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  • Writer's pictureLangley Cornwell

L is for Literature

I’ve heard more than one acting coach talk about the importance of reading. And I’m not talking about books on acting technique or the business of acting. No, I’m talking about good, old-fashioned literature. Fiction.

What’s the connection? Glad you asked…

Reading expands our human-awareness as well as our world-awareness. If you’re called on to portray someone who is radically different from you, you’ll have more access to that character type if you’ve met them within the pages of a book. You’ll have more empathy for the person, and a greater understanding of their wants, needs, and motivations. Likewise, if the fictional world you find yourself in is opposite from your reality, but you’ve come across similar worlds in fiction, you’ll be able to access more believable responses within that context. All this translates into being more authentic within the scene.

Actors are, at our core, storytellers. Exploring different ways bestselling authors tell stories can only increase our storytelling abilities. What’s more, reading ignites our imagination and helps us create absorbing backstories for our characters. It’s an immersive experience which helps us develop fully-formed, multi-layered humans.

It’s also been said that reading improves your concentration, memory, and focus, all of which are vitally important to an actor.

I love reading, I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. In fact, I’m just finishing up a good book now, and looking for recommendations.

Please share some of your favorite books below.

Thanks for reading.

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Apr 22, 2020

I used to read a lot, and my favorite genre is sci-fi fantasy. I was a speed reader. My favorite was the Wheel of Time series. Each book had over 1,000 pages, and there were over a dozen books, until the author died. Someone else took over, but I never read them. I actually read the whole series three times (what books there were 10 years ago). I did a quick search, and it now says 21 books. Boy, did I miss a lot!


Apr 22, 2020

I have spent too many hours reading self help books. I love autobiographies. Of rock stars from the 70’s. My very favorite was Keith Richards. He said Mick Jagger always stuffed his tight pants with socks because he “had a little Willy”. I never did drugs and I it amazes me how much trouble it caused so many talented people. Great blog post Langley. It inspired me to read something new. It takes me forever because I read before bed and it makes me sleepy. 😴


Apr 21, 2020

You're an excellent writer, as well as actress. I can see how the two would be intertwined. I'm an avid reader also, mostly Christian fiction.

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