The Philosophical Actor
A Practical Meditation for Practicing Theatre Artists
Distributed for Intellect Ltd
There have been many books published on acting, actor training, and practical theories for preparing for a role, but none of these books have ever looked philosophically at the language and the concepts that we use when we talk about acting. The Philosophical Actor is the first attempt to grapple with the fundamental questions of truth, art, and human nature unexamined in past treatments, from the first great essay by Diderot to the exhaustive system described by Stanislavski. With wide appeal to actors, directors, acting students, acting teachers and trainers, Donna Soto-Morettini draws from twenty-five years of experience as an acting teacher and director to introduce innovative ways of thinking about acting.
The discontents of the acting studio
Chapter 1: Am I ACTING?
True for who(m)?
Beyond boring relativism
What is acting?
The ‘working’ actor
Art and craft
The abstract thing beyond technique
The beautiful actor
Chapter 2: What Was I Thinking?
The actor and the ‘swing thought’
Who am I anyway?
Monkeys, mirrors, peanuts…
Getting the trope/thought right
Chapter 3: How Am I Feeling
The neutral walk
Emotion and imagination
Like the town of Brigadoon. . .
Duse was a woman
From ‘embodied thinking’ to ‘display’
From primary to social
Chapter 4: What Were YOU Thinking?
Getting out of our heads…
The psychological toy box
So many psychologies
Where do we start?
Psychology and survival
Chapter 5: Where Am I?
Actors are not green
So you want to be a selective quasi-amnesiac?
The Orient(al) Express(iveness)