Best Acting Books – Learn Pitching, Communication and Empathy

Have you heard of the book “Acting for Dummies”? Anyone who’s tried or, at the very least, dabbled in acting, knows there is very little truth to that title. Acting is not for stupid people. Aside from natural talent, it requires real education to act naturally in front of a camera or an audience.

An aspiring or working actor can be taught a myriad of techniques depending on their style of acting. This mix of approaches is what’s reflected in my reading list of best books on acting. My roundup includes books that anyone who’s just beginning their acting career should swear by, as well as other printed works that offer insights on the different acting methods.

To effectively hone your craft, you need to have respect for acting. This is what allows you to develop that connection with your character, your fellow actors, and the audience. You want to get yourself into that headspace that stimulates imagination and creativity and prepares you for a performance. At times, you’ll also need to improvise and act from your heart during a performance, which is known as truthful acting.

I’ve always believed that the beauty of acting lies in its ability to help you acknowledge other “truths” that exist in the world. For actors, there’s a sort of magic that takes place whenever they go into character and live the life of that character.

The process is different for everyone, and, for some, it’s not as easy to get out of their character’s head. A series of exercises presented by some of the books on my list should help you circumvent these obstacles.

The same books that help actors can also help entrepreneurs. After all, you’re also putting in a performance everytime you “sell” your company to someone.

So, whether you’re planning to make a career out of acting or dipping your toes into it from time to time, you’ll find many of the books on my list to be excellent guides.

Best Acting Books

The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide

The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide

I loved reading Jenna's honest and sincere appraisal of the actualities of breaking into, finding one’s way, and then thriving in this business. I hope it is given out as a guidebook of sorts to any young actor when they land at LAX.
Jon Hamm
Actor / Mad Men
Choose Your Own Autobiography

Choose Your Own Autobiography

I read "Choose Your Own Autobiography" because I loved Neil Patrick Harris in everything he'd ever acted in.
Gabriel Coarna
Founder/Readable
Total Recall

Total Recall

Schwarzenegger's autobiography is, first and foremost, a really really great rags-to-riches story. But it's true. And it's surprising: he didn't make his first million dollars by acting. And it's inspiring: he goes a little into how one should think, when pursuing a particular goal. And, lastly, it's very well written. It'll completely redefine your idea of the man. And it may give you a glimpse into how you might better sculpt your idea of you.

Gabriel Coarnă
Founder/Readable
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made

I’ve been watching The Room for years, and I first read Bissell on the subject in Magic Hours. This was a total behind-the-scenes trip, and it is no surprise to me that the movie based on it has gotten great reviews. (I still haven’t seen it.)
Austin Kleon
Writer, artist
Steal the Show

Steal the Show

This book will teach you the art of Public Speaking/Performance like you’ve never imagined. As an entrepreneur you quickly learn that communication is the mother of all skills and foundational to being successful in your industry. All the tips and advice Michael Shares are to be immediately applied and you’ll see, magic happens
Nicole Baldinu
Co-Founder/The $100 MBA
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens

I've just started Eddie Izzard's "Believe Me". This is one of those books I'm reading just-because, so I'm not *expecting* to gain anything from it. I only expect things from books I read because I'm studying/researching a particular subject. The reason why I'm reading this book is because I'm very, very fond of Eddie Izzard the comic and Eddie Izzard the actor. Hopefully, this book is a glimpse into Eddie Izzard the human.
Gabriel Coarna
Founder/Readable
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Great book on pitching, and more generally, sales. Funny too. Has some ideas very reminiscent of Thinking Fast and Slow.
Michael Herrmann
Founder/Terminerinnerung
Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business

Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea

Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea

In Flip the Script, Oren Klaff gives readers powerful tools that will help them get what they want. Instead of trying to convince people to buy what you’re selling, his techniques will show you how to create an entirely different dynamic. A game changing read
Daymond John
Founder & CEO of FUBU

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