​Ten Things Every Actor Should Know

  1. Acting is a lifelong pursuit that requires daily practice.

  2. Success is not determined by how much money one make or awards one wins.

  3. An actor's interpretation of the character she is playing is one of the things that distinguishes her as an actor.

  4. The degree of sensitivity an individual possesses and the depth of his imagination reflects his level of acting talent.

  5. An actor is not in competition with other actors.

  6. An acting career requires tremendous business acumen.

  7. Quiet confidence commands respect.

  8. A smart actor respects the acting techniques of other actors.

  9. A smart actor is well read, well educated, and aware of what is happening in the theater and film world.

  10. A smart actor is an artist who understands the human condition and human behavior; he has insight into the world in which he lives.

 

Character Dynamic:

  • Normal person in a strange land.

  • Strange person in a normal land..

The way some introductory acting books are written, it seems that a literal leg break is your best option. In The Young Actor's Handbook, Jeremy Kruse, an actor, writer, producer, and director who teaches method acting, acting for camera, improvisation, and sketch comedy at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, mends this mangled genre, distilling invaluable lessons and years of experience down to a lean, mean, intuitive hundred page primer. 

Vincent D'Onofrio Testimonial

 

"Jeremy is an experienced acting teacher who has broken down acting in an academic way while nurturing the soul of the actor." 

 

Vincent D'Onofrio - actor, producer, and singer. He is known for his roles as Private Leonard Lawrence ("Gomer Pyle") in Stanley Kubrick's war film Full Metal Jacket (1987), Edgar/the Bug in Men in Black (1997), and Detective Robert Goren in the crime television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Kirkus Review

"Both aspiring actors and curious observers will find something to ponder in this excellent manual." - Kirkus Reviews

Read the full review

Geoffrey Horne Testimonial

 

“'The Young Actor’s Handbook,' is easy to read. It is beautifully organized, intelligent, challenging, and comprehensive.”

 

Geoffrey Horne - Geoffrey started studying with Lee Strasberg in 1954 and has been a teacher at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York since 1978. 

Irma Sandrey Testimonial

"Jeremy has expertly compiled a manual that will serve the theatre and film community for years to come."

 

Irma Sandrey - Irma acted in leading roles on Broadway, on off-Broadway, in regional theatres, on television and on film. She taught acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute from 1976 to 2016.

 
 

If you are new to acting, Jeremy can teach you what it takes to be an actor and how to bring a character to life.

 

Are you working on a part for a play or film and need assistance?

 

Do you need to prepare for an audition? Do you want to learn about the business of acting? Script analysis?

Jeremy offers on-line coaching.

Contact Jeremy with regard to in- person coaching and workshops.

Recommended Films

for Actors Over 13 Years Old

Drama

  • Godfather I and II

  • Sophie’s Choice

  • Tender Mercies

Comedy

  • Tootsie

  • The Producers

  • Postcards from The Edge

Foreign

  • 400 Blows

  • The Bicycle Thief

Classics

  • City Lights

  • A Streetcar Named Desire

  • The Kid

Films with Young Actors

  • Stand By Me

  • My Bodyguard

  • This Boy’s Life

Recommended Documentary Films

for Actors Over 13 Years Old

Documentary films are an excellent way for an actor to study people and situations. 

35 Up

Born Rich

The Civil War (Ken Burns)

Daughter from Danang

The Fog of War

The Kid Stays in the Picture

Looking for Richard

My Kid Could Paint That

Sherman’s March

Major Playwrights

Aeschylus

Anton Chekhov

Aristophanes

Arthur Miller

August Strindberg

August Wilson

Bertolt Brecht

Edward Albee

Eugene O'Neill

Euripides

George Bernard Shaw

Harold Pinter

Henrik Ibsen

Neil Simon

Samuel Beckett

Sophocles

Tennessee Williams

William Shakespeare

Film Reel

Recommended Plays

Classic Plays

A Doll’s House

A Streetcar Named Desire

Death of a Salesman

Richard III

Waiting for Godot

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

Our Town

The Seagull

Plays with Parts for Young Actors

A Raisin in the Sun
Biloxi Blues
Crimes of the Heart
Summer and Smoke
The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds

 
 

Sketch Comedy

Writing Dissection 

Setup

  • Establish location, relationship and what is happening.

  • Establish the character's objectives.

  • Establish the "funny" or the "game."

Genre

  • Character driven/observational.

  • Parody:

    • Commercial​

    • Film/TV show

    • Movie trailer​​

  • Absurd.

  • News.

Character Dynamic

  • Normal person in a strange land. 

  • Strange person in a normal land. ​

Progression

  • Heighten the "game" by creating obstacles for the characters.

Basic Comedic Tools:

  • Exaggerate.

  • Unexpected action/response.

  • Inappropriate action/response.

Ending

  • "Soft landing"

    • A character gets what he wants.

    • A character does not get what he wants.

  • Twist

    • A character's need changes.​

    • The situation changes.

  • ​Punch Line​

    • Verbal or physical.​

    • A recall.

  • ​Cliffhanger.
  • Heighten.

NOTE: There can be a combination of the

            above endings.

  • Hard Out - blackout.

  • Soft Out - fade to black..

Directing Sketch Comedy

1. If you feel like you don't know what you're doing, pretend like you do. Stay confident and present a confident demeanor.

 

2. You are in charge. It does not work if it is a democracy. Listen to other people's advice, opinions and ideas. It is a collaborative art, but you are ultimately going to make the decision. Things fall apart quickly if there is more than one person in charge. 

Do you want the full list? Contact me and I'll send it to you for FREE.

ABOUT JEREMY

Jeremy Kruse is a professional actor, published writer, and award winning filmmaker. He has been involved in numerous plays, sketch comedy shows, films, commercials, and televisions spots in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. His book, The Young Actor’s Handbook (Applause Theatre and Cinema Books) was published in 2017.

 

Jeremy's documentary film, Lee Strasberg’s Method, was an official selection at the SOHO International Film Festival NYC. Anti-narrative Number 4, his short film, won the "Director's Choice" award at the San Francisco International Festival of Short Films. His play, Lockers, is published by Dramatic Publishing and has been produced in the United States and abroad. Jeremy taught Method Acting, Acting for TV and Film, Improvisation, Acting for Independent Films, Creating Your Own Work, Sketch Comedy Writing and Sketch Comedy Performance at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

 

Kruse graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he majored in drama. He also studied at The Second City in Chicago. He teaches acting and dramatic writing classes at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest, IL and also coaches and consults actors on their careers privately. Jeremy lives in Lake Forest, IL with his wife and daughter. 

 

www.jeremykruse.com

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