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Facing the Fear: An Actor’s Guide to Overcoming Stage Fright
Bella Merlin, Professor of Theatre, Film & Digital Production

Stage fright has the power to drive actors away from the stage for months, years, and even a lifetime. It is a monster that can affect any actor at any time – but it is also a challenge that can be met.

In Facing the Fear – the first book of its kind written specifically for actors – performer, author and teacher Bella Merlin draws on her own and other actors’ personal experiences to examine:

  • The internal and external roots of stage fright, and how it manifests itself both psychologically and physiologically
  • The complex relationship between the actor and the audience, and how it contributes to stage fright
  • The cognitive processes of learning, storing and retrieving lines, and practical strategies to help
  • The essential principles for building a healthy, fear-free rehearsal environment
  • The techniques that actors can employ to develop their own practices, from tips on physical well-being to performance strategies

Insightful, empowering and always reassuring, Facing the Fear is a book for any actor: for those who are experiencing or have previously suffered from stage fright, as well as for those who want to be fully prepared in case that day ever comes. It provides all the tools actors need to understand, confront and ultimately overcome stage fright and its effects, thereby regaining control over their lives and careers. (And it might just save a fortune in psychotherapist’s fees!)

It’s also valuable reading for any teacher, director or stage manager working closely with actors, and a fascinating insight for anyone interested in what actors go through.

‘An utterly engrossing book about confronting one of the most fundamental aspects of being an actor – fear.’ Antony Sher

Part of Hot off the Presses

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