Top 7 Books About Acting (2021)

Acting is a highly noble and fulfilling pursuit, with the role of an actor or actress to communicate a character and story and, thus, educate. Whether that is a film, a stage-play, commercial or even an opera.

We’re going to cover some of the best acting books there are available in 2021. We are often asked where can one find the best sources to help further acting (and modelling) skills and become educated on the industry as a whole, so we believe an article with some of our teams top recommendations would be useful.

No matter whether you would you like to further your pursuit to Hollywood, or you are perhaps only just starting out as an actor, the following top 10 list will not only educate you on the industry, art and business of acting, but also hopefully inspire some of you to want to pursue a career in the industry (if you are not already!).

Amateur groups, as well as workshops and read-throughs, are amazing entry points to the profession for casuals or those hoping to take their first steps towards a career in acting, and those aspects are covered in detail in a couple of the books listed below (in no particular order!).

7 - The Golden Rules of Acting (Andy Nyman)

The Golden Rules of Acting is a classic resource read by many. Andy Nyman is an experienced TV and film actor, so has a lot of wisdom to tell the hungry young actor.

As a young man he has memories of the cinema screening of Jaws, with Roy Scheider. He has a “aha” moment, suddenly realising film wasn’t a fantasy and he could do this.

Realising this dream, he went on to have a successful acting career in TV shows like the UK’s The Bill, The League of Gentlemen, Kick Ass 2 and Peaky Blinders! He’s has also co-written and starred in a Broadway play called Ghost Stories and worked with Darren Brown, obtaining an Olivier Award.

This is strong fatherly talk from a man who has taken the path and on conceptualising his wisdom and motivation, giving his fellow actor inner strength and a steely determination.

Forever an optimist, Mr Nyman wants people (actors and non-actors, alike) to shed the blues and feel the “Good news.” Sounds like a man who really enjoys his job and life, so good for him.

Tips about overcoming adversity and clever finances are shared here. Also, tales of the global acting market, which once you find your feet could be really enriching.

Read this story of experiences from Andy Nyman and rest assured you will be a little wiser and stronger from a professional’s knowledge.

6 - Is This Anything? (Jerry Steinfield)

5 - Surviving Actors Manual (Felicity Jackson)

This is described as an essential one stop shop (in book form) for developing actors. It provides great information you need to survive and thrive in the competitive world of acting.

Drawing the boundaries between acting as a role and the life skills you gain when developing the trade, this book is another lesson in common sense and self realization.

This book goes into good strategies like establishing yourself as a brand, dealing with agents and developing networking skills. Covering a lot more of the business and marketing side of acting compared to some of the other books here, this book is a useful manual which is part business and part motivational pep talk.

A good read for people levelling up and looking for paid work.

4 - How To Be The Greatest Team Leader (Romuald Dussart)