on December 5, 1997
Although the synopsis found above suggests this book is entirely new, looking at it as a second edition to her first acting book, RESPECT FOR ACTING, is probably more accurate. It is still full of the tangible practice techniques an actor needs, but it has been updated with additional sections her previous book didn't include. RESPECT FOR ACTING was separated into three parts: One-The Actor; Two-The Object Exercises; and Three-The Play and the Role. In A CHALLENGE FOR THE ACTOR there are four parts: One-The Actor; Two-The Human Techniques; Three-The Exercises; and Four-The Role. Hagen doesn't simply rehash what she wrote in her first book; she's refined her techniques and expanded them. The two of her books used in conjunction might be the only reference books an actor needs on the craft of acting. First rate writing from one of the most revered and respected actresses to ever take the stage.
on August 24, 1998
After having read Respect for Acting, I had discovered that Ms Hagen had written another book. Immediately I went out and bought it. While I found it every bit as fascinating as the first I must say a lot of it is repeats from the first book. Even some of the wording is the same. That said, it is still a wonderful read. her ideas are more concise, her craft more honed, and her expansion well worth the cover price. I especially liked the first chapter where she discusses The Actor's World. Here she goes into a bit of history we all would be better off to know, and she tells a little more about herself. When she talks about the McCarthy hearings, and in particular her radio speecah afterwards, I was moved to tears. Her words on Edwin Booth have sparked my interest in him and the "Golden Era of the Actor." Uta has done it again. Now if only I could meet her.
on February 3, 2000
My own acting teacher, who has herself been a student of Ms. Hagen's, has suggested that Ms. Hagen actually prefers that students of acting refer to this book rather than her previous one ('Respect for Acting'), because in it, not only does she expand on the ideas presented in the earlier work, but she also actually revises some of the ideas she presented in the first book.