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Secrets of Screen Acting  By  cover art

Secrets of Screen Acting

By: Patrick Tucker
Narrated by: David H. Lawrence XVII
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Publisher's Summary

When it was first published in 1993, Secrets of Screen Acting broke new ground in explaining how acting for the camera is different from acting on stage. Reaction time is altered, physical timing and placement are reconceived, and the proportions of the digital frame itself become the measure of all things, so the director must conceptualize each image in terms of this new rectangle, and actors must "fit" into the frame. Based on a revolutionary, nonmethod approach to acting, this book shows what actually works: how an actor, an announcer - anyone working in front of the cameras - gives excellent performances on screen.

Instead of starting with what is real and trying to wrestle that onto the screen, Patrick Tucker explains how to work with the realities of a shoot and work from there toward the real. His step by step guide to the elements of effective screen acting is an extension and explanation of a lifetime of work in the field, containing over 50 acting exercises and the tried-and-tested screen acting checklist.

©2015 Patrick Tucker (P)2015 Patrick Tucker

What listeners say about Secrets of Screen Acting

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Just great!

This was on Backstage's top ten list of books about acting for film. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to find it on audible.
Great content and performance!

7 people found this helpful

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A MUST HAVE FOR EVERY ACTOR

What did you love best about Secrets of Screen Acting?

This book goes well beyond the typical screen acting text that either focuses on the business aspects (extremely important, don't get me wrong) of the business or is over simplified fluff about pictures and resumes. This book gets technical iand deep into its examination of the camera, the actor and the visual language of screen acting. It might be a bit of a challenge as an audiobook as there are many references to visual examples in the book. Do get the accompanying PDF. David H. Lawrence XVII, an accomplished actor himself, brings clarity to the text and his narration is top drawer. The great thing about audiobooks is that you can listen at will and the material in the hard copy gets reinforced and even illuminated. This is definitely a book every actor, especially the beginning 'film' actor needs to have in his/her library. The material bears repeated examination and the audiobook version helps make that an easy task.

Any additional comments?

My suggestion: whether you're transitioning into screen acting from drama school or you've been on your own actor's journey for some time, this book is more than a worthy addition to your library. Having is available as an audiobook just increases its value. So just get both versions and know you've made a good decision.

7 people found this helpful

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Extremely enjoyable and informative!

Would you listen to Secrets of Screen Acting again? Why?

Absolutely! I like knowing that if I need a refresher, it's right there to listen to again. It's a wealth of information masterfully written and narrated by the best in the business!

What about David H. Lawrence XVII’s performance did you like?

David H. Lawrence XVII has a voice that you want to keep listening to. I felt as if I were listening to a personal coach or friend give me advice. It flowed and time sped by.

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend this audible book to anyone in the entertainment realm or those seeking to enter. It's comprehensive, concise and very well done all around!

6 people found this helpful

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Best Book On Acting for Screen EVER

Where does Secrets of Screen Acting rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top of the list. Best yet.

What other book might you compare Secrets of Screen Acting to and why?

This book is the best of the books I've listened to because its chock full of detailed information that is seldom (if ever) available to the novice actor. Its a LOT of information but its narrated in such a way as to keep an audience interested.

Have you listened to any of David H. Lawrence XVII’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Secrets of the Pros for Screen Actors

Any additional comments?

Every actor should listen to this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Finally.... A Narrator who knows how to read.

What did you like best about Secrets of Screen Acting? What did you like least?

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to David H. Lawrence The Seventeenth Narrate this book. I received this Audiobook Copy, in exchange for an honest review, and to be honest.... This is the first Audiobook review copy I have received that I was actually able to listen to, all the way to the end. Not only did I listen to it, all the way to the end... but I honestly enjoyed every bit of it (Well... almost every bit)

David H. Lawrence The Seventeenth is an excellent narrator. What I enjoyed most, is that he actually connected with me as I listened. I wasn't listening to some guy stuck in a hot sweaty booth, reading words into a microphone in a flat monotone, without understanding what he was reading, or the context and their meaning. While it was clear that he was reading from the pages of a book, he understood what he was reading, and knew how the author intended those words to be read. And he wasn't delivering those words, as if he were reading them from a podium, to an auditorium audience of hundreds.... it was as if he were right here in my living room, sitting in a chair, reading to me... an audience of one

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

If I told you that there is a glossary at the end of this Audiobook, would I be spoiling anything?

Remember a few paragraphs ago, when I said "I honestly enjoyed every bit of it. (Well... almost every bit)? Well.... the glossary is the bit I didn't enjoy. Not that I don't enjoy glossariess... A glossary is a handy thing to have at your fingertips, when reading a book... you can flip to the back of the book, and look up a word or phrase you are unfamiliar with.... but a glossary in audio format?

Have you listened to any of David H. Lawrence XVII’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Sadly, I have not listened to any other works narrated by David H. Lawrence The Seventeenth. But... I had to start somewhere.... and I'm sure I'll be listening to more his performances soon enough.

Who do you think would benefit most from listening to Secrets of Screen Acting?

I think anyone with an interest in acting on screen, or filmaking in general would benefit from this book. I frequently found myself thinking "Yeah... that makes sense" or "Damm.... I remember making that mistake about fifteen years ago... "

Any additional comments?

This is the first Audiobook I have listened to, that I actually want to listen to again in the future.... And I KNOW that I will be listening to it again.... several times.... and enjoying every little bit.

(Well except for the "Time Codes" and the Glossary".... did I mention the Time Codes?)

5 people found this helpful

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Not necessarily just for actors.

In a word: comprehensive. All the nuts and bolts, and many valuable insider tips. There are many examples of what to do and what not to do, with at name of the movie and the time stamp. I figured this would just be about acting techniques. It manages to cover pretty much everything. Auditions, etiquette, pre and post production, and it’s done in a way that keeps your attention.

The narration was superb. It felt like David H. Lawrence XVII was giving me a personal seminar. Great pacing, and consistent volume. Never any breath or mouth noises. A real pleasure to listen to.

I’m a writer that is looking to narrate my own books. Not only did I glean plenty of great info for believable voice over work, but from a writer’s point of view, knowing the actor’s process is already changing how I write.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in
exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com

4 people found this helpful

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Put a Few (Dozen) Gems in Your Acting Toolkit!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this audiobook to every actor on the planet who has not already heard it. Even if you've read the book (which I had), hearing it spoken was like having a private Master Class in the highest level of screen technique. Some of the techniques I was (thankfully) intuitively using, and there were several others I simply cannot wait to actively add to my performances.

What other book might you compare Secrets of Screen Acting to and why?

There are enough books on screen acting already in world libraries to circle the globe multiple times (not verified--and, my strong intuition :). Many of them are quite good. As a working on-camera film and television actor, I have read hundreds of them. Not one of them, however, gets into the nuts-and-bolts of what an actor must do, at each possible point of the screen adventure, to the extent that SOSA does. The practical detail is mind-blowing. This audiobook really stands alone, because it gives translatable steps for the actor to both maximize their own storytelling abilities and to service the overall story beautifully.

What about David H. Lawrence XVII’s performance did you like?

David's tone was both soothing and commanding, very easy to listen to and understand. I found his pacing excellent--just enough time to absorb complex points before moving on.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did have an extreme reaction! It was along the lines of "So THAT'S what they're doing!", as literal secrets were revealed: things that made so much sense after they were explained it seemed impossible to not have known about them previously...I actually laughed out loud several times in "Eureka!" moments. AND, Mr. Tucker has a delightful sense of humor, which Mr. Lawrence brings deftly into his vocal performance.

Any additional comments?

I happened to know a little about the "back story" of this book before I heard it...David had shared the story of his very first episodic television job (HEROES), and how he completely credited the tools in THIS book with having his character go from a death scene in his first episode...to a rewrite that had him alive and kicking for three full seasons. It's what actors dream about. And not only did he give credit to Patrick and this book and these tools...his HEROES director called him out on-set for "fibbing" about this being his first television job, because he "knew too much" and was acting in a way that only very seasoned film and television actors behaved. He showed that director THIS book, which was well-worn and in his backpack. The "Glossary" of film/television terms towards the end of the book is a treasure, and ought to be required listening for acting students anywhere. I wish I had discovered this book (in ANY format!) at the START of my acting career! If you are an actor, or KNOW one--give yourself/them a HUGE gift and listen!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Even the Glossary of Terms was fascinating!

I already knew this book was an amazing prep for on-camera work because I had read an earlier edition. David H. Lawrence xvii narrates this edition to full effect which kept me engaged and entertained. The pace and inflection of the narration was perfect for absorbing the information. I never thought I would enjoy listening to someone narrate a glossary of terms until now! The book comes with a downloadable set of PDF's helpful for visualizing certain camera shots described in the book. A great read for actors at every stage of their career!

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Would you consider the audio edition of Secrets of Screen Acting to be better than the print version?

I prefer the audiobook version to the printed version because it is easier for me to access.

What did you like best about this story?

The amount of information provided was mind-boggling for a newer actor like myself. I feel very fortunate to have this much information available to me in order to become a better actor.

Which scene was your favorite?

David H. Lawrence XVII's letter at the end of the book gave me chills. And hope.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Watch. Learn. Apply. Succeed.

Any additional comments?

Patrick Tucker has provided invaluable experience to actors of all types. He shares his experience and knowledge in a clear-cut, straightforward manner that makes it very easy to understand. David H. Lawrence XVII's narration was fantastic! He delivers the information in a beautiful presentation that is perfectly-paced and makes it a joy for the listener. I am so grateful to have this information available to me. Bravo, Gentlemen!

3 people found this helpful

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Very Informative Book!

Would you listen to Secrets of Screen Acting again? Why?

Yes I will continue to listen to Secrets of Screen Acting, in my attempts to develop a better on screen persona.

Any additional comments?

Very well Narrated and written book, very informative, a must have for any actor.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vasile Marin
  • 11-10-17

Amazing

I loved the pragmatical approach to acting, which is something you kinda don’t get to experience when learning acting in academic circles.

The technicalities that Tucker explains are really helpful. Even tough I don’t have much experience on sets, I could look on the minimum work that I have done in the past and was able to observe faults and possible ways of improving my craft after reading this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in pursuing an acting career!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joel Lundh
  • 07-07-21

Timecodes....

The biggest annoyance with this great book is that at the end of EVERY chapter you get to hear time codes for examples of what he is talking about.
BUT, we also get a pdf along side the book, why not just put them there? Mind boggling.
Having to whip up my phone every 30 minutes to skip ahead ruins almost the whole thing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 06-17-20

Fantastic

A definite must listen/Read, some great tips and insights for new and experienced actors .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gina
  • 04-27-20

extremely helpful

Extremely useful for anyone who either is or wants to be professional actor! I would definitely recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vito Robert Sanasi
  • 12-05-19

A must have!

A book full of useful and practical tips for acting on camera/screen. Very pleasant and explicative narration. Real examples of what is told are at the end of each chapter. Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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  • DAVID TYSON
  • 08-21-19

Fantastic

Loved this book, word for word it was factual and helpful, with tips, ideas and films to review for actual scenes

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-21

great tips for actors of all

gives you great confidence and a lot of tips on acting. This book is for anyone starting out or deep into their career.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-19

A must read for before you step on set

AUDIO
The voice actor does a fantastic job reading the book to you. He is clear, not too fast nor slow and most importantly he emphasise the critical parts of the text.

CONTENT
For reference for what i am about to say, i am new to screen acting. I strongly believe all beginner screen actors should read/listen this before going on set for the first time. It teaches you the both how to conduct yourself in the screen acting industry and fine techniques. Many of the things that are discussed are things i had never thought of and what would have taken me years to learn.

It also gives you film/TV time stamps for examples of what is said and gives you exercises to train it with.

Worth every cent

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-18-19

Amazingly good.

loved it, very insightful.
I've listen been to it twice and ordered the hard copy.