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On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

The Actor’s Art & Craft: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique

 

“. . . It’s the best book on the craft of acting that I have ever read.”

– Mary Steenburgen, Academy Award Winner

“A veritable magnum opus on acting from a master teacher.”

– Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award Winner

“I’ve spent my life working with actors. To do so one needs but a few, essential tools, the mastery of which is the challenging work of a lifetime: be patient, be precise, be terse, encourage, suggest, praise, listen. I was first exposed to these tools through the example of Bill Esper, and I am very grateful.”

– David Mamet, Pulitzer Prize Winner (from the foreword to The Actor’s Art & Craft)

William Esper, one of the leading acting teachers of our time, explains and extends Sanford Meisner’s legendary technique, offering a clear, concrete, step-by-step approach to becoming a truly creative actor. Esper worked closely with Meisner for seventeen years and has spent decades developing his famous program for actor’s training. The result is a rigorous system of exercises that builds a solid foundation of acting skills from the ground up, and that is flexible enough to be applied to any challenge an actor faces, from soap operas to Shakespeare.

Co-writer Damon DiMarco, a former student of Esper’s, spent over a year observing his mentor teaching first-year acting students. In this book he recreates that experience for us, allowing us to see how the progression of exercises works in practice.

The Actor’s Art and Craft vividly demonstrates that good training does not constrain actors’ instincts, it frees them to create characters with truthful and compelling inner lives.

 

The Actor’s Guide to Creating a Character: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique

On 13, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

The Actor’s Guide to Creating a Character: William Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique

“Bill Esper’s training gave me many precious gifts. . . . He is a master teacher and I use what I learned with him every single time I work. I will be forever grateful.”

— Christine Lahti, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor, Academy Award-winning director

“Reading this book brought me back to Bill’s classroom. His vast experience and joy of the craft resonate on every page. Studying with Bill was an amazing time of discovery.”

— Gretchen Mol, Boardwalk Empire, Mozart in the Jungle, Life on Mars

“My time studying with Bill Esper left me feeling like a completely trained actor and a more honest, grounded person. Training and studying with him has informed all the stand-up, acting and writing I do. I am forever grateful.”

— Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer

The Actor’s Art and Craft followed Damon’s audit of a class going through first year training at Esper Studio. The Actor’s Guide to Creating a Character follows the same class as they advance through their second and final year of training.

Second year work builds on principles learned in the first year and introduces powerful, specific techniques for marrying a character’s essence to that of the actor playing it. The book focuses on how these techniques are essential to playing the greatest roles in both the modern and classical canon, from Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and August Wilson to Shakespeare, Strindberg, Sophocles, Moliere, and many more.

The material addresses necessary adaptations the actor must make to perform in the diverse mediums of stage, screen, and television.

On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11

Featuring a foreword by Tom Kean, Chairman of the Independent 9/11 Commission. . .

and an introduction by the author.

For more information, you can also visit www.towerstories.org.

*     *     *

“Arguably the most successful attempt at capturing the enormity of the events of 9/11, Damon DiMarco’s sprawling oral history runs a wide gamut of testimony from survivors, responders, witnesses and people whose lives were forever altered by the attacks. The human stories are presented with raw candor a thousand times more affecting than any cold statistic offered by a commission . . . Tower Stories is a riveting and disarmingly emotional read.”

– The Today Show

“The only widely available oral history of 9/11 from the perspective of New Yorkers, this monumental work (originally released by Revolution in 2004) has been updated for the sixth anniversary of the national tragedy. In the weeks following the World Trade Center attack, DiMarco, in the tradition of Studs Terkel, wandered Manhattan collecting the stories of Gothamites who survived the collapse of the towers, came to help or simply bore witness-whether from elsewhere in the city, across the country or overseas . . . DiMarco’s contribution to the memory of that horrific day is enormous; the testimonies collected here form an amazing, one-of-a-kind account.”

– STAR REVIEW from Publishers Weekly

 

Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices from the Front Lines of Iraq

On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices from the Front Lines of Iraq

“. . . DiMarco has assembled 18 Iraq war testimonies of soldiers ranging from a West Point educated tanker who was early into Baghdad to truck drivers who have been targets for improvised explosive devices. Those interviewed include a high proportion of highly intelligent people, whose essential work, which often involved dealing directly with Iraqi culture, is seldom publicized, and they exemplify a panoply of those returning from Iraq — career military, disgruntled and life-disrupted recalled reservists, victims of broken marriages and of contamination by depleted uranium particles, and male and female enlistees who have finally filled their military contracts and are home, they hope, to stay. DiMarco’s respect for his interviewees and sidebars on weapons and tactics (some rather chilling and even appalling) further distinguish this addition to Iraq war literature.”

– American Library Association

“Damon DiMarco has assembled an unflinching compilation of first person narratives of returning military personnel that personalizes America’s involvement in Iraq in a manner all-too-rarely covered by mainstream media . . . Whether voiced by farm kids, street smart city dwellers, or the sons and daughters of America’s elite, the accounts of horrors, brutality and pathos are relentless and devastating.”

– CultureKiosque

 

*** Testimonies from “Heart of War” were used to create “Shock & Awe: A Play in Two Acts.”

 

The Brown Agenda: My Mission to Clean Up the World’s Most Life Threatening Pollution

On 13, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

The Brown Agenda: My Mission to Clean Up the World’s Most Life Threatening Pollution

Read an excerpt of The Brown Agenda published by Salon.com.

Hear co-author Richard Fuller discuss The Brown Agenda on NPR.

    *     *     *

“Rich Fuller’s passion and commitment towards educating people on the under-reported issue of environmental pollution, as well as finding innovative solutions to solve the problems, has helped save the lives of thousands of adults and children around the world. He is a truly inspiring human being and I am honoured to know him.”

— Dev Patel, Award-winning actor for his performance in Slumdog Millionaire

“There are few more important stories than how we humans foul the planet and ourselves, often heedlessly. And there are few better placed to tell that tale than Richard Fuller, who has been working for years to show how we can—and, more importantly, should—clean up the earth. The Brown Agenda is the story of an important humanitarian cause revealed in clear and concise prose that is at once deeply necessary and deeply satisfying.”

— David Biello, Editor, Environment & Energy, Scientific American

“If you’re browsing this book wondering why you don’t already know about Rich Fuller and Pure Earth, the answer’s obvious by a few pages in: he’s been too busy saving lives to ‘build the brand.’ In fact, Fuller appears only yesterday to have accepted that he even needs a freaking brand. In an age when nonprofits exist to raise awareness and pay themselves, Fuller is out there getting it done. And his memoir isn’t some kind of moralizing lecture; it’s more like a romp. Who knew cleaning up toxic waste could be the stuff of Indiana Jones-style adventure?”

— Bradford Wieners, Executive Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

The Brown Agenda
features a foreword by Bryan Walsh, Editor, Environment & Energy, TIME Magazine.

Pollution is the single largest cause of death in the developing world. One in seven people in low- and middle-income countries die as a result of it. Simply put, pollution is now the world’s most prevalent health risk.

And yet, while most everyone has heard about “going green,” few are aware of the more dire and sinister “brown” pollution—places where man-made toxic pollutants have taken root and spread. Brown sites poison millions of people every year, causing needless suffering and death.

After witnessing several brown sites firsthand and meeting families trapped by poverty in these toxic hot spots, environmentalist Richard Fuller founded the Blacksmith Institute, now renamed Pure Earth, a global nonprofit that initiates large-scale cleanups of some of the most polluted places on earth.

The Brown Agenda details Fuller’s inspirational journey—from his dangerous yet ultimately successful fight to save hundreds of thousands of acres in the Amazon rain forest, to establishing Great Forest Inc., one of the leading sustainability consultancies in the United States, to his creation of Pure Earth.

To date, Fuller and his Pure Earth team have remediated more than seventy-five toxic sites worldwide, changing the lives of over four million people, including a million children. They are currently working to clean up twenty-four additional toxic sites, which will improve the lives of another three million individuals.

In this vivid account of his perilous travels to the earth’s most toxic locations, Fuller introduces readers to the plight of the “poisoned poor,” and suggests specific ways people everywhere can help combat pollution all over the world.

On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary

“. . . beautifully written . . . Tang fully embraces the poetry and stories of China . . . His book is both a history lesson and a heart-wrenching read.”

– Publishers Weekly

“His Holiness hopes that this book will encourage other Chinese to strengthen their democratic aspirations and put the spotlight on the weakness of the attitudes of some of the current leaders in China.”

– from the book’s foreword by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.

“My Two Chinas is beautifully written by Baiqiao Tang and Damon DiMarco. The bravery shown by Tang and other Chinese students who stood up to the Communist Chinese government was extraordinary. Their story deserves to be known. This is the place to start.”

– Edward I. Koch, Former Mayor of New York City (from 1978 -1989), influential political commentator.

Baiqiao Tang is one of China’s most influential modern dissidents. Tang’s name became legendary during the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Over the past 21 years, he has remained on the front lines of the Chinese pro-democracy movement, where he has vowed to keep fighting until the dream of a free China is realized.

In 1989, Tang was a student leader organizing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hunan province. On June 4 of that year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) quashed the movement Tang helped to lead in the now infamous Tiananmen Square massacre. During the nationwide crackdown that ensued against “counterrevolutionaries,” the CCP issued a warrant for Tang’s arrest. Tang recalls in detail his shock upon seeing his face plastered on a “wanted” poster at a train station. He attempted to flee to Macau but was captured before he could cross the border. In prison, Tang witnessed and endured medieval tortures that no human should ever experience. Eventually, he escaped to America with help from the United States government.

Now living in exile in New York City, Baiqiao Tang has become a living legend among the millions of people worldwide who fight for a free and open society. China’s recent, stratospheric rise to prominence on the world stage has brought its government under increased pressure to account for its notorious human rights atrocities inflicted on its own people.

This unique, timely, suspenseful, and ultimately inspiring memoir will resonate with people from all walks of life and from all backgrounds who care about human rights and the future of free society.

Feauturing a foreword by His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.

An introduction by Prof. Robert Thurman, the Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and co-founder of Tibet House.

And a preface by photojournalist Jeff Widener, Pulitzer finalist for his iconic “Tank Man” photo.

* * * * *

You can download the publisher’s press release as a PDF by clicking here.

To visit us on Facebook, click here.

For a copy of the press release in Chinese, click here.

For a copy of the press release in French, click here.

For a copy of the press release in Dutch, click here.

To see a list of endorsements, click here.

The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking About Acting

On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking About Acting

“From Peter O’Toole (‘Acting is just a matter of farting about in disguises’) to Rod Steiger (‘Artists are the only true aristocrats’), there are as many points of view on acting, theater, film, the public, Shakespeare, and fame as there are actors (nearly 500) in The Quotable Actor. While many of the quotes are quite serious and often insightful, others are self-deprecating throw-away lines that sound varying degrees of sincerity. Actor, teacher, and director Damon DiMarco groups the quotes, taken from a variety of interviews and other media sources, into loose categories and sequences them to create a sort of dialogue among the different speakers, with overly portentous or dramatic voices balanced by the more flippant comments.”

– Bloomsbury Reviews

Out of Bounds: Coming Out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet

On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

Out of Bounds: Coming Out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet

“The former pro footballer’s life story is full of raw vitality that too often found auto-combustive expression before, during, and after his days in the NFL…Blisteringly honest portrait of a man fencing with his self-destructive instincts.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“Only the second NFL player to admit he was gay (a third, Esera Tuaolo, has since made the announcement), Simmons’s confession shocked the sports world. But it is what led up to that show that proves even more shocking. In this gritty, unflinching memoir, Simmons recounts how keeping his sexuality tucked tightly under his football pads steered him into a clandestine life filled with sex, drugs, sex, lies and sex. Unlike recently celebrated and bestselling rehab memoirs, Simmons’s story has no happy ending . . . Simmons has since become the only former NFL player to disclose that he is HIV positive, but his illness has done little to derail his self-destructive lifestyle. Even now, 13 years after that televised confession, he seems strangely proud of his exploits. This memoir may not be a must-own for the casual-or even avid-football fan, but it should be required reading for every nascent professional athlete-as a manual of what not to do.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Simmons is particularly harrowing in relating his descent into the grimy life of drug addiction. . . Readers interested in sports or gay biography will get their money’s worth.”

–  Library Journal

“Simmons’ tale is not for the faint of heart.”

– The San Diego Union-Tribune

As long as he can remember, Simmons declares, he’s had big appetites. As a kid, he could run and play sports all day long, eat through the table and enjoy sex with both boys and girls. By the time he was a star lineman at Georgia Tech (he would go on to play for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins), he applied the same verve to booze and drugs. He was circumspect about his sexuality (“if you play things cool and don’t rub people’s faces in your shit, they’ll let you get away with just about anything”), but never honest about it: (“Roz didn’t care about Sheila and Sheila didn’t know about Roz . . . nobody but nobody knew about Joe, so that was perfect.”) The threads of Simmons’s life were woven from strands of deceit and self-delusion. He became addicted to crack, lost his professional football job and everything unraveled. Spending hundreds of dollars on drugs each day was one thing when he was making more than $100,000 a year, something else when he was pulling down $11 an hour as a youth supervisor. Simmons recounts his experiences, which include sexual abuse in his youth, with shuddering candor. He abandoned his child, was in and out of jail for petty crimes committed to support his drug habit and may even have killed a crack dealer who pulled a knife on him (“Maybe the guy walked away from the whole thing, I don’t know.”) You can almost hear the sigh as he writes, “You try and you try,” reflecting on the intense grind of sobriety and relapse, over and again.

***Out of Bounds was nominated for a 2006 Lambda Award.

Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You!

On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You!

“Baroni is neither a trainer, nor a doctor, nor a dietitian, nor a salesman. He’s an ordinary civil servant who lost 120 pounds by following the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center plan. Ten weeks there gave him the knowledge he needed to recognize what the fast-food lifestyle was doing to him. He traces his own path and, with humor and style, passes the information he learned along to readers. This can work for anyone.”

– Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

Fat Kid Got Fit is a must for those who suffer because of their weight and want to change. Bill Baroni learned that the best reason to get fit and stay healthy is to enjoy life even more. He created a physical, emotional, and spiritual metamorphosis for himself. This book gives a clear and readable description of the steps he took…and so can you!”

– Dr. Michael Hamilton, former Director of the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center