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About the author


Michael Beckett began his study of acting at the age of 17. He trained with several fine acting teachers, each with a diversity of styles. He finally came upon two who opened doors of perception that otherwise might have remained closed. One was Academy Award nominee William Hickey; the other was the eminent and renowned Herbert Berghof. It was Mr. Berghof who invited Michael to start teaching classes at New York's HB Studio, which he had founded in 1945 with his partner Uta Hagen. So, in 1966, while acting in and directing various projects, Michael also started teaching. In addition to his classes at HB Studio, he accepted invitations from the prestigious Singers Forum to direct actor/singers in the craft of acting, and to direct students in "The Actor's Craft" and "Directing the Actor" as a guest professor in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Kanbar Institute of Film & TV. As years went by, more and more students found his teaching approach to be unique with its emphasis on the psychological. They kept pushing him to write a book. Not being a writer, he did finally agree to have his Advanced Acting class audio recorded, from which Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion was compiled. Michael's teaching approach is to focus not just on technique but on moving into the deeper and more mysterious realm that lies at the core of art itself.

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Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion
Zen Lessons for Actors in Life and Onstage
by Michael Beckett View author's profile page

Overview


Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion invites readers to take a front-row seat in an advanced, experimental workshop taking place each Sunday morning in New York City's legendary HB Studio. In Michael Beckett's class, working on scenes or developing new material is meditation-in-action, a doorway to an experience of Zen. Going far beyond "technique" as such, Michael invites his students to explore the deeper realms of the human psyche and consciousness. In these pages, the alert and receptive reader will find keys — keys to unlock the creativity and confidence that comes to those with the courage and adventurous spirit to embark on a whole new way of experiencing reality, both in life and on the stage.
Read more

Description


What distinguishes a truly great actor from a merely good one? As any actor who is sincerely committed to the craft will confirm, technique is essential, but it is not enough. The tools developed by the great acting teachers of the past and present must be learned and absorbed, yes. But they must also be transcended if the actor wants to be able to bring a character to life, to portray and inhabit the full humanity of that character in all its depth and breadth. To bring an audience to tears, to inspire them, to bring light to the darker recesses of the human spirit — effortlessly, without manipulation and with no desire for results—each actor must find his or her own unique and individual path to the ineffable mix of in-the-moment awareness and totality that is described in these pages as "walking the tightrope of an illusion." Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion gives readers a front-row seat in an advanced, experimental workshop that takes place each Sunday morning in New York City's legendary HB Studio. The classroom setting, with its lively exchanges between mentor and students, many of whom are working professionals, brings the material to life in a way that delves into the deeper mysteries of acting. The book is complementary to the Uta Hagen classics, Respect for Acting and A Challenge for the Actor, in the sense that while both authors have their roots in the unique environment and philosophy of HB Studio. Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion goes beyond the technique per se, in order to explore the deeper realms of the human psyche and consciousness. It is not just a book about acting; it is a book about life.
Read more

Overview


Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion invites readers to take a front-row seat in an advanced, experimental workshop taking place each Sunday morning in New York City's legendary HB Studio. In Michael Beckett's class, working on scenes or developing new material is meditation-in-action, a doorway to an experience of Zen. Going far beyond "technique" as such, Michael invites his students to explore the deeper realms of the human psyche and consciousness. In these pages, the alert and receptive reader will find keys — keys to unlock the creativity and confidence that comes to those with the courage and adventurous spirit to embark on a whole new way of experiencing reality, both in life and on the stage.

Read more

Description


What distinguishes a truly great actor from a merely good one? As any actor who is sincerely committed to the craft will confirm, technique is essential, but it is not enough. The tools developed by the great acting teachers of the past and present must be learned and absorbed, yes. But they must also be transcended if the actor wants to be able to bring a character to life, to portray and inhabit the full humanity of that character in all its depth and breadth. To bring an audience to tears, to inspire them, to bring light to the darker recesses of the human spirit — effortlessly, without manipulation and with no desire for results—each actor must find his or her own unique and individual path to the ineffable mix of in-the-moment awareness and totality that is described in these pages as "walking the tightrope of an illusion." Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion gives readers a front-row seat in an advanced, experimental workshop that takes place each Sunday morning in New York City's legendary HB Studio. The classroom setting, with its lively exchanges between mentor and students, many of whom are working professionals, brings the material to life in a way that delves into the deeper mysteries of acting. The book is complementary to the Uta Hagen classics, Respect for Acting and A Challenge for the Actor, in the sense that while both authors have their roots in the unique environment and philosophy of HB Studio. Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion goes beyond the technique per se, in order to explore the deeper realms of the human psyche and consciousness. It is not just a book about acting; it is a book about life.

Read more

Book details

Genre:PERFORMING ARTS

Subgenre:Acting & Auditioning

Language:English

Pages:200

Format:Paperback

Paperback ISBN:9781667812922


Overview


Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion invites readers to take a front-row seat in an advanced, experimental workshop taking place each Sunday morning in New York City's legendary HB Studio. In Michael Beckett's class, working on scenes or developing new material is meditation-in-action, a doorway to an experience of Zen. Going far beyond "technique" as such, Michael invites his students to explore the deeper realms of the human psyche and consciousness. In these pages, the alert and receptive reader will find keys — keys to unlock the creativity and confidence that comes to those with the courage and adventurous spirit to embark on a whole new way of experiencing reality, both in life and on the stage.

Read more

Description


What distinguishes a truly great actor from a merely good one? As any actor who is sincerely committed to the craft will confirm, technique is essential, but it is not enough. The tools developed by the great acting teachers of the past and present must be learned and absorbed, yes. But they must also be transcended if the actor wants to be able to bring a character to life, to portray and inhabit the full humanity of that character in all its depth and breadth. To bring an audience to tears, to inspire them, to bring light to the darker recesses of the human spirit — effortlessly, without manipulation and with no desire for results—each actor must find his or her own unique and individual path to the ineffable mix of in-the-moment awareness and totality that is described in these pages as "walking the tightrope of an illusion." Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion gives readers a front-row seat in an advanced, experimental workshop that takes place each Sunday morning in New York City's legendary HB Studio. The classroom setting, with its lively exchanges between mentor and students, many of whom are working professionals, brings the material to life in a way that delves into the deeper mysteries of acting. The book is complementary to the Uta Hagen classics, Respect for Acting and A Challenge for the Actor, in the sense that while both authors have their roots in the unique environment and philosophy of HB Studio. Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion goes beyond the technique per se, in order to explore the deeper realms of the human psyche and consciousness. It is not just a book about acting; it is a book about life.

Read more

About the author


Michael Beckett began his study of acting at the age of 17. He trained with several fine acting teachers, each with a diversity of styles. He finally came upon two who opened doors of perception that otherwise might have remained closed. One was Academy Award nominee William Hickey; the other was the eminent and renowned Herbert Berghof. It was Mr. Berghof who invited Michael to start teaching classes at New York's HB Studio, which he had founded in 1945 with his partner Uta Hagen. So, in 1966, while acting in and directing various projects, Michael also started teaching. In addition to his classes at HB Studio, he accepted invitations from the prestigious Singers Forum to direct actor/singers in the craft of acting, and to direct students in "The Actor's Craft" and "Directing the Actor" as a guest professor in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Kanbar Institute of Film & TV. As years went by, more and more students found his teaching approach to be unique with its emphasis on the psychological. They kept pushing him to write a book. Not being a writer, he did finally agree to have his Advanced Acting class audio recorded, from which Acting: Walking the Tightrope of an Illusion was compiled. Michael's teaching approach is to focus not just on technique but on moving into the deeper and more mysterious realm that lies at the core of art itself.

Read more

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