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Best Books on Acting

Step into the spotlight with the best books on acting, as highlighted by renowned theatre and film blogs. Each book's ranking reflects its prominence in the acting community's recommended reading lists.

Recommendations from 39 articles, Warren Buffett, Paul Graham, Dave Ramsey and 24 others.
Best Books on Acting
53 books on the list
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Sanford Meisner on Acting book cover
Sanford Meisner on Acting
Sanford Meisner - 1987-07-12
Goodreads Rating
Learn the craft of acting from one of the greatest teachers of our time in this captivating book. Follow an acting class of eight men and eight women as they go from basic exercises to polished performances of contemporary American plays. Meisner's empathic and encouraging teaching style provokes emotion, laughter, and technical mastery from his students. With an introduction by Sydney Pollack, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in acting or appreciating the craft.
An Actor Prepares book cover
An Actor Prepares
Constantin Stanislavski - 1989-04-28 (first published in 1936)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the famous acting training book that has inspired generations of actors and trainers. This edition was the first to introduce Stanislavski's 'system' to English speakers and continues to be a classic in acting classes. Learn about inward preparation, the 'magic if' concept, emotion memory, and rehearsal aids. An essential read for actors, directors, and anyone interested in the art of drama.
Recommended by
John Leguizamo
Audition book cover
Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part
Michael Shurtleff - 1980-01-02 (first published in 1978)
Goodreads Rating
Find your dream role with Audition by Michael Shurtleff! Learn the secrets of successful casting from the director of Chicago, Pippin, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Discover how to create mystery, use humor, and develop a distinct style that will land you the part you want. Audition isn't just for actors though - it's a necessary guide for dealing with all the "auditions" we face in life. Don't miss out on the bible of auditioning!
Respect for Acting book cover
Respect for Acting
Uta Hagen - 1973-09-01
Goodreads Rating
This detailed book on acting serves as a credo for one of the industry's experienced professionals. Respect for Acting offers invaluable advice for both aspiring and seasoned actors, containing vivid dicta drawn from experience, skill, and a sense of personal and professional worth. With her significant imagination, Uta Hagen's object exercises can stimulate anyone preparing a scene for presentation. No wonder almost no American actors are uninfluenced by Hagen's teachings.
Recommended by
John Leguizamo
The Art of Acting book cover
The Art of Acting
Stella Adler - 2000-11-01
Goodreads Rating
Explore the teachings of one of the most influential acting teachers in American history through this book of 22 lessons. Stella Adler, known for instructing iconic actors like Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, imparted her vast knowledge of the craft over a long and illustrious career. Howard Kissel has captured her decades of experience and expertise in this essential volume on The Art of Acting.
Recommended by
John Leguizamo
The Intent to Live book cover
The Intent to Live
Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor
Larry Moss - 2005-12-27 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Learn from legendary acting coach Larry Moss's thirty years of experience with his book, The Intent to Live. Moss shares his techniques to help actors set their emotions, imagination, and behavior on fire, giving performances that are authentic and spontaneous. From script analysis to physicalization and sensory work, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to master the craft of acting. With insights, case studies, exercises, and examples from a wealth of plays and films, The Intent to Live is not just a handbook, but a personal credo of a master teacher.
The Power of the Actor book cover
The Power of the Actor
The Chubbuck Technique -- The 12-Step Acting Technique That Will Take You from Script to a Living, Breathing, Dynamic Character
Ivana Chubbuck - 2005-08-18 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the secrets of masterful acting with a leading Hollywood coach in The Power of the Actor. With over 20 years of experience, Ivana Chubbuck has trained some of the biggest names in the industry. Learn step-by-step techniques and exercises to unlock your own potential and create unforgettable performances. Perfect for actors, directors, and anyone looking to improve their communication and creativity skills. Don't miss out on this essential guide to becoming a powerhouse actor.
Acting in Film book cover
Acting in Film
An Actor's Take on Movie Making (The Applause Acting Series) Revised Expanded Edition
Michael Caine - 2000-02-01 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
"Acting in Film" by Michael Caine is a comprehensive guide to making movies from the perspective of one of Hollywood's most iconic actors. This revised and expanded edition covers topics such as preparation, directing, and being a star, with great pictures throughout. Discover the secrets of creating memorable performances with a fascinating and knowledgeable guide.
Freeing the Natural Voice book cover
Freeing the Natural Voice
Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language
Kristin Linklater - 1976-01-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover a guide to unlock your natural voice with exercises specifically designed to strengthen and develop your vocal abilities as an actor or human. Learn about the mechanics of the voice and overcome common obstacles to achieve a more effective and authentic vocal expression.
Acting as a Business book cover
Acting as a Business
Strategies for Success
Brian O'Neil - 2005-08-30 (first published in 1993)
Goodreads Rating
A modern classic for actors, this essential handbook provides clear-cut guidelines on the business behind their art. From finding an agent to communicating effectively with a personal manager, this newly updated edition is packed with practical information to help working and aspiring actors succeed. With advice on using the internet and social media, no actor should be without this indispensable tool.
Actions by Marina Caldarone
The Actor's Art and Craft by William Esper
To the Actor by Michael Chekhov
The Actor's Life by Jenna Fischer
The Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan
A Challenge For The Actor by Uta Hagen
A Practical Handbook for the Actor by Melissa Bruder
Self-Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie
Secrets of Screen Acting by Patrick Tucker
No Acting Please by Eric Morris
How to Stop Acting by Harold Guskin
Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen, Haskel Frankel, Katie Finneran, David Hyde Pierce
Truth in Comedy by Charna Halpern
In-Depth Acting by Dee Cannon
A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston
Improvisation for the Theater by Viola Spolin
The Viewpoints Book by Anne Bogart
Acting by Richard Boleslavsky
Acting for the Camera by Tony Barr
Speak with Distinction by Edith Skinner
The Golden Rules of Acting by Andy Nyman
Strasberg's Method As Taught by Lorrie Hull by S. Loraine Hull
True and False by David Mamet
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
A Dream of Passion by Lee Strasberg
Improvise. by Mick Napier
Backwards and Forwards by David Ball
Games for Actors and Non-Actors by Augusto Boal
An Actor's Work by Konstantin Stanislavski
Creating A Role by Constantin Stanislavski
Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen by Paul Meier
The Technique of Acting by Stella Adler
The Fervent Years by Harold Clurman
The Excellent Audition Guide by Andy Johnson
Being an Actor by Simon Callow
Surviving Actors Manual by Felicity Jackson
My Life In Art - Translated from the Russian by J. J. Robbins - With Illustrations by Constantin Stanislavsky
Michael Powell by Michael Powell
The Stanislavski System by Sonia Moore
How to Be a Working Actor, 5th Edition by Mari Lyn Henry
Loving to Audition by Larry Silverberg
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Robert Petkoff, Donna Dale Carnegie, Simon & Schuster Audio
So You Want to be an Actor? by Timothy West