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Actor for Life

A New Acting Textbook by Connie de Veer and Jan Elfline

Now available on amazon.com

Thousands of fresh-faced young actors flood into the entertainment business every day. But five to ten years later, they hit a wall of discouragement and self-doubt. The resources currently available to them offer sound enough advice on the business and the technique of acting. But none address how we think as a powerful engine that either supports or undermines an actor’s success.

Actor for Life: How to have an amazing career without all the drama fills this void. It offers cutting-edge strategies and inspiring interviews with these ten award-winning professionals:

  • Deborah Barylski (casting director, Arrested Development)
  • Duane Boutté (Brother to Brother)
  • Gary Cole (Veep)
  • Suzzanne Douglas (The Parent Hood)
  • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace)
  • Judith Ivey (Devil’s Advocate)
  • Paul Kampf (Paul Kampf Studios)
  • Linda Lowy (casting director, Friday Night Lights, Grey’s Anatomy)
  • Julia Murney (Wicked)
  • Jeff Perry ( Scandal)

The skills these individuals model, like resilience, motivation, and courage, are not addressed directly in most actor training programs. But they should be.

This non-textbook-like textbook, by acting professor Connie de Veer and master coach and teacher Jan Elfline, offers fresh, accessible insights and exercises that are nothing short of game changing. It’s simple: feed actors and you feed the success of the industry. This book speaks to working actors, acting teachers, students of acting, workshop leaders, and even non-actors. “All the world’s a stage,” after all.

See more on my co-author, Jan Elfline's website: www.janelfline.com.

This is the only acting book I've ever known to address practical ways of dealing with the emotional challenges of being an artist. How does one conquer self-doubt, negative criticism, self-sabotage and creative blocks? Here are steps and exercises that actors can use and refer back to on every step of their journey.

Sarah Zwick-Tapley

Colorado State University
Education Coordinator,
Bas Bleu Theatre Member,
Actor’s Equity Association

I absolutely loved it. The book provides a life-jacket to those who feel like they’re just floating around in a nebulous state of worry and stress. Every chapter stresses that the power of change needs to come from within ourselves in order to have any actual effect… This will have a permanent place on my bedside table.

Ronald Román, MFA
Actor, American Shakespeare Center

Actor for Life is an important guide book to a healthy life of self-care in the life of an actor. I couldn’t put it down. And it’s not just for actors.

Lori Adams, Head of Acting
Illinois State University

Succinct and to the point, de Veer and Elfline offer a blueprint of important guidance to the young professional actor. Nurturing psychology is cross-pollinated with direct pragmatism (especially regarding the issue of rejection) to create an authentic springboard in consideration of what could arguably be the most subjective and difficult career to pursue. This is a welcomed addition to any bookshelf for a budding young professional in the creative arts.

Scott Lafeber, Professor
Head of Musical Theatre, Emerson College

Actor for Life is a game-changer. As a New York actor, I thought being in a rut on a regular basis was just part of life.... I sent in applications for three jobs I'd previously been afraid to apply for before I even finished the first chapter!

Natalie Blackman, MFA

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