Exploring Television Acting

edited by Tom Cantrell and Christopher Hogg

DOI: 10.5040/9781474248600

ISBN: 9781474248587

The first collection of its kind to bring together scholarly and practitioner perspectives, this book analyses the experiences, skills and techniques of actors when working on television. Featuring eleven chapters by internationally distinguished researchers and actor trainers, this collection examines the acting processes and resulting performances of some of the most acclaimed television actors.

Topics include: studio and location realism; actor training for television; actor well-being in the television industry; performance in reality television and British and Irish actors in contemporary US television and film. The book also contains case studies examining the work of Emmy-award-winning actor Viola Davis and the iconic character of Gene Hunt in Life on Mars (BBC, 2006-2007).

'A refreshing contribution to an overlooked area of scholarship and offers an authoritative new approach to exploring television acting … This book provides an invigorating, and much needed, deviation from the academic tradition of prioritising direction and editing when analysing screen acting.' Journal of British Cinema and Television

'This volume articulates in scholarly and practical ways what distinguishes television acting from theater and film acting … Training programs and film schools will benefit from these unique perspectives and the rich bibliographic resources the editors provide. Summing Up: Recommended.' CHOICE

'This fascinating volume interrogates the multiple ways that the televisual medium impacts actors' work and lives. Taken together, the essays expose the full complexity of the system in which television actors work, from actor training and techniques, through casting and directing, to performances as captured and framed by camera operators and editors. By delving into this book, the reader will appreciate how actors adjust their art to the pressured world of television employment.' Sharon Marie Carnicke, Professor of Dramatic Arts, University of Southern California, USA

'This is a seriously interesting read with a great format, which puts the state of television, and the changing nature of the job of television acting, brilliantly into context. As an actor its fascinating to have such detailed commentary on the business that I'm part of, from so many different perspectives.' Nina Sosanya, Actress

'The essays in this ambitious collection show how rich, and hitherto neglected, the topic of acting on television is. Pioneering original scholarship analyses how actors are trained and prepared, how they work in television and the ways they contribute to meaning. This book unlocks an exciting aspect of the field.' Jonathan Bignell, Professor of Television and Film, Reading University, UK