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Respect for Acting

Respect for Acting
Your Price: $31.00 CDN
Author: Uta Hagen with Haskel Frankel
Foreword by: David Hyde Pierce
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 240
Pub. Date: 2008
Edition: 2nd
ISBN-10: 0470228482
ISBN-13: 9780470228487

About the Book:

Respect For Acting is considered a must-have textbook for every acting teacher and student.

Respect For Acting is a "class in a book" that provides a solid foundation in the practical approach to acting craft that characterized Uta Hagen's legendary advanced classes at HB Studio, one of New York's most venerable institutions for acting training and practice.

Her gallery of classic stage performances in plays by Odets, Shaw, Brecht and Chekhov defined the decades when big-time Broadway embraced the spoken words of masters in extended engagements. But master teacher Uta Hagen knew that an actor's finest work was often achieved for love rather than for money. She lived this philosophy, alongside her husband Herbert Berghof, at HB Studio, their acting school, where she began developing and teaching acting techniques that continue to inspire generations of artists. Her popular technique emphasizes realism and truth above all else; "substitution" (or "transference") encourages actors to substitute their own experiences and emotional recollections for the given circumstances of a scene. As part of her long and legendary teaching career, Uta Hagen developed the talents of Katie Finneran, Liza Minnelli, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Lemmon, Debbie Allen, F. Murray Abraham, Rita Gardner, Steve McQueen, Amanda Peet, Marlo Thomas, Jerry Stiller, Charles Nelson Reilly, Hal Holbrook, and many others, and was even a vocal (and accent) coach to Judy Garland.

The classic book on acting, much of it is based on her belief that natural talent was only the starting point in the development of craft. Respect For Acting is divided into three parts: The Actor (including chapters discussing the basics: substitution, sense memory, improvisation, etc.); The Object Exercises (the 10 famous exercises that she devised, based on self-observation, to aid in solving technical problems: the basic object exercise, three entrances, immediacy, the fourth wall, endowment, talking to yourself, outdoors, conditioning forces, history, character action); and The Play and the Role. "There isn't a mistake in the book that I haven't made 10 times, 100 times," Uta Hagen has said. The book is full of trial-and-error examples from her own stage career. She introduces a series of exercises to help the actor connect to the moment, fellow actors, and the audience. "Who am I?" "What do I want?" and "What is my relationship?" are three of the nine questions explored to define your character's role specifically. Uta Hagen also includes invaluable advice about stage nerves and how to stay fresh in a long run.

Respect for Acting helped generations of actors hone their craft, and its advice is as useful now as it was in 1973, when it was first published, outselling any other in its field. It remains a standard text in many acting schools and will continue to bring Uta Hagen's techniques to actors and theater-lovers alike.

What people say:

"Uta Hagen wanted us to never settle, period, to keep on endlessly exploring, digging deeper, and aiming higher in our scenes, in our plays, in our careers. Respect for Acting is not a long book, and with any luck, it will take you the rest of your life to read it." — David Hyde Pierce, from the forward

"This fascinating and detailed book about acting is Miss Hagen's credo, the accumulated wisdom of her year's spent in intimate communion with her art. It is at once the voicing of her exacting standards for herself and those she [taught], and an an explanation of the means to the end." — Publishers Weekly

"Hagen adds to the large corpus of titles on acting with vivid dicta drawn from experience, skill and a sense of personal and professional worth. Her principal asset in this treatment is her truly significant imagination. Her 'object exercises' display a wealth of detail with which to stimulate the student preparing a scene for presentation." — Library Journal

"Respect for Actingis a relatively small book. But within it, Miss Hagen tells the young actor about as much as can be conveyed in print of his craft." — Los Angeles Times

"There are almost no American actors uninfluenced by Uta Hagen." — Fritz Weaver

"This is a textbook for aspiring actors, but working thespians can profit much from it. Anyone with a casual interest in the theater should also enjoy its behind-the-scene flavor." — King Features Syndicate

About the Authors:

Uta Hagen (1919-2004) was one of the most renowned and respected acting teachers of the 20th century. A transcendent actor (she won three Tony awards), she was highly sought-after and influential among actors she trained at HB Studio, the renowned New York City dramatic arts studio she ran with her husband Herbert Berghof. She also put in writing what she knew about her craft in her seminal text, Respect for Acting, and her definitive followup, A Challenge for the Actor, both still used by acting students across the globe. She also authored Sources: A Memoir.

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