Top products from r/acting

We found 46 product mentions on r/acting. We ranked the 130 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

Next page

Top comments that mention products on r/acting:

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/the1manriot · 1 pointr/acting

When I taught acting for young people I relied on four books:

[A Practical Handbook for The Actor]

True and False

Sanford Meisner On Acting

Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher's Handbook

I taught Acting and Improv to a range of students: from elementary and middle school kids who didn't really want to be there to dedicated high school kids studying theatre 12 hours a day in the summer. This is typically how I built my curriculum:

The Meisner Technique personalizes a student's relationship with whatever text they're working with. Acting exercises shift away from Being A Good Actor and become about being honest in imaginary circumstances, making observations, and taking action. The exercises can be grueling. The games require focus, and a willingness to make observations about scene partners. Good for serious students.

True and False is a series of essays by David Mamet. If you're not familiar with Mr Mamet, he is an important American Playwright who's work will never be performed in a high school. But he was a student of Meisner's and does a masterful job of articulating the point of Meisner's method and distinguishing it from Method Acting.

A Practical Handbook is Second Generation Meisner - based on the notes of David Mamet's and William H Macy's acting students. It focuses on HOW to choose a dynamic action. Much of the material can be made into worksheets for use in later scene analysis. Suitable for all ages.

Many young actors have little experience to draw from to make dynamic choices. For some students it may be the first time they've thought of how and why they reacted to people and situations. Viola Spolin's exercises can help unlock their imaginations - plus, they're fun.

I say all of that to actually answer your question about finding material:
I highly recommend Spare Scenes.

In College we called them Contentless, or Empty Scenes. They are short, two character scenes. Characters are 'A' and 'B' (sometimes there's a 'C' as well) with anywhere from 10 to 20 lines each. There's no real context to the scenes. There is no action described, only vague dialog:

A: Do you believe me?

B: Yes mostly.

A: Mostly.

B: Yes mostly.

A: But not always?

B: Usually always.

A: Usually

B: Yes, usually.

A: But not absolutely always.

B: I guess not.

A: That's strange.

B: Why?

The student must apply techniques from Meisner, and The Practical Handbook to analyze the Spare Scene, create a scenario and choose actions that convey dynamic characters. It's hard. But that's the best part - it is very beneficial to fail at these exercises. When students get their hands on actual text - it's like they only have to do half the work! But, as an educator, you also have an endless source of material to practice. So when you have a play, or a One Act, or an actual performance - it becomes an Event.

I've noticed that while many young musicians are taught the difference between Practice and Performance, many young actors are either On or Off. The Meisner Technique encourages the student to resist the temptation to be The Great Actor, and instead focus on building Great Character.

Please forgive the wall of text. This is my favorite thing to rant about. Hope that helps. (edit: formatting)

u/DecadentDisarray · 2 pointsr/acting

Awesome, good for you. That is what I did in college, after two years, completely switched majors and went the theater route and am so glad I did. Don't let it overwhelm you. Get to know the people in the department, some of the best advice I got was from friends I made in the department. Also, get to know your profs. really well. Take them out for drinks or dinner or whatever and pick their brains. the best way to learn about acting is to watch as much as you can and do it. Work scenes with your friends even when you don't have a scene due for class. Study and perform monologues for your friends just for the fun of it. Just enjoy it and it won't freak you out. One of the best books I have ever read about starting out is called [ Audition] ( by Michael Shurtleff. It approaches acting in a very unique way and really teaches you how to introduce yourself to the character. Best of luck and most important thing - Have fun, don't give up and don't take it too serious.

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/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/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/MoonSpider · 5 pointsr/acting

I'd like more directors to read and understand Judith Weston's book. You might just need to take a different approach to get them out of their funk, and the Weston book offers a lot of different tactics for working with actors to bring them to a safe creative space, even describing how different approaches to communication can resonate better with certain actors depending on age, training, and temperament.

Anyway, if you want to understand the difficulties of acting, take an acting class. Seriously. Be on the other end, without the safety net of your own writing and your own set, being evaluated and stared at and trying to find truth in the moment. It'll make you a better director, because you'll know what your collaborators are going through.
Here's a basic primer on what actors go through. Read it the whole way through.

Back to the 'difficult' actor thing. Mostly, 'difficult' actors should be weeded out during casting. That's square one. But if an actor's being 'difficult' on set, something is off in the creative relationship, someone isn't feeling full trust or safety or respect in either direction (or is a callous asshole, always a possibility). A problem actor is probably too much in their head and feeling offended/disrespected (whether justified or not). You need to get them out of that headspace, give them another target to focus on, reconnect with their scene partner, and give them an area where their work feels 'important.'

I was once working on a television show where a very well-known actor was having a 'difficult' day. It was late into a sixteen-hour shoot day, he was tired, he was frustrated, he disliked the section of the scene they were working on because he thought it was sappy and dumb, and he was having trouble and tripping over the exact sequence of words in his speech, we couldn't even get a master of the whole section. You could see it building into a situation where he was closing himself off from everybody. We could have sat there and stewed in the difficulty, but the director came up and went at him a little obliquely.

He said, "Hey [BLANK], I actually just want to get a good look here for the first part of this line, we're gonna be on [SCENE PARTNER]'s coverage anyway for that next bit. Don't worry about the rest of the speech, can you just give us the first half of the line a couple time so we catch that moment where you put him in his place? [SCENE PARTNER'S CHARACTER] wasn't really listening a second ago, so just stop him in his tracks with that opening phrase."
Well, of course he could commit to half of a line even if he's frustrated with the scene as a whole, sure, whatever. So we went back on a bell and rolled camera, called 'action.'
The actor started the line, trailed off, started it again by kind of teasing his scene partner, who pushed back a little, smiling. He did it again, this time really demanding the other actor's attention. He had something important to say, so he'd better listen. His eyes lit up as he spoke, the weight of the long work day fell off his frame and his whole demeanor opened up. Instead of a cranky man having a rough day at work, I suddenly saw that performer I'd watched on the screen as a child, saw him play. For a little while at least. He got through most of the first line, (well past the halfway mark) and had a little hangup on a word at the end of the sentence.
"Great, wonderful. [SCRIPT SUPERVISOR], how did we change the wording of that joke that comes after this? Thanks. Hey [BLANK], we'll be on his coverage there anyway, but can we do the back half of that line transitioning into the next bit? We won't need all of it, but just run that little section before you tell him [whatever the next line is]."

So we did the next section and saw him manage to open up again, this time fully present for the second half of the line and the following sentence. We moved forward, bit by bit, until we had captured him being engaged in each part of the coverage of his little 4-line speech. Then we went wide, got him entering and exiting, and sent him to his trailer.

That was about as 'difficult' as a professional actor can be on the basics--not knowing his lines fully, getting locked off, angry and frustrated, but the director guided him into something workable, got him off the set, and got us back on schedule. He had to give his editor less to work with than he'd like to and live with what were essentially pre-decided cuts, but because he'd planned well and worked at not embarrassing or overloading the actor who was being a bit of a diva, production was able to move forward. When the episode aired a few weeks later, the sequence flowed fine.

u/actingasevan · 1 pointr/acting

First off thanks for asking this question, I am very similar to you in pretty much everything said - landing auditions but I'm also somewhat stiff during them and wanted to see how to help with that.


Along with what others said about training and dancing, I looked up potential resources that may help with movement in acting and purchased these 2 books - I haven't read either yet but you may find interest in them.



u/stanislavskian2 · 2 pointsr/acting

Books can go a really long way if you apply them and with the help of some imagination. I say that because a lot of coaches and actors are against learning from books thinking that you can ONLY learn in a class. I’ve learned SO many applicable tools through reading about acting. Check out Stanislaski’s “An Actor’s Work.” It’s a new translation of his original texts, and it’s amazing! He covers the craft in great detail, and he has chapters on muscular release, which includes finding your center of gravity, and chapters on the voice and physical embodiment.

An Actor’s Work:
An Actor's Work (Routledge Classics) (Volume 153)

And here’s a great but dense book on the Alexander Techniqe:
How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live: Learning the Alexander Technique to Explore Your Mind-Body Connection and Achieve Self-Mastery


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/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/acting

try David Niven's "Bring on the Empty Horses"

It's really not about acting or method, but a collection of anecdotes and truly funny stories about Old Hollywood. Well worth reading.

u/hobskhan · 3 pointsr/acting

A fun one that I love and have also given as a Secret Santa gift: 'How to Stop Acting' by Harold Guskin.

It's an alternative 'non-technique,' and also a nice followup if you think they may have already read more major Meisner and Uta Hagen books.

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/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/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/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/rickyslams · 1 pointr/acting

I bounced around without a lot of clear focus until I read the book “How To Stop Acting” by Harold Guskin. Now I more or less practice the technique from that book on all my projects. What made it “click” for me was that it clearly described and gave a structure to things that I already recognized in myself. With other techniques I found they would often just lock me up or make me overly heady, but this one made me feel more like myself and put me back in contact with what I like about acting. Any system that works for you should make you feel empowered in the work you’re doing!

Link here:

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/potatoyogurt · 2 pointsr/acting

Good advice, but those aren't the best translations of Stanislavski. This more modern version is supposedly much truer to the original. There's also a reading list in the sidebar.

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/saintbenny · 1 pointr/acting

I just ordered this and I haven't received it yet, but I'll still go ahead and recommend it to you:

u/King_Theseus · 1 pointr/acting

Watch this:

And then read this book (you would likely find this book on pretty much every acting conservatory's reading list):

u/smackthisaccountdown · 5 pointsr/acting

Read mindset. This is where your pressure could be coming from. You are suffering from a fixed mindset, and the stress that you must "prove" you're the great performer you "always were". Instead, if you change your mindset to a growth mindset, and focus on being adaptable, working hard, being kind, and taking the classes in order to become a better performer, you'll be a much stronger actor for it (and less of an ass). I learned this the hard way, took me 2 years and it was ALMOST too late for me to turn my shit around, but I caught it just in time to make my college's showcase -> go to LA -> land a manager and agency and get my SAG-AFTRA card and blah blah blah this Friday I'm auditioning for HBO, you feel? Also, go to the gym. Most colleges have one on campus, or join a Planet Fitness for $10/month. It is time for you to take ownership of your life.

u/bflbfl · 2 pointsr/acting

actually it's not the lavalier she recommended - it's this one ($19.99, "youmic") I had already purchased when I saw Audrey's page:

I have an iphone xr, which is why I picked this one - youmic has others for different phone types

u/JamesDAnnoying · 10 pointsr/acting

There’s a book by the actor who plays Jin Yang in Silicon Valley about Acting and doing stand up as an Asian American

u/Mygo73 · 1 pointr/acting

Check out the Viewpoints book by Anne Bogart. Her techniques are an invaluable resource for movement on stage

u/ceefaves · 1 pointr/acting

Here is her book. As for seeing performances of her, you're going to have trouble. She was placed on the Hollywood blacklist early in her career so she moved to NYC to start her stage career, where, back then, there were almost no videos of live performances. Her legacy is in her teaching though and you can watch the performances of many actors that she has taught