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A Passion for Acting

By Allan Miller

Accolades || Book Excerpt

"The Path to creative imagination is lined
with good, sensible stepping stones of craft."

In "A Passion for Acting: Exploring the Creative Process," author Allan Miller takes the aspiring actor down that path, using an innovative set of acting exercises and fascinating anecdotes to help the actor fully develop his or her own craft. Drawing on his early studies at New York's legendary Actors Studio, he explores key acting topics like inspiration, relaxation, sense and emotional memories, character work, auditions and rehearsals.

This book is more than just another theory text. Allan Miller treats the actor like an artist, and by showing the actor how to develop his or her imaginative powers, "A Passion for Acting" points the way to success in the field.

Accolades from the Pros

"A welcome change from some of the fuzzy-headed acting books out there. I'll treasure it, and so should every actor, director, and teacher who reads it."

-Jessica Walter

"Allan's witty, fervent approach rekindles my love of acting - I yearn for a role where I can put this all the the test."

-Rue McLanahan

"What an undertaking! This book reads like a good novel - it's funny, it's sad, it's uplifting. Most of all, it's perfect for all those 'young ones' starting out."

-Judd Hirsch

" 'A Passion for Acting' is a must, not only for working actors, but also drama majors. Wherever I started reading, I was refreshed, educated, and entertained. Bravo!"

--Arthur Storch
Producing Artistic Director
Syracuse Stage

Order A Passion for Acting Online

*Also available at Drama Bookshop, Applause, Samuel French (1-800-8-ACT-NOW), and through other bookstores bookstores*

Excerpt from A Passion for Acting


Despite monumental ignorance of actors' processes of work, tens of thousands of young (and sometimes older) people join the acting ranks every year. For some, it's the glint of fame and glamour that catches their desires. For most aspiring actors -- from my experience -- there is the larger need for validation of self, the acknowledgement that the thoughts and feelings of an individual have the right to be expressed.

And talent be damned. I remember way back in grammar school a singing teacher lining us all up, making us imitate her la-la-la-la-la scale one at a time. Then she separated us on the spot into singers and non-singers. For years I didn't believe I could sing because of that teacher.

Talent is an aptitude for expression in a given medium. Some of us have less aptitude than others. So what? It doesn't mean we don't have any.

Give me people with enough appetite, and within a reasonable amount of time, I can train them to act well. We all have deep, secret feelings. With enough craft and discipline, they can be connected to our work. Even if we don't achieve greatness, even if we sometimes fail, if we stay connected to our deepest feelings and attitudes towards life, we will find gratification and a sense of accomplishment.

This applies to all walks of life, to all cultures. No matter where we work, or how, the need to feel expressive is universal.

I have taught semiliterate teenagers in Harlem, Irish actors in Dublin, a class of lawyers-to-be at New York University, a gathering of corporate heads in Canada, university students on the east and west coasts, graduate students at the Yale School of Drama, aspiring actors from all over the country, and actors already cast in plays, films, and television. I've even taught a casting agent. The one requisite measure of any of their talents was appetite, the degree to which they hungered to express themselves. All else followed.

The path to creative imagination -- and even inspiration -- is lined with good, sensible, structured stepping stones of craft. We can all walk that path with training. Every human being has infinitely more capacity to live imaginatively than our usual habits permit. It is craft that allows our imaginations to flourish.

That's what this book is about.

--Allan Miller
A Passion for Acting

Order A Passion for Acting Online

*Also available at Drama Bookshop, Applause, Samuel French (1-800-8-ACT-NOW), and through other bookstores bookstores*

Allan Miller
Fax: (818) 907-8711

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