u/JABCo · 1 pointr/funny

> Harpo Marx was awesome


Read this if you haven't already.

u/jack_payne · 1 pointr/recordthis

Thanks! I've just started to really work on my various accents ( got a sweet book to help ). I'm American, so I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle with the ridiculous amounts of different English/Commonwealth accents.

u/thylacine222 · 1 pointr/languagelearning

You may want to look into some dialect books directed towards actors, they can give you some definite direction.

I believe that this one is a commonly used one:

u/Keltin · 1 pointr/DnD

I am not an auditory learner, so I have a huge amount of difficulty with accents. I primarily differentiate my NPCs by their word choices, not by accents, though I can pull off a Texas accent pretty well. However, this book has helped me some, better than nothing at least. I'm working on a couple of accents and am hoping to eventually expand my repertoire, but at the moment all I can do particularly well is my own American accent (don't ask me for the region, I moved around enough as a kid that it's a mutt accent with elements of the places I've lived and my parents' accents), a Texan accent, a semi-passable "Southern belle" accent, and a decent Welsh accent.

Though the Welsh I mostly learned from watching scenes in Torchwood repeatedly and repeating all of Merrill's lines from Dragon Age 2.

I'm working on a Manchester accent and attempting to learn whatever Tali from Mass Effect's accent is.

u/Rocket_69 · 1 pointr/VoiceActing

My range improved dramatically studying Linklater as an actor. Freeing The Natural Voice. It's not for everyone, but if you can grasp it and consistently practice, you can reach new depths vocally & frankly, emotionally. It's a technique many stage actors have studied.

u/TarantusaurusRex · 1 pointr/acting

I believe that reading and practicing Freeing the Natural Voice by Kristin Linklater is one of the best things an actor can do for him/herself. I studied the Linklater Method in my university studies, and it not only ameliorated my performance technique, but it changed me as a person. This is stuff that one can practice in numerous scenarios, not just in preparation for performance. It is absolutely worth a look, and isn't expensive on Amazon.

Sorry for the link, I am using a French keyboard and can't figure out how to make brackets.

u/Alcoheroic · 1 pointr/improv

You'll make your lives a lot easier if you get a coach ASAP (even if it's just a temporary guest coach).

Player's attempting to direct each other (even for very experienced troupes) can lead to all sorts of drama down the line. I've been a part of teams where each week (or month) we rotated who was leading rehearsals. Some worked out great (the two where we all had at least a decade of performing/teaching experience and went into it with that plan) and others quickly became a dumpster fire.

My best advice while you're waiting for a coach is probably to pick up a book on improv theory or a book on on acting:

Mick Napier's - Improvise: Scene from the inside out, Bill Arnett's - The Complete Improviser, Viola Spolin's - Improvisation for the Theater, or something like Marina Caldarone's - Action: The Actor's Thesaurus are good places to start.

Then read it together outside of rehearsal and discuss the ideas in various chapters when you meet up - maybe try out a few exercises, but be wary of trying to direct each other: that's not your job, your job is to support each other on stage.

Heck, just reading a few acting books and really discussing them will put you guys leaps and bounds ahead of most improvisers.

u/kahvi_4 · 1 pointr/acting

Two useful books I always use are Actions: The Actor's Thesaurus and A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English

Useful for a lot of people and not technique specific. Basically great reference books.

u/upvoted_your_mom · 1 pointr/acting

Quick Link if you haven't seen it yet.

u/OsherGunsberg · 1 pointr/funny

There's a book written about 20yrs ago called the eight characters of comedy that breaks this formula right down.

u/Mikeysota · 1 pointr/AlmostAHero

I have a Blue Spark XLR mic with a Line 6 UX2 interface, and this is what I record at home. When I started out, I had a Behringer C1U USB mic. I got more quality out of the former set up. My current mic has what is called a sound dampener shield, which is what I use instead of having foam panels in a room. Right now, I don't have any problems with my recording quality other than focusing on making sure I don't peak in my audio, which is simply managed by adjusting the gain knobs on my interface. I actually just bought my first pair of studio grade headphones that allow me to plug into my interface and listen to my recording feedback before I record, which helps a little. As for how where I audition for stuff, I mainly look for stuff in the Voice Acting Club, although my friends have shared casting calls for stuff not found a site like that.

So the thing about me is that I haven't done a lot of acting in my childhood, but I was always fascinated with voice acting in the cartoons I watch. It wasn't until I discovered voice acting alliance (RIP) where I can actually audition for projects and become a voice actor, so I didn't have anyone to tell me "you should be a voice actor; you have a great voice." Long story short, I didn't get many projects until I started to take acting classes online, in college, and in Minnetonka, MN. I made new friends that would post resources and auditions they found, and I discovered a little bit of acting range. I also listen to Crispin Freemans Voice Acting Mastery podcast to learn more about becoming a voice actor. I would say that it was 2016 when I finally got successful in getting stuff to do. One thing you need to know about me is that I'm currently not a full-time professional voice actor, and I'm mainly trying to get a software programming job to work on my time management skills and live on my own (I just graduated college by the way). I basically want to see how I can continue doing what I love while having an income, and go from there. My advice is to first study voice acting by listening to the podcast I mentioned earlier, find books on voice acting like this one, and take classes that are offered online. This site right here is something you could look into.
Taking a class will allow you a networking opportunity to meet with awesome people to become friends with. The more people who know in this community, the more you're likely to stumble on even more opportunities.

u/thekingsdaughter · 1 pointr/Entrepreneur

Are you an actor? This is an acting thing... read Voice OVer Voice Acting by Yuri

and maybe post this where the actors live...

u/tylerburnham42 · 1 pointr/improv

If you want to get good find some local classes in your area, then work to join a team.

The UCB improv manual is one recommended book for a game heavy style of improv. It is the textbook for the UCB classes. Truth is Comedy is the textbook for IO which has a more honest style improv.

Go to shows if you have them in your area and watch improv as you learn you will begin to see what people are doing and understand why. This youtube channel is some UCB teams performing; I particularly like the team Fuck that Shit. I also personally love Off Book the Improvised Musical podcast. They are some incredible improvisers. Start with Ep 75 if you want a good one.

Last if you want a more relaxed fun way try finding a role playing game group. This won't make you great at stage improv but you can pick up some of the skills. Most people play D&D which is not a bad place to start in tabletop RPGs especially with 5th edition. If you can find people running more story games you can get somewhere closer to narrative improv minus the audience.

u/Pyroccd · 1 pointr/improv

Also, get people to pool their money and get a copy of the UCB manual! It is the best, and super approachable:

u/Vaklovr · 1 pointr/SketchComedy

Improv can be structured into sketch as seen by UCB here. I know very few book dedicated solely to sketch but some overall comedy guides go into detail about sketch form and its place in comedy overall. Here.

u/JimmyDelicious · 1 pointr/NewTubers

So... I'm gonna be a little critical here.

I don't get this sketch. In improv terms, I don't know what the "game of the scene" is. Your comedic goal seems to be weirdness and then shock value. It's not that it can't work, it's just not for me. For example I feel like this same scene could easily have been accomplished with 2 characters instead of 4 or 5, and it probably would have let you define a relationship between those two characters more easily and play with that relationship.

Anyway, your production quality seems fine to me, you mention some audio concerns, but that to me shouldn't be your focus. I would recommend some improv or comedy writing books, my favourite being Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual. It'll teach you some core essentials for finding fun in scenes.

Hope this helps! :)

u/cbnyc0 · 1 pointr/SketchComedy

Just one question: What is the game of the scene?

If you can't answer that, read this...

u/NonsenseSynapse · 1 pointr/Screenwriting

Do you have a background in comedy? Having experience in improv and/or sketch comedy will definitely be helpful. If you're near any major city, there are probably classes that you can take.

In terms of sketch writing, there are two main things you're going to need to understand. First, and arguably the most important, is the idea of Game. It's the fundamental pattern of what makes funny things funny. The inside joke that is crafted between the performers and the audience.

The second thing is just writing believable dialogue and characters you can invest in. You could have an incredible idea for a sketch, but if the dialogue is weak, then it's going to be harder to keep the audience's attention. Since you're on r/screenwriting, you probably have a good sense of this, so we'll focus on the Game.

In terms of resources, there are a number of great books on improv theory (unfortunately not very much about sketch, but at their core, the scene structure is quite similar).

The Upright Citizens Brigade just released a book that I haven't read yet, but seems like it focuses a lot on game, so it might be helpful. Truth in Comedy is another popular book about improv.

Once you understand the basics of how a comedic scene is crafted, I'd say just watch a lot of sketches. Watch SNL, Britanick, Good Neighbors, anything you can find online. Notice what their Game is. How they build and present their characters. It's the same thing with screenwriting. Once you know the pieces of a strong screenplay, you notice when they're done well or poorly in every movie you see. Then, find a style of comedy that is meaningful and funny to you and start writing!

Sorry for the huge post. I hope this was helpful! Best of luck!

u/Princip1914 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

His book "Acting in Film is brilliant. I am not an actor and do not intend to pursuit acting in any way but a former roommate left it when he moved away and I think I read it in one sitting - it was very interesting. The principles he outlines in that book translate to many life situations. Learned a thing or two about film as well...

u/pdorris · 1 pointr/Filmmakers

I learned a lot by reading Michael Caine's book on acting. I never would have thought to learn about directing from that book, but I asked an acting teacher the same question you've posted here and that was her immediate answer.

To be clear, it's not like he discusses how to direct actors in the book. He just explained what actors go through and what actors tend to need during prep and on set in a way that was helpful to me.

Michael Caine - Acting in Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making (The Applause Acting Series) Revised Expanded Edition

Edit: sorry for whatever that price zombie bot post is. I'm new here and didn't know that crap would happen if I posted a link.

u/dekiko · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon


Thanks so much for the contest! m( )m


u/FreshFromRikers · 1 pointr/AskMen

Well, you're going to be meeting a lot of people soon and I can give you a few pointers as how to survive/not be awkward. Most people love nothing more than talking about themselves, so an easy trick is to simply ask them about themselves and listen. This is a shortcut that will immediately make them endeared to you.

It's okay to be quiet, just be smart about it. Do a lot of observing before you talk and make what you say matter. Being funny helps tremendously, and if you pick your spots, you can be the "funny" guy without being the life of the party.

A dry sense of humor approach is best, but any humor will do. There's a great book about humor and being funny that can help a lot. It's written by a genius named Del Close (practically the inventor of long-form improv) called Truth in Comedy ( Check it out. You'll learn a lot.

Also, confidence is attractive. You can have a confident air even if you're not. Season your conversations with statements like "There's always two sides to every story." and "That's a great point. I should research this topic more." Even if you have zero confidence, you can appear confident by acknowledging deficiencies in your knowledge set while swearing to become more intelligent about said topic. It's never a bad thing to acknowledge ignorance, it just makes you come across as honest and curious, which people love.

Make sure that you have established interests when you arrive. Like video games? Research game theory, it's fascinating and it's used in way more places than just the gaming industry. Basically, you can take anything that you're interested in and apply the principles to other parts of life. Now instead of being a "gaming nerd" you're a young and talented interface designer with a keen mind for sociology and anthropology - skills that apply to everything from future gesture-based interfaces to simply coming up with a better doorknob design.

Lastly, don't get hung up on stuff. Be the laid back, contemplative guy. It's okay to be passionate, but realize you don't have to win every argument. Arguments don't really have to end, nor will they, so you're better off making a quippy bon mot about the ridiculousness of an argument than trying to convince people you are right.

That's all I got off the top of my head.

u/HurricaneShane · 1 pointr/Filmmakers

Work on your lighting and sound. Also, read this.That sketch was about three minutes too long.

u/mhoke63 · 1 pointr/CFBOffTopic

False. Humor = Reality. One of the core tenants of joke creating is to tell the truth. There is truth in comedy and nothing is funnier than real life.

One of the core books for teaching and learning improv is book called, Truth in Comedy. It goes through many different lessons, but one of them is don't be ridiculous. Play things honestly as you would any situation.

u/sircrowbar · 1 pointr/rpg

For more information, including a more detailed version of "Saying Yes", I wholeheartedly recommend reading The Truth About Comedy

u/MrActor123 · 1 pointr/offmychest

Maybe this tip can help you. I am an actor (hence the username lol). I have studied a little bit of comedy and I can tell you this. Truthfullness is funny! Use inspiration from your real life as a source of comedy. I know an uprising comedian that is doing the same thing. It can also work in improv comedy. Maybe look into this book:

I admire the fact that you have done stand up comedy. I want to try it one day.

u/Kalranya · 1 pointr/rpg

Improv is a skill that can be studied, learned, and practiced, and I absolutely 100% promise you that whoever it is you idolize on CritRole has, in fact, studied and learned it, and practices regularly.

The best way is to take a class in it. Anywhere with a theater program should offer improv classes.

If you can't do that, books are a good fallback (and companion to classes), whether that's industry heavyweights or books targeted specifically at gamers. Of course, there's also the usual selection of websites, youtube videos and reddit that you can tap as resources too; google around a bit.

In the meantime, the thing that might help you the fastest is to stop focusing on scripting what the character can say, and instead put your attention to how the character thinks and what they feel. If you know how they're likely to react to situations, you'll find you can use that as a guide to steer your dialogue. There are innumerable methods for developing that; again, look around a bit and try a few out.

Lately I've been liking Fate Aspects as a rough guide for characters, even if I'm not playing Fate. It's a simple structure without a lot of rules to creating them, light and flexible, while still retaining enough meat to give me a general direction to guide my interactions during gameplay.

Take the following character as an example:


  • High Concept: Incisive Scamp Journalist

  • K.G. is sharp-witted and analytical, good at reading people and situations to find story angles. She's also good at causing trouble for anyone who gets in her way, whether that's obstructive cops, corporate bureaucrats, or her editor. (More generally, a High Concept is a quick summary of the character. It's your one-line elevator pitch)

  • Trouble: Not Proud of my Past

  • K.G. was neck-deep in some shady things before she sold her first story, and she's tried to distance herself from that life as much as possible. She's deeply ashamed of some of the things she did and people she associated with, and her history rearing its ugly head is the fastest way to throw her off her game. (Generally, a Trouble is the thing that most often causes drama in the character's life)

  • Anything For the Story

  • The story is all that matters; no price--no matter who pays it--is too high. K.G. doesn't want to hurt people and tries not to, but, well, sometimes it happens. So long as the story gets out, it was worth it.

  • I Know a Guy for That

  • Just because she's not proud of her past doesn't mean K.G. isn't willing to tap it occasionally, and she's built an extensive web of contacts of a more legitimate sort while on the job. If she doesn't know or can't get it, she knows someone who does and can, guaranteed.

  • If the Press Pass Doesn't Get Me In, the Lockpicks Will

  • This loops back around to "anything for the story", but more specifically that she's perfectly willing and able to commit any number of misdemeanors and the occasional felony in pursuit of an angle. It's as much a statement of philosophy as of capability. It makes her dangerous and daring, and that's both good and bad.

    So, with just those five lines, I've got a fairly good snapshot of the character--enough to guide me in most circumstances. She's whip-smart and snappy, good at handling people, well-connected and worldly, a bit of a troublemaker, willing to chatter "aimlessly" to gather info but avoids personal topics. That's not a bad slice of character to start building from.
u/aTweetingBird · 0 pointsr/RedPillWomen

Vocal training really does wonders. I was a theater major for a while, and took a voice and diction class. Really enunciating your words and speaking with confidence makes a big difference. I also learned that my voice was very nasally, and the exercises really helped me speak from my throat and not my nose. I've found it to be really helpful in my life. When I worked as a receptionist, I was constantly complimented on my voice, especially over the phone. I also feel it helps me stand out because I'm not slurring my words together. It also helps you sound more pleasant, which is nice. This is the book we read. We also learned timing, so that you have enough breath to say what you need to say without taking unnecessary breath-breaks. You might feel silly doing the exercises, but they really do work! It's also a great resource if you speak in front of groups.