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Book details
  • SubGenre:Acting & Auditioning
  • Language:English
  • Pages:334
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667877549



by Jonathan Gillard Daly

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Jonathan Gillard Daly was born to be an actor, but he has never been in a Broadway play, or a Hollywood movie or TV series. Instead, he has worked for forty-five years as a stage actor in the American regional theater. In this unflinching, intensely personal memoir, he takes the reader backstage for an intimate account of the challenges, sacrifices, and triumphs of a creative life. His deep-rooted love of imaginary play takes him all the way from his backyard, where he spends hours pretending to be his childhood hero Henry Aaron, to professional theaters from coast to coast, playing classical heroes including Prospero, King Lear, Ebenezer Scrooge and Atticus Finch. But his equally meaningful roles are the ones that he's played offstage: that of husband, and father. He has spent his career proving to himself and to his peers that a vital career as a performing artist can go hand in hand with a richly satisfying home life. ROUGH MAGIC is a compelling account of an actor's search to find his whole self. For anyone contemplating a career in the performing arts, it's a frank and honest look at the prices to be paid, the everyday stresses and strains, and the satisfaction and contentment possible in a lifelong quest for personal and artistic fulfillment.
ROUGH MAGIC: SCENES FROM A LIFE takes the reader on a journey through the life of a creative, introverted young boy who, much to his own surprise, grows up to become a professional stage actor. This book is for anyone who had a dream but not the slightest idea how to fulfill it. It's for anyone who fantasized about being a Major League Baseball star but who barely had enough talent to warm the bench. It will appeal to anyone who spent adolescence wondering whether he or she would ever belong anywhere. Jonathan Gillard Daly sets out on a journey of self-discovery as he draws from the personal journals that he kept for his entire adulthood, in an account of how he discovered his inner talent and passion for acting. He wrestles with some of the more profound questions confronted by anyone contemplating a career in the arts: can one be a success without being famous? Is it possible to have a successful career and a rewarding private life too? Is one's identity as an artist only real and true if there's a paycheck attached? ROUGH MAGIC: SCENES FROM A LIFE abounds with anecdotes of a life in the theatre, the kind of backstage drama, onstage disasters, and sublime moments of true artistry that theatre fans love to read about. But this memoir steps away from the footlights, changes into street clothes and exits the stage door into the world of a satisfying, demanding, uncertain and meaningful life . It's a look at the offstage life of an actor, told with openness and candor.
About the author
Jonathan Gillard Daly has been a professional actor in the American regional theatre since 1978. He has acted in hundreds of productions, and has been employed more often than ninety-nine percent of Actors' Equity Association members. He has taught acting in a professional training program, written five plays, three of which have enjoyed professional productions, and is the proud father of two splendid children. He has been married to actor/teacher/playwright Gale Fury Childs for forty years. He and Gale live in Milwaukee, where he was a resident actor at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre for twenty seasons.