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Acting Class: Take a Seat    by Milton Katselas order for
Acting Class
by Milton Katselas
Order:  USA  Can
Phoenix Publishing, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Milton Katselas, aside from directing plays and films, runs the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school. Acting Class: Take a Seat contains his acting teaching philosophy and examples from his classes over the last forty years.

The majority of Acting Class focuses on Katselas's approach to teaching acting, but it also touches on the two other aspects of his acting teaching philosophy: attitude and administration. His acting approach is not all that different from other classes out there, especially since he draws on the work of so many different acting teachers. But the fact that he discusses with actors what it means to have the right attitude, and also how actors can help themselves make it in the business (what he calls administration), makes his style unique.

Katselas presents some very good ideas on how to act and how to advance an acting career, but the way he demonstrates them can be a little confusing. For a lot of his ideas, he uses examples from actual classes. This format ties in well with the easy readability of Acting Class. However, it does not always convey his point in a clear and concise manner. Also, it often makes him come across in a less than favorable light. Since in almost all of these examples the actor is left crying - usually due to some psychological breakthrough - it makes me wonder if he does not see himself as a kind of therapist and if he does not believe that an actor needs to cry in order to be successful.

While some of the ideas Milton Katselas offers in Acting Class are rather convoluted, an actor or acting teacher reading the book will take away from it good suggestions to further develop his or her talent. I do not find this to be the best tome on acting. But, as with any acting manual, a driven actor will find some tips that will work, helping him or her to achieve success.

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