A heartfelt thank you to Chris Phipps for sharing the contents of his acting library and comments on the books he likes best.
“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who doesn’t read.” Mark Twain
Top Books Every Actor Must Read
1. The Power of the Actor - By Ivana Chubbuck
A must if you intend to study with TBell; it is part of her teaching lexicon. The bible of how to break down a scene, with the foundation being what the actor is fighting for - what the scene objective is. Theresa studied it first hand from the source, Roy London, who studied with Uta Hagen Uta’s technique, like many, was derived from Stanislavski. She also studied with Ivana Chubbuck who was the coach of Roy London’s beginner classes.
2. The Warner Loughlin Technique - By Warner Loughlin
A great book. You will learn to identify what is the Basic Human Emotion for the character in the scene. Or as TBell sometimes calls it ‘your character’s primary emotion”. It becomes like a rudder to the ship for your character in any scene.
3. How to Stop Acting – by Harold Guskin
A few acting pearls here worth reading / skimming. Such as how to find the fresh notes and how to stay fresh when rehearsing.
Do the opposite of what you think the character might do, then you find what not to do or….
You may discover a fresh, exciting, different approach. For example, a girl is mad and drunk and wants to fight with her boyfriend for arriving late.
Every acting auditioning for the role would do it that way - as indicated by the script. One decided to be drunk, and still upset, but is seducing her man when he comes home late (and also wants to fight). She won the role.
4. Audition - Michael Shurtleff
A lot of The Power of the Actor information with a few more ideas. I recall it lists about 13 items to try and check off for prepping to do an audition with sides.
5. Creating a Character - Yakim
I still use some of these techniques just to keep fresh. Very different but interesting.
Other informative books for actors to have in their library
1. Sanford Meisner on Acting
2. The Art of Acting - Stella Adler
3. To The Actor - On the Technique of Acting - Michael Chekhov
4. The Actors Art and Craft - William Esper
5. Actions - The Actors Thesaurus - Caldarone
6. Why Acting Matters - David Thomson
7. No Acting Please - Morris and Hotchkis
8. The Audition Bible – Powell
9. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
10. Michael Caine - Acting on Film: An Actors Take on Movie Making
By Chris Phipps