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On the Technique of Acting

On the Technique of Acting
Your Price: $20.95 CDN
Author: Michael Chekhov
Edited by: Mel Gordon
Afterword by: Mala Powers
Introduction by: Mel Gordon
Preface by: Mala Powers
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 240
Pub. Date: 1993
ISBN-10: 0062730371
ISBN-13: 9780062730374

About the Book:

The most authoritative, authentic text of a classic guide to acting.

In the four decades since its first publication, To the Actor has become a standard text for students of the Michael Chekhov Technique. But To the Actor is a shortened, heavily modified version of the great director/actor/teacher's original manuscript with the deletion of some of the more important concepts. A long-time advocate of Michael Chekhov's acting methods, Mala Powers wrote the preface for On the Technique of Acting, which is the first and only book ever to incorporate the complete text of that brilliant manuscript. Scholars and teachers of Chekhov's technique have hailed On the Technique of Acting as the clearest, most accurate presentation of the principles he taught Yul Brynner, Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Leslie Caron, Anthony Quinn, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Palance, Lloyd Bridges, and Mala Powers. Other prominent actors who did not study directly with Michael Chekhov, but who benefited from his techniques are Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicholson, Richard Kiley, Johnny Depp, and Clint Eastwood, to name a few.

Michael Chekhov was the nephew of playwright Anton Chekhov and a student of Constantin Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre. He eventually differed with his mentor on how best to approach acting. Stanislavsky believed that memory was the key and Chekhov thought it was imagination. This definitive edition of Michael Chekhov's masterful work clarifies the principles outlined in To the Actor concerning the pivotal role of the imagination in actors' understanding of themselves and the roles they play. It contains the Chart for Inspired Acting, given personally to Mala Powers as a hand-drawn chart. Not found in any other Chekhov books, this Chart shows graphically most of his teachings in one symbol, useful to teachers and learners alike as a quick-reference short-hand overview of the techniques. On the Technique of Acting also expands on Chekhov's previously published work with many unique features, including:

• Thirty additional exercises
• A chapter devoted to screen acting
• More thorough explanations of the Psychological Gesture, inner tempo vs. outer tempo, and other key concepts of Chekhov's approach

For actors, directors, and anyone interested in the theatre, On the Technique of Acting is an essential handbook.

What people say:

"There's this need to continue growth; to expand. For me, Michael Chekhovs system is the most complete." — Robert Davi, interviewed on the set of his TV series, The Profiler

"You have to teach yourself to act but Michael Chekhov will give you the necessary tools – and for me, Psychological Gesture and Centers are extremely valuable... They work like a charm. I've used them all along and still do." — Clint Eastwood

"While my mother and sister were hiding in the dark and kind of watching me, ya know, hoping I was going to be in the movie business, I turned around and imagined I saw my director making fun of my newly acquired Psychological Gesture from Michael Chekhov." — Jack Nicholson, at the 1998 Golden Globe awards (speaking about his first job)

"I had always loved acting and tried hard to learn it. But with Michael Chekhov, acting became more than a profession to me. It became a sort of religion." — Marilyn Monroe, from her book, My Story

"I like to physicalize. I like to talk about Michael ChekhovPsychological Gesture." — Sir Anthony Hopkins, from his Inside the Actor's Studio interview

About the Author:

Michael Chekhov (1891-1955) was a Russian actor, director, theatre practitioner and author, referred to by Konstantin Stanislavski as his most brilliant student. He was the nephew of playwright Anton Chekhov and was a distinguished actor but his work in theatre education may be his most important legacy. In 1942 he was invited to Hollywood, where he became an acting coach to the stars, acted in many films, published his book, To the Actor.

Mala Powers (1931-2007) was an American actress. Studying with Michael Chekhov in her early years, she later became a noted university lecturer and teacher, founding the Michael Chekhov Drama Group in Los Angeles and becoming a leading authority on the Chekhov acting technique.

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