The Actor's Art and Craft: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique
William Esper & Damon DiMarco
Anchor, 2008 (2008)
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Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto
s any actor knows, there are a variety of techniques to the art of acting. In
The Actor's Art and Craft
, Damon DiMarco chronicles a representational class of William (Bill) Esper's at Rutgers University. Esper was a student of Sandford Meisner. He teaches Meisner's technique more true to the original than others do, but still - as Meisner would have wanted - in his own way.
sper and DiMarco chose to format their book the same way as the seminal book on acting, Stanislovsky's
An Actor Prepares
– following an imagined class of actors as they learn from Esper how to apply the Meisner Technique. Since acting is such a visual media, this is the best way to present technique information. The reader can envision the exchanges between student and teacher and see in his or her mind what is happening, rather than just reading paragraph after paragraph of explanations. Using the imaginary class technique, the examples jump off the page and the reader feels as if they are right alongside DiMarco, observing Esper's class.
he Actor's Art and Craft
offers a good, in-depth look at how to use the Meisner Technique. Actors will find this quick-paced and easy-to-read book a necessary tool for honing their craft. It is the next best thing to being able to study with Esper, or even with the late Sandford Meisner himself.
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