Great advice from a show-business veteran.

A LEAP FROM THE METHOD:

AN ORGANIC APPROACH TO ACTING

Respected character actor and stage coach reinterprets Stanislavsky’s Method for a modern audience.

Rich, a Los Angeles personality with a long career in show business, re-envisions the actor’s craft, offering practical advice to those that aspire to the stage and screen. With short, vivid chapters, Rich succinctly dispels with the notion that performers must have a natural talent to succeed–plenty of hard work, a willingness to defer to the playwright and the courage to dig deep into a role to discover the central truth of a character will do in its absence. Rich pokes holes into Konstantin Stanislavsky’s psychological approach to acting that asks a performer to search for personal memories to add emotional resonance to a performance. He suggests instead that the actor must not reproduce, but reinterpret a role when playing it night after night. The basis of Rich’s new, simplified approach is the philosophy that an actor must search the text for insights into the character rather than rely on their own past experiences. To be economical on the stage and not rely on physical movement are also important elements to an effective performance, as is the discovery of the essence of the character’s behavior. Rich offers practical recommendations that run from knowing the entire play in order to understand the playwright’s intentions to never sleeping with your leading man or lady, lest the intensity of the stage romance be diminished. A quick autobiographical narrative kicks off this charming, informative manual. The author recounts his early Broadway appearances and the crisis of confidence that led to several lean years and a midlife career as a businessman and art dealer with an itch to return to the stage. Unfortunately, a last section filled with testimonials on the effectiveness of Rich’s method and gaudy plethora of celebrity photographs distract from the polish and professionalism established by the author’s instructive theories.

Great advice from a show-business veteran.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4208-2223-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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