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The Actor at Work By Robert Benedetti

The Actor at Work

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The Actor at Work Summary

The Actor at Work by Robert Benedetti

For more than thirty years, the highly acclaimed The Actor at Work has offered readers a thorough look at the underlying principles of the acting process. Centered on the concept of action, The Actor at Work covers all the major skills of the actor, including voice, speech, movement, analysis and role-playing. Using many ideas from contemporary psychology and various physical and spiritual disciplines, this text helps readers uncover and develop the actors within themselves, as it encourages self-discovery through participatory activities and exercises.

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Table of Contents

All chapters conclude with "Summary."

List of Exercises.

Preface to the Ninth Edition


1. The Actor in You.

The Skills of the Actor.


Acting and Your Personal Growth.


2. The Creative State.

Tension and Excessive Effort.

Restful Alertness.

Experiencing Wholeness.


The Here and Now.

3. Centering and Moving.

Your Relationship to Gravity.

The Pure Center and the Voice.

The Actor's Use of Center.


Your Changing Relationship to Gravity.

Phrasing Movement.

4. Gesture.

Communication through Gesture.

The Genesis of Gesture.

Implied Gestures in the Text.

5. Voice.

The Voice and Emotion.

The Source of the Voice.

The Cycle of Energy.

Tone Production.

The Voice and Inner Dynamic.

The Voice and Attitude.

Using Your Own Voice.

6. Speech.

The Process of Speech.

Nasal Sounds.

Oral Sounds: Vowels and Diphthongs.

Oral Sounds: Consonants.


Speech, Context, and Character.

Further Training of Body and Voice.

7. Working with Others.

The Bodily Center and Relationship.

Commitment, Support, and Communication.

Transaction and Teamwork.


8. The Flow and Shape of Dramatic Action.

Action and Reaction: The Life of the Scene.

The Shape of Drama.

Drama and Conflict.

9. Action for the Actor.

Action According to Stanislavski.

Action in Life.

Internal and External Action.



10. Action and the Acting Process.

Public Solitude.

Dual Consciousness.

Action and Emotion.

Action and Character.

Personalization and the Magic If.

The Acting Process.

11. Needs, Actions and Objectives.

Wants and Needs.

Actions and Objectives.

Defining Productive Objectives.

Connecting Action with Others.


12. Playable Actions.

Defining Playable Actions.

Units of Action.

The Given Circumstances.

13. Beats and Scenes.

Analyzing Beats.

Scene Structure.

The Score of the Role

14. Through-Line and Superobjective.

The Superobjective.


15. The Function and Elements of Character.

Dramatic Function.

Functional and Likeness Traits.

Categories of Character Traits.

Physical Traits.

Social Traits.

Psychological Traits.

Moral Traits.

Economy of Characterization.

A Character Checklist.

16. The Character's Mind.

The Instroke of Reaction.


Automatic Actions.

Direct and Indirect Action.

Not Doing: Suppression.

17. The Character's Language.

Word Choice: Text and Subtext.




18. The Character's Body.

Personality in the Body.

The Character's Center.

The Flow of Bodily Energy.

Physique and Personality.

Body Alignment and Character.

19. The Character's Emotion.

From Action to Emotion: Working from the Outside In.

From Thought to Emotion: Working from the Inside Out.

Emotional Recall and Substitution.

The Role of Emotion in Performance.


20. Finding the Content.

General Auditions.

Specific Auditions.

Preparation and Homework.

Early Read-Throughs.

Getting Up and Off Book.

Exploring the Action.

Establishing the Score.

21. Developing the Form: Scale and Blocking.

Getting Up and Off Book

The Stage.

Directions on Stage.

The Scale of Performance.

The Groundplan and Setting.


Justifying the Blocking.

22. The Rehearsal Process III: Preparing to Open.

Shaping and Pacing the Performance.

Making Final Adjustments.

Technical and Dress Rehearsals.

Growth after Opening.

23. The Actor at Work.

Supporting Each Other.

Free and Open Communication.

You and Your Director.

The Fear of Failure.

The Desire for Success.

Your Sense of Purpose.

Afterword: Transformation.
Appendix A: Sample Scenes.


Zoot Suit.

Appendix B: Useful Plays.
Appendix C: An Action Checklist.
Glossary of Acting Terms.

Additional information

The Actor at Work by Robert Benedetti
Robert Benedetti
Used - Very Good
Pearson Education (US)
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.