Like many actors, I’ve spent thousands of dollars and years of my life studying the tools that have trickled down to us from StanislavskiStrasberg, AdlerMeisner and their cohort. I consider these techniques indispensable, and I’ve seen them put to incredible effect by some actors. But even after rigorous study and effort, I’ve sometimes felt left in the dark, with no clear metric for success. By contrast, the various tools of text analysis that I’ve collected over the years have given my acting the clarity and power that I wanted as an artist, and that I needed on the job. For more than half of my career so far, I didn't even know I was doing text analysis. I had little tricks I'd picked up or developed to solve certain problems, but I never regarded them as technique. When my great acting teacher Terry Schreiber introduced me to actioning and a clear way to communicate about obstacle and objective, I recognized these tools as parts of a broader system. Because I've had the privilege to work with actors, directors and writers at every level of the industry, I've been able to learn from some excellent examples. Many times I've been amazed to see actors of the highest caliber speak about their work in the most elementary, demystifying language, which they used to communicate with their directors, learn about their roles, and make immediate changes and discoveries in their performances. These simple gestures behind the magicians' tricks, I eventually realized, were text analysis. I'm convinced it is too often overlooked or under-taught, and I want more actors to benefit from this humble, decisive part of their craft.


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