Actions: The Actors’ Thesaurus | Book Review

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Book Rating

Actions: The Actors Thesaurus is a must have for all actors. Actions are a fantastic way to keep your performance active and ever changing. Using this technique helps me keep my attention on changing the other actor on stage. Adding an action to your text will force you to clarify your character’s objective and focus on what you want in each scene, and in every moment.

I don’t use actions as my default technique but it often helps me when I’m stuck; when I am struggling to understand direction, or I’m being eaten alive by the other actors on stage.

Whether you are an established actor looking to solidify your technique, or a beginner looking to structure your performance, this book is a great option.

One of my acting coaches at drama school said 95% of scenes are about one of two things: love or money. But washing your performances with a generalised “love” or greed will have audiences asking for a refund before you can say “Stella!”. If I were playing Stanley Kowalski I would want my performance to be passionate and unpredictable; therefore in order to show my love, I might use actions such as: to intimidate, to control, to seduce and more. Using contrasting actions will give your performance range, variety and dynamic. In this book each action is followed by a series of related actions to help you discover new and creative possibilities.

Using Actions: The Actors Thesaurus will kickstart your imagination and help you discover new and varied tactics to achieve your characters goals. A clear objective and action driven tactics will maintain the conflict between characters on stage. An ever changing performance will also increase the stakes in a scene, keeping the audience and the other actors on their toes.  Simply put, it’s essential.

About the Author

is trained as an actor at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He is now a professional actor based in Sydney, Australia. He recently finished working with Mel Gibson on his upcoming feature, Hacksaw Ridge.

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