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.