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Hardcover Respect for Acting Book

ISBN: 0470228482

ISBN13: 9780470228487

Respect for Acting

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Respect for Acting "This fascinating and detailed book about acting is Miss Hagen's credo, the accumulated wisdom of her years spent in intimate communion with her art. It is at once the voicing of her exacting standards for herself and those she [taught], and an explanation of the means to the end." --Publishers Weekly "Hagen adds to the large corpus of titles on acting with vivid dicta drawn from experience, skill, and a sense of personal and professional...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


First of all, I would like to let you know in advance that I'm not really a book person. I'll clarify and respond the best of my abilities. When I first read Respect for Acting, I was amazed at the authority with which Ms. Hagen wrote her book. The more I read, though, the more I began to understand this authority. Incorporating basic acting concepts, individual "object exercises," and methods for working on a character in a play. I particularly enjoyed the specificity of the writing, and the means by which Ms. Hagen explained every statement she made. I think this novel is a brilliant piece of work. Uta Hagen has an excellent writing method, and "Respect for Acting" is understandable and effortless to read. She has many amazing ideas. In her introduction to "Respect for Acting", actress and teacher Uta Hagen talks about a time when she herself had no respect for the art of acting. I learned that great actors do not perform naturally, or merely through learning the appropriate tricks and cheats to influence an audience. Great acting is about the difficult mixture of intellect and action about sincerely and truthfully connecting to the moment, you're fellow actors, and the audience and Hagen's thoughtful and reflective book contains a sequence of observations and exercises to help an actor do just that. Her writing style is very clear and filled with examples from her own lengthy profession both as a performer and in the classroom. While her exercises in sense memory and basic objects skirt close to the sort of self-absorption that followers of "the Method" are routinely accused of, they are presented clearly and with a focus on practical results. And in such places as her chapter "Practical Problems," which includes deliberations of stage nervous tension and how to stay fresh in a long run, her straightforward advice is invaluable.

One of the Actor's Bibles

An amazing overview as well as in depth book on acting. Her exercises, expiriences and teachings are incredibly usefull for an actor of any age and any level. An absolute classic. I am currently enrolled at Julliard as a drama major and this book is my Acting Bible.


I have had the great pleasure and privilege of seeing Uta Hagen perform in plays by Edward Albee, Donald Margulies and George Bernard Shaw. She is surely one of the finest actors of our time. I have also had the great pleasure and privilege of studying for four years with Uta in the school she helped create with her late husband, Herbert Berghof (the famous HB Studio in New York City). I can assure you that she is one of the finest teachers of our time. It is a very rare actor who can actually communicate as a fine teacher. Uta is one of those very few who do just that.In this, her first book, she lays out a "blueprint" for actors which, as surely as a blueprint by an architect, can be followed by those actors who are novices or those who have great experience. No, she cannot give you talent, but she can (and does) show you the how and why to use your talent to serve the playwright.She believes in acting as an Art and this "how-to book" is invested with the love and respect of its title. It can be read and enjoyed and actually used by actors. It can also be read and enjoyed and relished by lovers of fine theatre who do not happen to be actors. It would make a terrific gift for any young actor along with the only books I would rate as its equal: Constantin Stanislavski's "An Actor Prepares" and his "Building A Character." It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mrs. Hagen has summed up all actor's needs in a handbook.

By reading Mrs. Hagen's theories on acting skills and techniques, I felt, as an actress myself, the strenghth, courage and proudness of having encountered such usefull and helpful "tips". Her generosity has inspired many young actors to fully understand the meaning of the word "respect" towards the acting profession. It was a pleasure to read and an honour to be reviewing this essential actor's "must-have" hand book. Thumbs up, and thank the Gods of the Theater for having people like Mrs. Hagen guiding us actors not to sucumb to mediocre acting. Many actors in Brazil have read and applauded Mrs. Hagen's books.

An absolute must for any theatre enthusiast!

Uta Hagen has long been considered one of "our" best. Here she examines what makes a human being "tick" and how an actor can use this to enhance his/her performance. Too many times books on acting tend to be very bland, and uninformative. Or even worse, they tend to take an almost clinical approach to our art, making it impossible to enjoy, and almost equally impossible to learn.Having read many books on technique, I would consider this one of the best. Unlike Stanislavski's trilogy, which to me is like reading a science textbook, it doesn't bore the reader while trying to teach him, but rather inspires the artist to a greater understanding of his art and himself as an artist. In the book, she challenges us to work to achieve a higher form of theatre, one that works collaboratively, not individually. In summation, all I can say is that, for me, she speaks to my soul.
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