In the World, in the Room, and On Your Own
By Gary Sloan
Illustrated by Laurence Maslon
Routledge – 2012 – 266 pages
In Rehearsal is a clear and accessible how-to approach to the rehearsal process. Author Gary Sloan brings more than thirty years' worth of acting experience to bear on the question of how to rehearse both as an individual actor and as part of the team of professionals that underpins any successful production. Interviews with acclaimed actors, directors, playwrights, and designers share a wealth of knowledge on dynamic collaboration.
The book is divided in to three main stages, helping the reader to refine their craft in as straightforward and accessible manner as possible:
In Rehearsal breaks down the rehearsal process from the actor’s perspective and equips its reader with the tools to become a generous and resourceful performer both inside and outside the studio. Its independent, creative and daily rehearsal techniques are essential for any modern actor.
'I loved discovering this book. I found Gary Sloan’s writing current, fresh, smart and inspiring. The overall message of encouraging the actor to take responsibility for his own creative rehearsal process is conveyed with beautiful clarity and usefulness. It is an empowering guide for the actor who, too often, floats in a sea of unorganized questions and impulses until he finds his way. This book leaves nothing to chance and, ultimately, everything to a creative, courageous, collaborative and crafted freedom. It could easily become the modern bible for our beginning theater actor today.'
Janet Zarish, Head of Acting, NYU Graduate Acting Program, USA
'Sloan deftly defines the responsibilities an actor must bring to the creative environment inside a director’s rehearsal process. However, his real gift is the blueprint of how every actor must explore, research, and prepare a role outside the rehearsal room. In my opinion, In Rehearsal should be required reading for all undergraduate actors.'
John David Lutz, Chair, Department of Theatre, University of Evansville, USA
'Everyone who is contemplating going into rehearsal for anything at all (the theatre, movies, television, life or just a walk in the park) should rush out and buy Gary Sloan's book - all the questions you might ever ask about the rehearsal process are addressed here and all kinds of solutions are offered but even more than the specific solutions the gold in the book is that it makes the reader understand that the profession of acting is a serious, noble, difficult, essentially human, often ridiculous, honorable, beautiful, HARD, glorious way to spend a life - this book is invaluable to people just getting started because it gives you a practice and a peek at anything and everything that might happen - for people who have been at it for the 20 years and more it is a companion to talk to and argue with and seek advice in and laugh with in that absolutely satisfying way you do when you come upon something that gets it absolutely RIGHT.'
Kathleen Chalfant, Actor
'[Sloan] talks with playwrights, dramaturgs, directors and fellow actors to explore how to interact most fruitfully with colleagues during rehearsal. (Short answer: Be polite, be willing to try anything and couch all discussions in terms of the character's need, not yours.) Sloan covers the particular requirements of film and television, where "rehearsal" is often limited to quickly setting the blocking. He illustrates his points with anecdotes (a few quite funny) from his own 30-year career, but this is at heart an earnest exhortation to actors to take their work seriously and honor the "profound responsibility [that comes] when you accept a role in a production…As for theatre's collaborative essence, that elemental theme is underscored…by Sloan…in the way [his] text [is] organized..reinforc[ing] the point by quoting liberally from interviews with other theatre professionals. Sloan comes off as ingenuously charming as he consults with costume, set and lighting designers to get their anwers to the question, "How is it any of [the actor's] business what the designers do?"'
Wendy Smith, American Theatre
Foreword by Zelda Fichandler Prologue: Hoodwinking Hamlet Part I In The World Introduction to Part I 1. Good Ground– The Givens of Rehearsal 2. The Four Week Gig – Act 1 3. The Four Week Gig – Act 2 4. A Creative Process - Six Approaches 5. Get Serious – Seven Ways 6. The Living Rehearsal – a 24/7 Gig Part II In The Room Introduction to Part II 7. Actor, Playwright -The Words Made Flesh 8. Actor, Director - In the Trenches 9. Actor, Designers - A Common Purpose 10. Actor, Dramaturges, Stage Managers and Fight Masters - A Big Tent 11. Shakespeare’s Mountain - Poetic Language 12. Musical Theatre - An American Original 13. Film and Television - Less Is More Part III On Your Own Introduction to Part III 14. A Declaration of Independence –Your Own Creative Process 15. Techniques –Reading and Researching the Role 16. More Techniques – On Your Feet and In Your Sleep 17. The Understudy - The Readiness is All 18. How Professionals Break through - Actor’s Block 19. Rehearsing Life - Fake it ‘til You Make It Conclusion Good Night, Sweet Prince