The Actor's Art and Craft

William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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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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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

1 person found this helpful

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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 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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  • Ms Jenny Campbell
  • 10-13-19

Amazing Insight

Absolutely captivating. Lovingly captured by Michael revealing the inner beauty and wisdom of Bill. Thanks