The Existential Actor - Life and Death Onstage and Off

The Existential Actor - Life and Death Onstage and Off $17.99

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Jeff Zinn

Published by Smith & Kraus

From the Foreword by Todd London ...

"This is a book for the thinking actor, and the finest actors I've known are just that

The best actors bring it all together body, heart, spirit, and mind

This book is for the actor who thinks about craft and influence,who thinks about the relationship of performance to living, who thinks about doing and what that doing means

Acting is a metaphor and it's a mirror, and, so, a theory of acting, if true, shows us to ourselves

Jeff Zinn knows this

He knows it as an actor, director, teacher, and thinker

His theory of everything is simple and revelatory"


Extremely well-written and well-researched. Possibly the most philosophical work yet to be published on the subject. This is a metaphysics of acting, not a practical approach such as the Stanislavsky System or the Strasberg Method. For me, it is a welcome relief..." ~ Robert Brustein

"The existential actor is a tour-de-force survey of acting and theater history, contextualized and explicated with the deep body of experimental research into existential psychology

There are so many different lenses with which to read and use this book, whether as an actor, director, teacher, audience member, psychologist - or for anyone interested in tracing a massive and broad sweep of human culture and thought

Zinn manages to weave the history of performance and acting together with a historical continuum of understanding in human psychology; it is a tall order that Zinn pulls off with ease

Actors and directors who are hungry of a scientific understanding and approach to the craft should stop here first, if only in so far as Zinn provides a guidepost and map to what seems like every branch of performance that has existed, from proto-rituals around the campfire to the Greeks to Shakespeare to Chekhov to Breaking Bad

It is a brilliant tool for those who need to buff up their theater history. And Zinn's breakdown of the 4 elements -shape, action, transaction, surrender - is stunningly powerful in its simplicity" ~ Christopher J Staley

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