I love books. They are unbelievably comforting and adorn my house in little piles. I find them incredibly hard to part with. The wisdom and escapism that books contain is a beautiful thing. I love reading lists of books too. Which ones have I read? Which ones have I yet to read? What should I read next?
I thought I’d share some books that I found really useful and enjoyable to read.
Presence by Patsy Rodenberg
This book is like three years of actor training whittled down into book form and made accessible for non performers. Its a brilliant insight in how to be in the moment more and is full of practical exercises to ‘perform’ at your best in an incredibly sincere and authentic way.
Finding your Element – Ken Robinson
Robinson is an educational guru ad talks about how we all have something where we are in are element. Using stories of how different people discovered their element, Robinson shows how we can have our eureka moment ourselves
Games for Actors and Non-Actors – Augustus Boal
This is like an arsenal of different warms ups and games to try out that liberate all, performer or not. In three sections, Boal outlines his method of Theatre of the Opressed, provides a wealth of different exercises and discusses problems that can arise in Forum theatre. This book should in every drama practitioners library. Anyone looking for group cohesion and release of expression could benefit from giving this book a read.
Finding your Voice – Barbara Houseman
This practical and easy to use book talks about the mechanics that go into speaking and the how you can galvanise your body to have a strong, rich and healthy voice. This book provides the foundation for a lot of the exercises that I now include in my Voice practice
Show your Work – Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon is an artist that works with words. His book Steal Like an Artist is also an excellent read. Show Your Work, talks about how to network effectively and efficiently in the 21st century. He describes it as networking for people who don’t really like networking. This book really made me think about how to develop a good web presence and how to share my process with an online community.
Wreck this Journal -Keri Smith
Smith should probably be proclaimed at Art wizard for the wonderful journalling books that she has created. They are a brilliant series but I love Wreck This Journal the most as it reminds us not to be to precious about what we create and that failure yields unexpected results.
Shakespeare Words: A glossary and language companion – Ben and David Crystal
This book will be tucked under my arm and is very well thumbed when I’m working on any of the bards works. Its a brilliant dictionary of language from when you can’t tell you greek god reference from your elbow.
The Playful Parent – Julia Deering
This behemoth of of a book is a plethora of ideas in playing with you kids. From Shampooing solutions to ideas for indoor play. Its a very practical tool kit and I think if parenting was to come with a manual, then this is the one I’d pick.
What Non-Fiction books would you put on your list? What should I read next?
Felicity Goodman is a Voice Teacher, Playologist and Story Teller based in Manchester. To find out more about her work, please visit www.felicitygoodman.co.uk