I’ve read a shelf load of books on acting, some good, some nonsense. Lots of them are on techniques/ideas and so are a bit cerebral. They’re often written by drama lecturers and so for me I’m a bit skeptical, how can someone that’s not worked as an actor write about it?
Some of the best insights I’ve gleaned have been via actors biographies (of which I have another shelf crammed full of). So when a new book on acting comes out written by someone currently starring in a leading role in the West End (Abigail’s Party), and who has a successful CV as an actor (and writer and director to boot) I’m interested (and so should you)
In this book Andy lays bare his Golden Rules in a laugh out loud and informative style. Yes a lot of it is common sense but “common sense ain’t that common”. It’s a vibrantly visual book that is aesthetically pleasing as well as containing sound content.
His rules encompass everything from drama schools, agents, auditions and survival tips and a bunch of other areas.
What I most admire is Andy makes it clear this is a career choice that’ll (like any) be hard work. So stop your whining and complaining and get on with it! Next time I hear an actor start to moan I’m going to frog march them to the NT bookshop and make the buy a copy.
Despite the hard work Andy also communicates the joy and fun being an actor is.
So if you’re an actor(pro or amateur), a drama student, thinking of going to drama school or have an interest in theatre, get this book. However it’s one if those books that’ll inspire you even if you’re not the above. Even a theatre critic like me found some advice relevant to my role and life. His chapter on reviews is interesting and he admits to reading reviews – at least he’s honest!
It’s pocket-sized and I can see it being in many actors pockets going forward, for them to dip in and out of as and when they need a bit of advice. Their own careers will be better for it as will the craft of acting.
“I can promise you this: the highs are highs and the lows are low, but who wants a life half-lived?” - Andy Nyman – The Golden Rules of Acting