7 Books Every Actor Must Own On Acting Techniques

Book with eyeglasses on top of it

Both beginner and experienced actors are constantly bombarded with new techniques and methods to use in their acting.

There is a lot of information out there, and it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth your time

Here you will find the best books to read to further your acting talent and skill set. 

The 8 Best Well Known Acting Techniques

  • Stanislavski Method
  • Classical Acting Technique
  • Method Acting Technique
  • Meisner Technique
  • Chekhov Technique
  • Practical Aesthetics Acting Technique
  • Uta Hagen Technique
  • Viola Spolin Technique

1. Sanford Meisner on Acting

Book by Sanford Meisner

  • He is one of the best known and beloved teachers of acting in the world.
  • Some say Sanford Meisner is “the theater’s best-kept secret “.
  • Meisner developed his own special lessons based upon his understanding of the great Russian teacher Stanislavsky.
  • It’s written in dry clear language, no emotional estimation, business only -straight to the point.
  • The book focuses on a realistic approach to imagination and creativity.
  • This book should be read by anyone in the acting industry.

A peek inside 

“ There are no teachers of acting technique around. They’re fakers! I say this impersonally. “

2. An Actor Prepares

Book by Konstantin Stanislavski

  • His first book on acting.
  • Some say he is the most influential director in the history of theater.
  • Helps readers discover and reproduce their own conception of reality
  • This book will improve character development and strengthen your acting techniques.

A peek inside

An Actor Prepares explores the inner preparation an actor must undergo in order to explore a role to the full. In this volume, Sir John Gielgud said, this great director “found time to explain a thousand things that have always troubled actors and fascinated students.”

3. Respect for Acting

Book by Uta Hagen

  • Based on her own struggle and acting technique.
  • Explores theater acting.
  • An acting book with much depth and insight.
  • Aids you to present authentic, organic actions.
  • A must read for any aspiring actor, director, producer and those involved in live theatre.

A peek inside

This technique-recalling a localized sensation and finding a physical adjustment to alleviate it-is applicable to any condition you may be called upon to play. The accumulation of a lifetime of sensations should be sufficient with our newly acquired technique to serve us for any condition or combination of conditions demanded by the playwright.

 4.The Art Of Acting

Book by Stella Adler

  • Said to be the most important teacher of acting in American history and one of the 20th Century’s greatest figures.
  • Her book discusses basic matters to quite complex issues of textual analysis and decorum.
  • Vast monologues.
  • Her insights are sharp, and her vision lofty.
  • Discuesses her teaching style and methods.
  • Sets forth the roots of her acting philosophy.
  • It is transformative.
  • A great read and preparation for those interested in American theater.
  • Acting is her way of talking about a cool relaxed excellent approach to living.
  • Stella Adler uses strong words to wake us up from our ignorance and our lack of awareness we may face as actors.
  • Full of valuable information about acting techniques. 

A peek inside

A certain amount of what we do as actors is totally within our control. Technique is first of all a way of controlling what we do on stage. It’s also a way of helping us reach something deeper, something less tangible, something more difficult, which we must learn to wrestle to the ground.

5. On The Technique Of Acting

Book by Michael Chekhov

  • One of the most authoritative, authentic book of a classic and well practiced guide to acting.
  • Important and valuable notes on screen acting.
  • Large number of exercises for actors.
  • Gives insights about adapting Chekhov’s acting techniques to Hollywood or Bollywood film acting.
  • Provides some concrete examples and aids pursue what actually matters in this art.
  • Includes special tips on film techniques.
  • Highly recommended.

A Peek inside

Michael Chekhov was an actor, director, and teacher who was determined to develop a clear and accessible acting approach. During his lifetime, his ideas were often viewed as too radical and mystical. Over the past decade however, the Chekhov method of actor training has enjoyed an expansion of interest. The following thesis will examine who Chekhov was, and what the major points of his technique were. It will also consider why and where his techniques are experiencing growth in our contemporary perfbrmance environment. 

6. The Actor’s Art and Craft

Book by Damon DiMarco and William Esper

  • One of the leading acting teachers of our time.
  • Vividly demonstrates that good training does not constrain actors’ instincts—it frees them instead. 
  • One of the best book on the craft of acting 
  • It is presented as a series of acting classes and explores acting techniques
  • If you want to learn about the different acting techniques, read this.
  • Shows that you as an actor must be dedicated in your pursuits and strive for the perfection of your craft. 
  • There are characters you can easily identify with because you probably know them in real life, which makes it more enjoyable.
  • Helps understand the meaning behind some of the strange exercises we do as actors.

A Peek inside

“ William Esper’s acting training changed my life forever. I learned what acting could really be…. This book is a Wonderful journey into Bill’s process. It gives the novice and even the veteran actor a vocabulary and guidelines on how to solve the acting problems that any text presents.”

7. Strasberg’s Method: A Practical Guide for Actors, Teachers and Directors

Book by Lorrie Hull

  • Easy to read and offers detailed guidance for actors and directors when working on a role.
  • Details the full vocabulary and everything you need to know about “method” acting. 
  • Details audition techniques for actors and directors as well.
  • Review and elaboration of Strasberg’s tenets and exercises
  • Massive amount of detail
  • Gives advice to Directors
  • Presented by someone who truly knows and respects the art of acting.
  • Recommended

Strasberg’s method requires actors to go beyond emotional memory and temporarily become the character they are trying to portray.

Conclusion 

There are many books written about acting and acting techniques but these are the ones we wanted to share with you.

Reading more books can help you be a better actor.

These books are an excellent way to enhance your abilities.

Leave a comment with your opinion or any questions you may have below…