versatile volume that functions as both theatrical text and a source of
eminently browsable casual reading." - Booklist
For thousands of years, in traditional societies around the world, actors
were seen as the guardians of intuitive wisdom, and the way of the actor
was a path to knowledge and power. Brian Bates believe that this is still
the case today - that actors and actresses fulfill an important function
in our culture as modern-day seers and shamans. He portrays the actor
as a creator of visions who transports spectators out of their habitual
ways of being and leads them on a journey of self-discovery. Personal
magnetism and charisma, intense body awareness, and psychic sensitivity
are among the special powers that contribute to the actor's mystique.
Citing the observations and experiences over thirty famous performers
- including Meryl Streep, Marlon Brando, Glenda Jackson, Liv Ullman, Jack
Nicholson, and Shirley MacLaine - the author also draws on extensive research
in science, psychology, parapsychology, and Eastern and Western mysticism
to explore the significance of the dramatic art. He not only shows how
the magical world of stage and screen mirrors our lives but also reveals
how actors and actresses point the way to self-transformation for everyone.
For, as he writes, "the way of the actor is not an esoteric discipline
divorced from everyday life. It is everyday life, heightened and lived
to the full with an awareness of powers beyond understanding.