Acting for the Screen: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Acting for the Screen

1st Edition

By Mary Lou Belli


240 pages | 34 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-07-29
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Acting for the Screen is a collection of essays written by and interviews with working actors, producers, directors, casting directors, and acting professors, exploring the business side of screen acting.

In this book, over thirty show business professionals dispel myths about the industry and provide practical advice on topics such as how to break into the field, how to develop, nurture, and navigate business relationships, and how to do creative work under pressure. Readers will also learn about the entrepreneurial expectations in relation to the internet and social media, strategies for contending with the emotional highs and lows of acting, and money management while pursuing acting as a profession.

Written for undergraduates and graduates studying Acting for Screen, aspiring professional actors, and working actors looking to reinvent themselves, Acting for the Screen provides readers with a wealth of first-hand information that will help them create their own opportunities and pursue a career in show business.

Table of Contents

1. Getting Started

Moving Towards a Career: Some Basics

A Q&A with Grant Kretchik

Is This Path Right for You?

What Is My Actor Readiness? A Self-evaluation by Peter Cocuzza

Training. Determination. Organization. A NY Acting Teacher’s Perspective

Getting Started by John Howard Swain

Before College, If College: Where Do I Start?

It Starts with a Dream… by Judith Patterson

A Talent Manager’s Guide to Distinguishing Your Work

Initiating a Sustained Connection to Your Character by Marilyn Atlas

2. Sticking It Out

Growing a Successful Business Called YOU

Be the CEO of Actor, Inc. by Gilli Messer

A Series Regular Shares Her Journey

Welcome to the Numbers Game by Shalita Grant

A Veteran Shares What Got Her and Keeps Her Still Doing It

A Q&A with Anne DeSalvo

Keeping Centered: Even When Things Aren’t Going Your Way

Against the Odds by Robert McCracken

Making the Most When Someone Gives You a Chance

A Q&A with Daryl "Chill" Mitchell

A Casting Director, Industry Coach & Show Biz Author Knows What It Takes to Stick it Out

When to Hire a Coach by Bonnie Gillespie

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media

A Q&A with Ben Whitehair

3. Finding Success

A Director’s Perspective

A Q&A with Andy Wolk

About an Actor Who Works on Both Coasts…and Lives on Neither

A Q&A with Josh Cooke

Maintaining and Growing Your Career

Finding Success by Jason George

He Acts, He Writes, He Directs: Four Decades of Wisdom

A Q&A with Ruben Santiago-Hudson

A Better Way She Accomplishes Her Lifelong Dream

Redefining Success by Tania Gunadi

He Does it All…Including Audiobook Narration

A Q&A with Ron Butler

4. Getting Ahead

All About Commercials

A Conversation with Aaron Takahashi and Isabella Way

Taking Charge and Creating Your Own Work

Self-Producing by Phil Kaufmann

Reality! From Her Little Harry Potter Studio Below Her Basement Stairs

Get a Life! by Marsha Mercant

Deaf Actors Need to Be Heard

A Conversation with Suanne Spoke and Shoshannah Stern

Actor. Entertainer. Crossdresser. Author. Social Media Sensation

A Q&A with Willam Belli

Sketch Comedy to Series Regular

My Biggest Leap by Kirstin Eggers

5. Starting Again

San Fransisco: A Smaller Kinder Market

Bay Area Bound by Catherine MacNeal

Teaching Film School…Everything He Knows from Acting, Editing, and Cinematography

Branching Out…(not standing still) by Charles Dougherty

From Acting to Writing and Beyond

A Q&A with Liz Vassey

Acting Can Lead to Advocacy

A Q&A with Nanci Christopher

Falling in Love with Directing

Backstory by Toni Kalem

She Wants to Direct Commercials

A Q&A with Katie Enright

The View from a Chief Creative Officer’s Chair

A Q&A with Alet Taylor

About the Author/Editor

A two-time Emmy award-winner, Mary Lou Belli has been directing television for over 20 years, with credits including NCIS New Orleans, Bull, Station 19, Monk, Legacies, and Dynasty. She is the Co-chair of the Women’s Steering Committee at the DGA, where she also serves on the Western Director’s Council and the Leadership Council PAC. Mary Lou is an Honorary Board member of the Alliance of Women Directors, Women in Media, and a long-time member of Women in Film.

About the Series


PERFORM is a highly accessible series for undergraduate and graduate students that professors across disciplines in the arts can use to accompany their primary textbooks. The books are encouraging in tone and detail what it takes to perform creatively and financially in the specific fields. The series serves as a career development tool to help students understand the various vocational possibilities in the discipline they’re studying, whether it be theater, film, music, visual arts, or design.

How we make a living as artists can be a bit of a mystery, particularly to students who are just beginning to learn the craft of their field. This series offers practical, real-world discussions about how people go about the business of getting paid to be artists. Each book includes essays by and interviews with working artists (writers, directors, actors, stage managers, cinematographers, editors) as well as the people these artists interact with in the field (show runners, development executives, producers, agents, casting directors). The books also include essays by prominent professors, profiling specific artists and their journeys to success, as well as some of the lesser-known difficulties artists face in their fields and the perseverance and successes of marginalized groups.

The range of perspectives in each book offers a broad but detailed view of the industry and varying career tracks within it, ultimately bolstering readers’ confidence that they have a solid understanding of what it takes achieve creative and financial success with their art—in other words, what it takes to make a living as an artist.


If you have a proposal suitable for this series we’d love to hear from you. Follow this link to find out how to publish with Routledge:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Acting & Auditioning
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Guides & Reviews
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Reference
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / Direction & Production
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / Guides & Reviews
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General