Book Reviews

They said it!

Craig A. Miller
Head of Directing
Assistant Professor of Acting & Directing
University of Idaho

"A book rich in lessons."

Whether you just got cast in your first big role, or are a veteran of local stages, or are returning from a hiatus from theatre, Badass Acting is a book rich in lessons on being thoughtful, present and generous in the craft of acting. Written from 50% experience, 50% passion, Tice Allison’s Badass Acting is an excellent and entertaining read for the emerging actor or for the hobbyist desiring a deeper examination and understanding of theatre Dos and Don’ts . . .  articulated by guy who’s been-there and done-that.

Steven David Martin
Raven Players Artistic Director
Raven Theater
Healdsburg, CA

"Tice Allison embodies the “badass”
in Badass Acting."

Tice Allison embodies the “badass” in Badass Acting. With an entertaining and irreverent combination of insight, observation, and laugh-out-loud moments, Mr. Allison takes specific moments from his own vast array of acting experiences and sharply crafts them into acutely observed, tangible and, above all, extremely useful tips on everything from first read through to final performance. 

Taking the self-important air out of self-serving “acting texts,” Badass Acting is a refreshing peek behind the curtains, revealing what a successful actor does ­to bring a character to compelling, believable, vibrant life. It’s less about theory and more about practical applications of the art – and craft  – of this crazy creative sandbox we call acting.

David Templeton
Playwright
(‘Mary Shelley’s Body,’ ‘Drumming with Anubis,’ ‘Galatea’)

"Entertainingly written, cleverly designed."

With clearly drawn anecdotes and examples to go with each insightful tip, Tice Allison’s ‘Badass Acting’ is entertainingly written, cleverly designed and carried out; it takes the scary, mountainous mysteries and pitfalls of stage-work and recasts them as swing sets and monkey bars on a playground. This is no dense exploration of theory and philosophy. In creating a book that is as much fun to read as it is easy to understand, Allison transforms the intimidating act of stepping out on a stage into an array of attainable steps, amusing explorations, and deeply rewarding excursions through the art, craft and, yes, the badass magic of effective theatrical performance.

Kerry Duvall
Assistant Artistic Director
Raven Theater
Healdsburg, CA

"Extremely useful tips!"

Great information and tips for someone just starting out or the seasoned actor. This book covers the basics and also dives deep into everything you need to know as an actor.  I have worked behind the scenes, in the theater world, for many years. I wish everyone I work with would read this book! Especially the chapter on “Good Conduct.”  

Jim Bertoli
Lead Singer, Court ‘n’ Disaster
Santa Rosa, CA

"Crisply written and informative."

Crisply written and informative with a bit of humor throughout. As a musician, I found the book useful for two reasons: it helped me have a greater understanding and appreciation for the craft of acting and second, and more importantly, it gave me some tips that I can actually apply to my singing performances with my band!

June Alane Reif
Executive Director, Valley Players
Napa, CA

"Excellent for the beginner, good refresher for the experienced."

With humor and wit Mr. Allison hits the mark with Badass Acting; an excellent handbook for the beginner and a good refresher for the experienced actor. I may just make this required reading for my acting students!

Barry Martin
Managing Director, Lucky Penny Productions
Napa, CA

"Practical advice mixed with
imaginative writing."

Tice Allison is a fearless actor and he takes a fearless attitude in writing “Bad Ass Acting.” Practical advice mixes with imaginative writing that illuminates the process of putting a character on stage. Tice draws on extensive experience, both positive and negative, and pulls no punches in his approach. Any actor would benefit from reading this book.

Rich Mehrenberg
Reviewer, Broadway World
Lancaster, PA

"Allison is an interesting and
engaging teacher.."

Not everybody has the time or the money to enroll in an acting workshop, but this book is an excellent substitute. The stories are interesting, the writing is clear, and most importantly the advice is valuable.

While this book has something in it for both the apprentice and master actor, it is most useful for those in the journeymen phase of their career. Badass Acting fills a needed void in enabling seasoned actors to take their game to the next level. Allison is an interesting and engaging teacher. His stories, while sometimes a little salty, paint a vivid picture of what it takes to be a successful actor . . .

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Mark Atteberry ~ Actor: Gone Girl, The Hulk, For the People (Emmy nomination), 24, Dexter, Agents of Shield, The Newsroom, Grey's Anatomy, Bones, Big Love ...
Los Angeles, CA

"A Rubber-Meets-the-Road book about the practical aspects of being an actor who lives to be on stage."

As a veteran television and film actor who cut his teeth on the stage, I’m especially drawn to the stage actor’s experience. Stage is the actor’s medium, it’s where the actor is most truly in control. For many years, I’ve been on a quest to find a book that specifically addresses what goes through the mind of an actor as he or she stands on stage and delivers a performance. Tice Allison’s book “Badass Acting” does exactly that. He tells you all you need to know and, more importantly, what you’re going to experience as you create and perform a role from start to finish.

Tice breaks his book down into four categories, “In the Beginning, “The Audience Is Watching,” “The Kid’s Acting” and “Good Conduct.” In essence he takes you from the beginning (understanding stage acting technique) to creating a character (the ins and outs of building a great character) to performing on stage (what everyone really wants to know about the experience on stage), and ends with some closing thoughts and helpful tidbits.

This book is covers it all, in a fun and practical way. Tice Allison, a seasoned character actor, takes you into his head and allows you to experience stage acting on a visceral level. He helps you to understand the feelings, impulses and thoughts that go through an actor’s mind on and off stage. It’s a great book for someone thinking about getting into theater, because it gives you the personalized flyover that you need in order to make that decision. Tice says right up front that he wrote “Badass Acting” with the community theater actor in mind. But as he points out, acting is not for wimps — not if you want to be a badass actor (and don’t we all)! This isn’t just a book about the techniques of acting, there’s an abundance of those out there, written by countless gurus going back 100 years. This is a “rubber meets the road” book about the practical aspects of being an actor who lives to be on stage. And that makes it an easy and fun read, rather than a pedantic romp through technical terms and practices.

What I like most about this book is how it addresses many of the questions people regularly ask actors. Questions like: “Aren’t you afraid when you’re on stage?” Or, “How do you memorize all those lines?” Or, “What do you do if you forget your line?” Or, “What do you do if you have to kiss someone you can’t stand?” Or, my favorite, “What’s the one thing all bad actors do?” Tice Allison approaches the subject matter in a funny, yet logical way, eloquently and thoroughly answering all of these questions, and more.

I was thankful to see Tice address the two mistakes most beginning and intermediate actors make: playing a loser rather than a winner, and indicating a performance rather than authentically living it. In all my years of experience I can tell you this, audiences want to see people trying to win, no matter how disgusting the character may be; we love to see two people battle it out, both having every intention of winning. And second, nothing sucks the audience out of a performance more than watching actors pretend what they’re feeling, rather than truly feeling and living it. Tice does a great job of tackling both of these issues.

My summary: Badass acting is a great book that covers just about everything you need to know if you want to be a badass (and accomplished) actor. I highly recommend it!

 

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