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.