True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor

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9780679772644: True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor

One of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting with these words: invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school. Acting schools, “interpretation,” “sense memory,” “The Method”—David Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense, True and False is as shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring.

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To hell with Stanislavsky. To hell with the Method. "The actor is onstage to communicate the play to the audience," says David Mamet. "That is the beginning and the end of his and her job. To do so the actor needs a strong voice, superb diction, a supple, well-proportioned body and a rudimentary understanding of the play." Anything else--"becoming" one's part, "feeling" the character's emotions--devalues the practice of a noble craft and is useless to the play. "The 'work' you do 'on the script' will make no difference," he cautions. "That work has already been done by a person with a different job title than yours. That person is the author."

But True and False does not confine itself to the work done on the actual stage. Its brief essays contain sound advice on how an actor might apply himself or herself to the life of the actor: the proper consideration due the audition process, the selection of parts that one accepts, and so on. Mamet delivers these kernels of wisdom in the taut, no-nonsense prose for which he is justifiably famous, and, ultimately, his core principles are applicable beyond the theater. "Speak up, speak clearly, open yourself out, relax your body, find a simple objective," he instructs. "Practice in these goals is practice in respect for the audience, and without respect for the audience, there is no respect for the theater; there is only self-absorption." Substitute "others" for "the audience" and "life" for "the theater," and could any Taoist say it better? --Ron Hogan

From the Back Cover:

"This book should be read and considered by everyone who acts."
--Steve Martin

"Entertaining and enlightening...Mamet's new book on the actor's life makes me proud to be a participant in that life."
--Joe Mantegna

"This is a very important book. No one has defined the actor's job better than Mamet. So much of the acting we see these days is, in my opinion, emotional glop. The actors are not really acting the story, they are acting what the story means. When all is said and done, it's just indicating. And as Mamet so outrageously and compellingly shows us, the future belongs to those actors who don't indicate at all, ever."
--William H. Macy

"I agree with almost nothing Mr. Mamet says in this book and encourage you to devour every word. Mamet is a genius."
--Alec Baldwin

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting with these words: invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.Acting schools, interpretation, sense memory, The Method David Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense, True and False isas shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679772644

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting with these words: invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.Acting schools, interpretation, sense memory, The Method David Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense, True and False isas shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679772644

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. One of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting with these words: invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.Acting schools, interpretation, sense memory, The Method David Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense, True and False isas shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780679772644

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Book Description Softcover. Book Condition: New. Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school. With these words, one of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting, in a book that is as shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring.Acting schools, "interpretation," "sense memory," "The Method"óDavid Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense,True and False is invaluable. Bookseller Inventory # 5386058

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