For the past 15 years, Ron Marasco, theatre professor and co-chair of the Theatre Department, has been reading every acting book that he could get his hands on. The exercise was not an act of futility but rather research for his latest book, “Notes to an Actor,” which was published in fall ’07.
“I did all the work for the actor and distilled everything they need to know into a readable and usable form,” Marasco said. “This is the only book the actor needs.”
The book is divided into eight sections: Perspective, Talent, Rehearsal, Performance, Greatness, Comedy, Shakespeare, and Stage and Screen. It is aimed at anyone who wants to become a better actor however Marasco received feedback from non-actors as well who have used the notes to enhance their professional skills.
“All professions involve some aspect of acting,” Marasco said. “Acting is about projecting what you are feeling to other people in a truthful way.”
Marasco intentionally designed the book to be short and physically small enough to go into an actor’s back pocket. This way the actor can quickly refer to it as needed.
“Actors don’t want to wait around,” Marasco said. “They like to get the information and then get up on their feet.”
The book has already received many positive reviews. One actor who has been acting for more than 40 years informed Marasco that the book was so good he read it in one night.
Future plans for Marasco include writing additional books. Currently, he is on sabbatical working on a book about directing and another about grief based on plays, movies and books.
“Acting is not separate from life,” Marasco said. “It deals with the things humans feel all day like how do we tell the truth or how do we connect with others.”
"Notes to an Actor" is available in the LMU bookstore, selected bookstores and Amazon.com