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On Acting ...and life

On Acting ...and life
Your Price: $30.00 CDN
Pre-Order Now for May 3rd Release
Author: William B. Davis
Publisher: Friesen Press
Format: Soft Cover
Pub. Date: 2022

About the Book:

Dozens of books on acting exist, but none of them are quite like this. Part memoir and part master class, modelled after Stephen King's bestseller, On Writing, the book is divided into two parts.

Part one takes you on a seventy-year journey that begins with William B. Davis, at age twelve, riding his bicycle through the streets of Toronto to his first acting classes, and eventually leads to him starring as the iconic "Cigarette-Smoking Man" in the long-running television series, The X-Files, co-starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. From a summer theatre in Ontario, to the National Theatre of Great Britain, to the National Theatre School of Canada, to the William Davis Centre for Actors' Study in Vancouver, few have travelled such a colourful journey. Along the way, Davis met all sorts of familiar faces, including Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox, Albert Finney, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, David Duchovny, and Gillian Anderson, among others.

Although there is a lot about acting in part one, the heart of the book for an aspiring or working actor is in part two. What has Davis learned in seventy years of working both in the theatre and in film and television? A lot, as you will see. Davis's grasp of the art of acting is vast and practical. And in some ways, original.

In his final chapter, Davis explores the underlying philosophy of acting and actor training and argues for bringing the work into the twenty-first century.

What people say:

"This book celebrates a lifetime's passion and commitment to the mysterious realm of acting. It's not a tale of fame, fortune, and gossip, but instead, it documents the twists and turns of an artist's determined engagement with making and sustaining a career in Canada for over sixty years. It's a history lesson and an inspiration, reminding the discouraged actor that you never know what's coming round the corner so be prepared and keep the faith. The discussion of what makes for good acting is a wealth of practical, clear advice, mined and honed in decades of devoted exploration as an actor, director, and teacher. Gold!" — Rosemary Dunsmore (Award-winning Actor, Director, and Acting teacher)

"Before he was my cigarette smoking nemesis for over 25 years before he incarnated one of TV's great villains, William Davis was an acting teacher. It's not true that those who can't do, teach because Bill can do both. And he can write. Like all good teachers, the wisdom and stories that Bill elaborates upon in his book are really lessons about life. It's possible you will become a better actor after reading Bill; it's also possible you will become a better person. For fans of The X-Files or just people who enjoy listening to a no-nonsense craftsman and lifer talk about his craft with none of the usual humble-brag or sensational Hollywood bullshit." — David Duchovny (Novelist and Star of The X-Files)

"Bill Davis's On Acting is a fascinating tapestry of a life dedicated not only to the Art, but also to a deeper philosophical grasp of our work. Bill chronicles a highly personal journey that is founded in the search for a truth that truly illuminates the mystery of our craft!." — Brian Cox (BAFTA Winner and Star of Succession)

"Bill's vast experience, on stage, screen and as a teacher is more than impressive, it's a rarity in our culture of instant fame. I cast him as a villain 30 years ago, but little did I know he'd always played to win." — Chris Carter (Creator of The X-Files)

About the Author:

William B. Davis is a Canadian actor and director. After decades of working as a theatre director and actor in Canada, the UK, and the US, he rose to prominence as the "Cigarette-Smoking Man" on TV's The X-Files. While the Smoking Man is what he's most famous for, it's just one of hundreds of characters he has played in many TV programs and movies, including the role of powerful billionaire David Choak on the sci-fi sitcom Upload. He also founded his own acting school, the William Davis Centre for Actors Study. In his personal life, he is an avid skier, on both water and snow, attends fan conventions and gives talks on acting philosophy. He lives with his wife in Vancouver.