The Reviews are in!
New Reviews from ACTOR RATED May 2013
ACTING LIONS just received a couple of great reviews on a major actor resource website called ACTOR RATED. One is from an actor but one is very unusual because it is from another acting teacher. Reviews are anonymous on Actor Rated
I would like to thank you for writing such a wonderful book. Our acting coach made it suggested reading for anyone entering his class in NYC or DC. I picked it up and fell in love with it. Thanks again
It’s rare that one acting teacher reviews and praises another acting teacher. Never meeting Penny but hearing so many wonderful things about her I found myself picking up her new book while at the Drama Book shop on a Saturday afternoon. I opened the book, took a seat and without even realizing it, 2.5 hours had passed and simply could not put her book down.
In my life time I’ve studied with the masters and have read all their books: Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen, Bobby Lewis and many more – I’ve read all their books. Penny’s book hit the core of the actor with in me. I can also say its the kind of book that I will read over and over again.
Thank you for writing this powerful book Penny. God Bless
ACTOR CRACK (Blog) March 5, 2013
BY PENNY TEMPLETON
This book is a MUST HAVE for any and all actors. From novice to professional this book is your best friend.
Written by Penny Templeton, NY teacher and Coach this book will prove to be your trusty side kick as you audition, work, don’t work and repeat. With insights on Technique, “The business of Artistry” , Technique under pressure ( in this under rehearsed act-fast world), branding and so much more.
But first thing’s first … WHAT IS AN ACTING LION?
In Templeton’s words an Acting Lion Is…
. An Actor who creates from their core and lives in their truth.
.An Actor who uses dynamic techniques to have the edge under pressure
. An Actor who gets the work they want by understanding the business of artistry
.An Actor who is fearless and In control
So basically Fierce and Fabulous baby, everything I want to be! Most acting books can be stuffy, hard to understand and feel a bit dated, this is anything but. Templeton is direct, easy to understand, has a fresh take on classic training styles and is not married to one process or style of acting. You know how some acting books will describe an exercise and its hard to understand? Not this book! After reading about the “Acting Barre” and other fabulous exercises go to the website and actually see actors doing them. Not only is it a practical, honest and direct book this book EMPOWERS ACTORS TO NOT ONLY ACT BUT EMBRACE THEIR BEST MOST GENUINE SELF!
Whether its technique you need, advice on how to pick the right acting teacher, or help on being a business person in the business that is Show, this book has your back.Available at Barnes and Nobles, Drama Book Store, Amazon, Nook, and Kindle.
I get a lot of books to review for Daily Actor. Some of them are perfectly fine; some have modest bits of new info that we can use; some of them just regurgitate what others have said in an effort to get our precious money out of our pocket. So, when I read an acting book, I’m usually skeptical. When I picked up Acting Lions, the new book by acting coach Penny Templeton, I read it with a “Uh-huh, whatcha got for me?” attitude. A couple hours later (ok, days – I’m a slow reader. I blame the Maryland education system and not my lack of focus), I finished and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. People say that this book or that book has it “all”? Well, this book seriously does have it “all”.
Penny Templeton is a New York based acting coach with 20 years of teaching under her belt and the knowledge and understanding of acting and the business side of acting shows. In the book, she’s taken the lessons and styles of all of the great acting teachers – Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Adler, Meisner and Uta Hagen – and combines them all into her own technique.
She teaches you how to break down a script in a way so easy that you’ll immediately want to grab some sides from Actors Access and try her technique for yourself. And, this is one of the first books that I can remember or even know of that takes a scene that most of us would be auditioning for – 1 to 2 page scenes – and shows you what to do with it. She even shows you how to break down a scene where you’d have 1 line of dialogue. If you try it out like I did, you’ll be itching for your next audition.
She also has a section about memorizing dialogue, which I have a hard time with in audition situations. For some reason, the dialogue tends not to stick to my brain. So, I tried her suggestions in my last audition and guess what? It worked like a charm. Other sections include Creating a Character, Structure and how to use a video camera to help you grow your skills and behind the camera confidence – alone or with a partner.
The book then moves to the business side of acting; headshots and reels, finding an agent and getting work and what happens when you finally do get on set. To be honest, most of the stuff – at least for me – were things I already knew but it was presented in a new format that was easily digested. But for the young (or new) actor, this section can prove invaluable.
An artist never stops growing. Ever. If they do, their work becomes their “job” rather than their passion. – Penny Templeton
Lance Carter – August 15, 2012
A good story is important, but a play depends on the people who live that story. We relate to the main character, we hate the villain, we sympathize with the victim, and we root for the underdog. The challenge for the playwright, director and actor is to create memorable characters who engage the audience while moving the story along. It’s not surprising, then, that creating character is a primary focus of Acting Lions, by Penny Templeton, a comprehensive look at the art, craft and business of acting. Templeton (a teacher and coach) also discusses various acting techniques and provides insight into finding an agent and getting work. The section on script analysis is particularly well done, underscoring Templeton’s point that the more you understand the script, the more you will be able to use your own unique perspective to interpret the character in a way that really matters.
August 1, 2012 by Steven Peithman
While the cover of “Acting Lions: Unleash Your Craft in Today’s Lightning Fast World of Film, Television and Theatre” may seem a bit esoteric, the text contained therein is not. In fact, Templeton’s tome may well become “the” book for actors. Whether you’re just starting out, following a particular method, or are a seasoned professional, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can aid actors in their work. And, though there’s not enough space for me to fully catalog all the helpful hints (you’ll want to buy the book anyway), I’ll keep it brief and try to hit on some of the high points, of which there are many.
For starters, this book is fairly comprehensive, focusing on the art of acting itself, proper technique, and how you can make it work for you as a business venture. That basically covers what you’d want to learn in a very advanced acting class, after studying the craft for years. But, this text is written in a way to try and enthuse, inspire, and enlighten, making sure to include all the pitfalls that can occur, as well as how you can avoid them. In short, it’s probably today’s new “Acting Bible”, whether you’re a student of Stanislavsky, Hagen, or any other method.
As you read it aloud in your head, Templeton’s energetic voice comes through loud and clear. You’ll feel like you have your own acting coach, leading you on your path to getting the roles you are best suited for, and can make your own. Simply put, this is a great reference book that will grow dog-eared from repeated readings.
Highly Recommended! June 7, 2012; by Chris Gibson
BARNES & NOBLE
Penny Templeton leaves no stone unturned in her examination of the craft and business of acting. It’s a thoughtful and inspired look into an art which she presents as both a calling and a career, and is a must-read for both beginning and veteran actors. The book covers everything from the history of the craft, technique, development of the actor, and the application of all that artistry in today’s world. She does a remarkable job of showing the evolution of technique from master teachers like Stanislavski and Stella Adler, or Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner to her own set of acting exercises that allow the actor to have a structure to their work and process; but to also be released and free within that structure. It’s important because it’s that structure that allows an actor to not only grow as artist, but to feel confident whether in an audition, rehearsal, or performance.
The book also gives a realistic and practical look at the business of acting. It’s a hard and difficult pursuit, but the book offers a concise picture of the various parts of the industry (casting directors, agents, directors, producers) and how to navigate through them. It even goes into the process of being on set breaking down everything from hair and make up, blocking rehearsals and finally shooting. For someone just entering the business that sort of thing can seem overwhelming, but the author does a good job dissecting it so if you are new to this it doesn’t seem so otherworldly. It’s also a good refresher for the working actor as well. An old dog can always learn new tricks. It really is a solid breakdown of the ins and outs of the “job” part of being an actor.
Simply put, I found this book empowering and inspiring. It makes a fantastic addition to any actor’s bookshelf.
Barnes & Noble 12/4/2011
Out of all the many books I have purchased and read on acting this is the one I will not lend out! I have been highlighting it continuously since I bought it in October, and I refer back to it at least once every two weeks. The section about technique for the camera are just as useful and relevant to today’s actor as are the sections for finding classes and choosing headshots. Penny Templeton with her husband Hank have written a enjoyable to read book for the modern actor, helping to illuminate the path to becoming a successful working actor. I appreciate them for writing this book so much!
I have to admit, I’m 17 and not much for reading…anything. but as an aspiring actress, studying my craft is very important to me so I decided to give this book a chance. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! I went to Penny Templeton’s book launch party and the entire 6 hour train ride home I spent being mesmerized by Penny’s mastery of not only the art of acting, but how to teach and explain it and it’s history. My dad was even shocked to see me read it this much. This book mixes all of the brilliant pieces of acting teachers (from Stanislavky to Adler) into a new, inventive, simple, and EFFECTIVE method! I knew Penny was an amazing teacher and now I know she’s an amazing author. A MUST READ FOR ANY ACTOR!
Acting Lions by Penny Templeton is a must have for all actors! From the moment I opened this book, I could not stop reading it. This book teaches you so much that you need to know about the competitive business of being an actor today. Most professions require certain tools to succeed, Penny Templeton’s “Acting Lions” is a tool you can’t afford to be without if you’re serious about acting. Put it in your toolbox, today! Frank Lisi – Actor/Director
This book is a must read , it doesn’t speak only about one technique but it combines all of them . It teaches you how to break down the script and also the business side of acting.
I have read many books about acting and this is my favorite.
Dear Mrs. Templeton, We have never met, therefore never worked together — however — after “mauling “through your book — I now feel like a new “baby cub” I should say! (You should see my book with coffee stains, underlines, highlighter and um, pasta sauce & mayo)! Incredible material , hands down. “Stunning new material by Penny Templeton! As an Actor , it doesn’t matter if your a Meisner guy/gal, Strasbergian, an Adlerite, a Hagenist — read this book! It’s like sitting down to a good meal (with wine and dessert). Refreshing hands down! Things move rather quickly on set and on stage these days. Nice to know Penny “gets” it . She dives right in , no fluff. It doesn’t matter if you only use one or more golden nuggets she gives you. Point is , what are you doing to up the ante’? Actors are well read and NEVER stop learning. Nobody’s getting my copy!! … Okay maybe if they roar a lil.
Thank you Penny!
Email Review, Respectfully, Always in the Art, Shawn Michael
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s not limited to one technique; it has everything. It is going to become the actor’s bible.”
— Judy Henderson – Casting Director – Homeland
“Everyone should immediately read this book. Penny Templeton’s passion for the craft and invaluable expertise makes it a must-read for today’s actor!”
— Ronald Rand –Publisher –The Soul of the American Actor -Author, Acting Teachers of America
“The question always arises, ‘Do we really need another acting book?’ In this case the answer is yes. This book is really a complete course in the art, study, and business of becoming an actor.” — Bud Beyer – Professor Emeritus. Northwestern University
“I’m thankful to have her in my corner. Training with her and her technique has allowed me to feel prepared for every job.” — Ramon Rodriguez -Actor – Charlie’s Angels, Battle: Los Angeles, Transformers II, Taking of the Pelham 123
“Acting Lions is truly a comprehensive guide for actors of all backgrounds.” — Andrea Haring – Associate Director of The Linklater Center for Voice and Language
“Penny made my work come alive.” — Gina Tognoni – 3 time Emmy Award winner – One Life to Live, Guiding Light
“What I love about the prose is its simplicity and the pervasive optimism and joy in acting that comes through clearly … A book that adds to the canon of acting.” — Sam Chwat – Dialect Coach
“What you have not written is ‘An Idiot’s Guide to Acting’. It is an encyclopedia of acting.” — Darren Bevill – Screenwriter
“I have yet to find another class that incorporates exercises, cold audition scenes, scene study, on camera scenes, sensory work, writing, monologues, breathing and more. Penny teaches you how to get the job and what to do once you’ve got it.” —Tricia Helfer – Actress – The Firm, Battlestar Galactica, Dark Blue
“Excellent. One only hopes that every actor will read this. A must read!” — Joan D’Incecco – Casting Director
“Penny Templeton is THE lady to show you how to be an acting lion. Her classes are hands down the most creative, supportive and unique in the city. I’ve worked with her not only as a student, but also helping to guide her other students to be powerful business people too. I give her and Acting Lions a huge thumbs up!” —Leslie Becker, – Broadway Actress – Author of The Organized Actor®
“I couldn’t have done this without Penny’s help.” — Rochelle Aytes – Actress – Mistresses , Madea’s Family Reunion, Detroit 187, Desperate Housewives, White Chicks
“A juicy steak! I am completely blown away by this book. I wish I had access to it a long time ago!” — Jody Litman, Actress – Playwright
“Penny puts demands on me as an actor that get results. I worked with her on my audition for a TV Series … Booked it!” — Joseph Baldwin – Code Name Eternity
“I credit Penny with every role I get.” — Sarah Wynter – Actress – The 6th Day, 24, Damages
“Penny makes you work harder, and at the end of the day you are a better actor because of that.” — April Hernandez – Actress – SAG Award Nominee for Dexter, Freedom Writers