True and False
Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor
By David Mamet
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679772644, 144pp.)
Publication Date: February 22, 1999
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Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school. With these words, one of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting, in a book that is as shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring.
Acting schools, “interpretation,” “sense memory,” “The Method”—David Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense, True and False is invaluable.
David Mamet was born in Chicago in 1947. He studied at Goddard College in Vermont and at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York. He has taught at Goddard College, the Yale Drama School, and New York University, and lectures at the Atlantic Theater Company, of which he is a founding member. He is the author of the acclaimed plays The Cryptogram, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. He has also written screenplays for such films as House of Games and the Oscar-nominated The Verdict, as well as The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, and Wag the Dog. His plays have won the Pulitzer Prize and the Obie Award.
"Mamet manages to demolish the myths...that pass for theory with regard o acting and directing. . . True and False is a revealing book of the highest order and a pleasure to read"—Anthony Hopkins
"Hard-edged, pragmatic and idealistic. . . . Every actor or would-be actor should read this book."—Chicago Tribune
"Trenchant...Meet’s pared-down, occasionally cryptic prose can make powerful sense."—The New York Times
"This book should be read and considered by everyone who acts."—Steve Martin