Acting for the Stage is a highly accessible guide to the business of theater acting, written for those interested in pursuing acting as a profession. This book is a collection of essays by and interviews with talented artists and businesspeople who have built successful careers in the theater; it’s a goldmine of career advice that might take years to find on your own. Herein, the myths around professional acting are dispelled, and the mysteries revealed. Acting for the Stage illuminates practical strategies to help you build a life as a theater professional and find financial rewards and creative fulfillment in the process.
- Contains essays by and interviews with working stage actors, acting coaches, directors, writers, and agents.
- Features discussions on selecting a graduate school program, choosing acting classes and workshops, making the most out of your showcase, landing an agent, networking and promoting yourself, and the business of casting.
- Covers issues of money management, balancing the highs and lows of the profession, finding work to nourish your acting career, and building your creative team and support network.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED
MOVING TOWARD YOUR DREAM
Big Buttery Acting and Developing Business Relationships
An Interview With Richard Robichaux
HOW TO BREAK IN
An Agent’s Perspective
An Interview With Kay Hilton
TRAINING AND RESPECTING THE WORK
A Director’s Perspective
An Interview With David Hammond
AUDITIONING FOR SHAKESPEARE
By Joe Falocco
IS A RESIDENT THEATER COMPANY FOR YOU?
An Interview With Richard Rose
By Amanda Nelson
CHAPTER 2: STICKING IT OUT
TRAINING YOUR VOICE FOR THE JOB
An Interview With Bob Corff
ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE AND HABITS
For the Working Actor
An Interview With Jordan Lund
THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL HOUSE!
A Semi-Imaginary Interview With Berliner Ensemble Actor Laura Tratnik
By John Crutchfield
WHEN IT FEELS IMPOSSIBLE
An Interview With Regan Linton
By Jason Dorwart
A DIALOGUE ABOUT THE ART OF WORKING AS AN ACTOR
By Kate Kramer and Elizabeth Stevens
CHAPTER 3: FINDING SUCCESS
THE TRIPLE CROWN OF ACTING
The Road to Winning an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony
An Interview With Ellen Burstyn
CAREER STRATEGIES FOR PERFORMING ARTISTS
By Amy Guerin
YOU’RE SUCCESSFUL! NOW WHAT?
An Agent’s Perspective
By Richard Lucas
EXPANDING YOUR VIEW OF SUCCESS
Notes from the Acting Coach
An Interview With Scott Fielding
NOT STANDING ON CEREMONY
How To Be an Amateur in the Theater
By Phillip L. Beard
CHAPTER 4: GETTING AHEAD
CREATING A CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE FOR THE STAGE
An Interview With Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson
By Emeline Jouve
WORKING IN CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT
An Interview With Lisa Kovach
SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS THEATER
Acting as a Vessel for Change
By Christina Rodriguez de Conte
THE ACTOR WHO WRITES
Another Tool for Your Toolbox
By Robert Hedley
A LIFE IN THE THEATER
By Harriet Power
CHAPTER 5: STARTING AGAIN
UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE
By Kirsty Sedgman
BEGINNING ACTING LATER IN LIFE
An Interview With Mary Ann Thebus
By Anna Hozian
MANAGING REJECTION, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND SETBACKS
By Carl Menninger and Lori Hammel
1,000+ STAGE PERFORMANCES
An Interview With 100-Year-Old Chemancheri Kunjiraman Nair
By Akhila Vimal C
SUCCESS AND THE RESET BUTTON
A Moving Target
By Deric McNish
TEACHING ACTING IN PRISONS
Lessons From the Actors’ Gang Prison Project
An Interview With Sabra Williams
Anna Weinstein is the Series Editor for PERFORM. A writer and editor with over fifteen years of experience in educational publishing, she received her MFA in Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California at Riverside--Palm Desert and her BA in Communication Studies/Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She teaches introductory and advanced screenwriting at Auburn University, and she is a frequent contributor to Film International, where she publishes interviews with award-winning female directors in her series "Diva Directors Around the Globe."
Chris Qualls is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Auburn University, where he teaches voiceover acting, acting for stage and screen, and introduction to theater. He received his MFA in Acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and his BA in Communication Studies/Film from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked as a voiceover actor for thirty years. His research and creative work focus on the integration of classical and nontraditional approaches to Shakespeare in performance, theater and media for social justice, and voice acting. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
"Every young actor anticipating a fulfilling life in the theater can benefit mightily from this book. There's lots of wisdom and helpful, practical advice here. It's up-to-date and comprehensive. The variety of perspectives helps to clarify the daunting, maybe overwhelming, prospect of entering this oh-so-demanding yet oh-so-rewarding field. A welcome addition to the PERFORM series. Thank you, Anna and Chris!"
--Eric Forsythe, Head of Directing, University of Iowa Theatre, IA, USA
"The most comprehensive and impressive collection of useful real-world advice about thoughtfully pursuing a career in the theater I have read in a very long time. If you are looking for one book that will improve your prospects and positively change your theatrical future, this is it."
--Guy Roberts, CEO & Artistic Director, Prague Shakespeare Company, Czech Republic
"Required reading for any business class on acting. An invaluable book for anyone looking to peer into the real world of the working actor. Easy to read, with a wide array of working artists talking about how to live and breathe acting. This book could radically change your career. I wish someone had handed this to me 20 years ago!"
--Richard Robichaux, Head of Acting, Penn State University, PA, USA