Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Acting is the work of an actor, a person in theatre, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play. From the Latin word agĕre meaning "to do", this is precisely what acting is. In acting, an actor suppresses or augments aspects of their personality in order to reveal the actions and motivations of the character for particular moments in time. The actor is said to be "assuming the role" of another, usually for the benefit of an audience, but also because it can bring one a sense of artistic satisfaction.
Actors are generally expected to possess a number of skills, including good vocal projection, clarity of speech, physical expressiveness, the ability to analyze and understand dramatic text, and the ability to emulate or generate emotional and physical conditions. Well-rounded actors are often also skilled in singing, dancing, imitating dialects and accents, improvisation, observation and emulation, mime, stage combat, and performing classical texts such as Shakespeare. Many actors train at length in special programs or colleges to develop these skills, which have a wide range of different artistic philosophies and processes.
For history and other detail, see actor.
- Letters to a Young Actor by Robert Brustein (Basic Books, 0465008062, 2005).
- Sanford Meisner on Acting by Sanford Meisner, Dennis Longwell (Random House, 0394750594, 1987).
- An Actor Prepares by Konstantin Stanislavski, Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood (Routledge, 0878309837, 1989).
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