Books Every Aspiring Actor Should Read

  • August 24, 2021

Being an actor is hard, and learning to be an actor is even harder. There are actors who are born great, there are actors who achieve greatness, and there are actors who are thrust into greatness. Regardless of which of these three categories you fall into, reading books about acting can nourish your skills. Books on acting can provide actors with a variety of skills, including acting technique, auditioning, and self-marketing. 

If you’re tired of the same old recommendations, we rounded up a few books that will give you a new perspective on set or in front of the stage 

Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part by Michael Shurtleff

Michael Shurtleff is the casting director for famous shows like Chicago and Becket and for films like The Graduate and Jesus Christ Superstar. Michael breaks it down for the aspirants and makes their route much clearer. Michael Shurtleff is the sole reason for many successful careers in Hollywood. In this book, he talks about all the things aspiring actors might need to know from the beginning to try out for that chance in a million roles. Michael Shurtleff provides his lessons condensed in 12 guidelines. Some of the advice in this book is particularly useful for actors auditioning for scripted plays. This is one of the tops recommended books in every film school. 

Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen 

Good basic instructions on acting technique from one of Broadway’s leading actresses. Ms. Hagen is noted for her “Nine Questions” exercise in defining one’s character. Reading about the exercise from the source and seeing how Ms. Hagen developed and refined this exercise in her own career is invaluable. 

The power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck

It’s a best seller for the right reason. Ivana explains to us a 12 step acting technique and those 12 techniques will make you keep going back to the book over again. Many aspirants swear by this book. So if you’re not in acting classes at least get this book. This book is structured in a great way and makes very clear and understandable points. If you want to learn script selection and a very real way of acting most actors would recommend this book.

The four agreements by Miguel Ruiz 

This book isn’t just for actors, it’s for everyone. This book can make your life better. Though it can be read by everyone, many actors and coaches recommend this to make the acting journey much easier. This is a book that challenges one to live up to four simple truths and offers transformational results if one could live a life completely engaged in the four agreements. 

Pick them up, pass them along, and get to know a perspective you are not familiar with. This is what the craft of acting actually is all about! Be the best at what you do, empower yourself, and have fun along the way.

Feel free to let us know if you liked the books.


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