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Publisher's Summary

William Esper, one of the leading acting teachers of our time, explains and extends Sanford Meisner's legendary technique, offering a clear, concrete, step-by-step approach to becoming a truly creative actor.

Esper worked closely with Meisner for 17 years and has spent decades developing his famous program for actor's training. The result is a rigorous system of exercises that builds a solid foundation of acting skills from the ground up, and that is flexible enough to be applied to any challenge an actor faces, from soap operas to Shakespeare. Co-writer Damon DiMarco, a former student of Esper's, spent over a year observing his mentor teaching first-year acting students. In this book, he recreates that experience for us, allowing us to see how the progression of exercises works in practice. The Actor's Art and Craft vividly demonstrates that good training does not constrain actors' instincts - it frees them to create characters with truthful and compelling inner lives.

©2008 William Esper and Damon Dimarco (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Utterly inspirational.... The best book on the craft of acting that I have ever read." (Mary Steenburgen)

"As far as I'm concerned, there is only way to learn the craft of acting, and that is through the Meisner technique. And there is only one person to learn that technique from, and that is William Esper." (Patricia Heaton)

"The essence of this book is like William Esper himself: kind/clear, caring/generous, passionate/graceful, brilliant/profound. Inspiring. Invaluable." (Jeff Goldblum) 

What listeners say about The Actor's Art and Craft

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The best actor is your true self

I love this book I wish I could meet the author and learn even more and participate in person.

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Ugh.

I am struggling to choke this down.
The narrator’s portrayal of the “students” was simply offensive and awful. It was as if it was his own acting exercise which completely deterred from the actual message.
The writing was over done, over worked and frankly needed edited from unnecessary, meandering details.
I would consider revisiting if it was re-recorded and edited.

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5 Stars

You have opened my eyes & even more important...my mind & imagination. God Bless You.

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Step by Step guide to technique in the reasons why

The Meisner book to read over and over again. It takes the teachers work further

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Superb!

This wonderful audio rendering at once amplified and brings to life the text of Bill Espers important book - and is also wholly entertaining. Superb! An important companion to the written work.

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Required reading for the actor!

The finest book on the Meisner technique available. A must read for anyone who is serious about the craft of acting.

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Excellently Done! I really boot the feeling of being in the room.

The voices were perfect. Just enough character to keep it clear. The notes and office conversations with the writer and Esper are extremely helpful and clear.

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  • Brian Brennan
  • 02-14-20

Essential listening for Actors

I loved the delivery of the key messages a
nd examples of how the lessons were applied. It felt like I was a student in the class - I study acting part time and this complimented me massively in my own performances and understanding characters development and scene objectives. I recommend any want to be actors or novices to check this out book

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  • DanRan
  • 07-26-21

this is the best book out there for this ......

this us the best book out there fir this kind of thing. Especially when there aren't any physical classes and everything is online. this book puts you there. the voice that does Bill is perfect. soft but affirming. the knowledge I gained from this just cements my reason for applying this trade as a 'career' choice!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-21

Wonderful book

I will be listening to this for many more years to come - so valuable and insightful for any aspiring actor

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  • sochel rogers
  • 10-24-20

Great narrative on progressing through Meisner

training, enjoyed the way the year was mapped out through classes. A good overview of the work

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  • M
  • 09-03-20

what should be

if the last chapter were 1st I think it would make a more powerful presentation.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-20

Such great mastery.

This is one of the best books on the market for me as an actor.

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  • James G
  • 05-20-20

A perfect reflection

I have read and listened to many boos on acting. I found this to be honest and direct and gave a great insight into the the art and craft and acting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-10-20

BRILLIANT!

A must listen for every aspiring actor, no matter who and where you're from. absolutely BRILLIANT!

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  • Gina
  • 05-08-20

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant in many different ways. Really useful quide to the Meisner method. I think its an amazing book not only for young actors but also for experienced actors as well. Also I really enjoyed the narration too! Highly recommended.

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  • laurayne
  • 05-03-20

Extremely easy to understand

listened to it while walking . It was really interesting and helpful I got fit while listening .

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-21-21

Listen, then respond

Beautiful book, I’ve given up Spotify and just listen to this book, over and over again. Beautiful and amazingly useful. Is there any way to get the 2nd version on Audible?