Pin It

Book Review: ‘Acting Lions: Unleash Your Craft in Today’s Lightening Fast World of Film, Television & Theatre’

I get a lot of books to review for Daily Actor. Some of them are perfectly fine; some have modest bits of new info that we can use; some of them just regurgitate what others have said in an effort to get our precious money out of our pocket. So, when I read an acting book, I’m usually skeptical.

When I picked up Acting Lions, the new book by acting coach Penny Templeton, I read it with a “Uh-huh, whatcha got for me?” attitude.

A couple hours later (ok, days – I’m a slow reader. I blame the Maryland education system and not my lack of focus), I finished and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. People say that this book or that book has it “all”? Well, this book seriously does have it “all”.

Penny Templeton is a New York based acting coach with 20 years of teaching under her belt and the knowledge and understanding of acting and the business side of acting shows. In the book, she’s taken the lessons and styles of all of the great acting teachers – Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Adler, Meisner and Uta Hagen – and combines them all into her own technique.

She teaches you how to break down a script in a way so easy that you’ll immediately want to grab some sides from Actors Access and try her technique for yourself.  And, this is one of the first books that I can remember or even know of that takes a scene that most of us would be auditioning for – 1 to 2 page scenes – and shows you what to do with it. She even shows you how to break down a scene where you’d have 1 line of dialogue. If you try it out like I did, you’ll be itching for your next audition.

She also has a section about memorizing dialogue, which I have a hard time with in audition situations. For some reason, the dialogue tends not to stick to my brain. So, I tried her suggestions in my last audition and guess what? It worked like a charm.

Other sections include Creating a Character, Structure and how to use a video camera to help you grow your skills and behind the camera confidence – alone or with a partner.

The book then moves to the business side of acting; headshots and reels, finding an agent and getting work and what happens when you finally do get on set. To be honest, most of the stuff – at least for me – were things I already knew but it was presented in a new format that was easily digested. But for the young (or new) actor, this section can prove invaluable.

An artist never stops growing. Ever. If they do, their work becomes their “job” rather than their passion. – Penny Templeton

For more information on Penny Templeton, check out here website here.
To purchase Acting Lions, click here.

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/watch-bryan-cranston-performs-on.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston Performs One-Man Baseball Show in MLB Postseason Commercial
Look, at this point anything Bryan Cranston does is worth talking about, right? He’s proven to be one of the most entertaining actors working right now. Now that he’s conquered the world of television with Breaking Bad — and receiving dozens of awards in the process — and Broadway with All The Way, Cranston can […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/watch-david-mamet-in-the-1976-sh.jpg
Watch: David Mamet in the 1976 Short Documentary ‘The Playwright Directs’
Though David Mamet is best known for his distinctive writing style in his scripts for the stage and screen, he has also directed theater and film. The 1976 short documentary titled The Playwright Directs depicts Mamet directing actors through several scenes at an almost frantic pace, dispensing pearls of wisdom throughout, like his thoughts on […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/watch-marvels-agents-of-s-h-i-e.jpg
Watch: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Bloopers
Forgetting lines? Corpsing? Delivering lines in Spanish? Unruly props? All in a day’s work on the set of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, apparently. Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, and the rest of the cast find plenty of humor while playing super-serious secret agents in the Marvel Universe. While you’re waiting for season 2 of the series […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/audtion-tapes-robin-wright-and-h.jpg
Audition Tapes: Robin Wright and Haley Joel Osment Audition with Tom Hanks for ‘Forrest Gump’
Check out Robin Wright auditioning for the role of Jenny from Forest Gump opposite Tom Hanks. Interestingly enough, Hanks doesn’t quite have Gump’s southern drawl down just yet while the other actors audition with him. In fact, Hanks would base Gump’s voice on the voice of Michael Conner Humphreys, who played the young Forrest and […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/watch-judi-dench-sing-send-in-th.jpg
Watch Judi Dench Sing “Send In The Clowns” From Back in 1995
Dame Judi Dench has such a commanding presence as a film actress that it’s easy to forget that her big break came on stage in England with the Old Vic Company in 1957. In fact, she made her Broadway debut the very next year when the Old Vic Company performed Twelfth Night and Henry V […]