I’ve been reviewing Michael Wiese Production books covering all aspects of film-making except for one area that appears on the screen until now and that being the actors. Here we have actor and acting teacher Michael Laskin turning his course into the written word. His objective isn’t to explain how to do a particular sort of acting but to understand what a person has to bring to a role.
From my perspective, this is more to do with motivation so is there anything here for the prose writer? Surprisingly, yes. Laskin even points out the chapters of importance for various career people other than actors at the beginning of the book. I suspect those of you who are involved in amateur UTube productions will find some use for the book here. Interestingly, what he has to say about auditions has a similar perspective to writers who have problems writing a presentation synopsis and could be seen as the means to pep you up and sort out that particular problem.
Laskin goes through the entire process from casting to rehearsal to performance and how much ‘self’ gets into the works. That is, what can the person give to the part that will make him or her the best for that time. Talent is seen as the common denominator that anyone up for casting has already and its the extras that are important. I imagine having an active resume of interests and experience would look good on any CV.
What is especially scary is Laskin relating says is how little film history current people have today. In America, as I understand it, there is little black and white films shown on TV so there is an entire gap in their own culture these days so perhaps it’s not all their fault. Even so, for you people across the pond, kick your local TV companies and remind them of what they are missing. He does point out a variety of techniques that are more like how British actors do their craft and coming to a role.
Laskin’s gift, as shown in this book, is in motivating actors and as he points out, if you don’t succeed in one audition, then there will always be another one and treat each one as a learning experience.
I did learn a lot from this book in understanding the career motivation for acting and I suspect those of who in or learning aspects of the profession will profit from this book. More for what it teaches about motivation than acting specifically. Laskin will show you how to keep yourself going for that one break that can ultimately give you more work and that’s good for any profession.
(pub: Michael Wiese Productions. 167 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $19.95 (US), £15.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-61593-222-1)
check out website: www.mwp.com