(419) 349-6607

suggested reading list for Actors

Samuel French Bookstores

THE bookstore for actors and filmmakers in LA and New York.

You can find Samuel French on-line at www.SamuelFrench.com.

Email is info@SamuelFrench.com

Brick and mortar locations:

  • Samuel French, Inc. (NEW YORK)
  • 235 Park Avenue South
  • Fifth Floor
  • New York, NY 10003
  • Toll Free: (866) 598-8449 
  • Local: (212) 206-8990 
  • Fax: (212) 206-1429

  • Samuel French Theatre and Film Bookshop (LOS ANGELES)
  • 7623 Sunset Blvd. 
  • Hollywood, CA  90046
  • Phone: 1-866-598-8449
  • 10am – 6pm Monday through Saturday
  • 10am – 5pm Sunday

The bookshop is located on the corner of Sunset and Stanley in Hollywood, five blocks east of Fairfax Ave. 
There is two hour parking on Stanley and we do have a parking lot behind the bookshop.


How to Steal the Scene ...And End Up Playing The Lead, John Swanback

I was introduced to this amazing book by a friend who moved to LA to pursue an acting career. She attended a SAG Foundation seminar and met the author. Next thing you know, she was studying with him. I saw some of her work after she had started working with him. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!  He has a way of presenting his "arsenal of weapons" that will help the actor learn to see themselves as the camera sees them and use that "eye" to create memorable scenes for auditions. I purchased the book and loved every page. This book will help you learn to "steal the scene and play the lead". If you want to purchase it, go to blueswanfilms.com. While you're there, check out his classes which come very highly recommended. Oh, and John is also writing a follow up - “How To Direct Actors Like  A Pro & Look Like A Genius Doing” to be released in November. 

Working Actor's Guide: To Los Angeles,Kristi Callan
...of all the "how to" books on the market this book is truly a must have, especially if you are new to the LA market. Here you will find the best/cheapest/chicest etc. place to (fill in the blank) get your nails done, get your photos copied, find a computer etc. It won't make you a better actor but it can help you survive in a tough city so that you can spend your energies improving your craft... Combine this book with Judy Kerr's Acting is Everything and you are ready to begin to ask the eternal question "How do I get an agent?"

Patrick Cronin, AEA, SAG, AFTRA, Chair Department of Theatre,East Tennessee State University

Respect for Acting, Uta Hagen

This is the bible for actors written by a true pioneer of American acting (and a pioneer of improvisation).

An Agent Tells All, Tony Martinez
Writing in a direct, unpretentious, jargon-free style that invokes visions of a long conversation over a lunch of cheap margaritas and oysters in the half shell, Martinez refreshingly holds nothing back as he sets out to define not only the agent's job, but the actor's job as well. ...he works hard to explain everything to his readers, as though they were four years old. Ultimately the business all boils down to building relationships and being completely committed to constantly evolving as both an artist and as a person.

Improv, A Handbook for the Actor, Greg Atkins
Improv is a great tool for ALL actors, not just improvisors. Mastery of this form of performance makes the actor more aware, more “in the moment”, and is definitely a skill I recommend. This is a great book with lots of exercises and games designed to pull great things out of the actor. I used this in the training of my improv troupe and eleven years later we are still performing professionally.

Sanford Meisner on Acting, Sanford Meisner and Dennis Longwell with an introduction by Sydney Pollack
This book looks at the Meisner method of acting by sitting in on an actual Meisner class. While there is no substitute for the actual process of sitting in class with the master and learning, this gives a very good feel for what that experience was like.

How to Audition (For TV, Movies, Commercials, Plays and Musicals), Gordon Hunt
This book is an essential tool for both professional and amateur actors, as well as for theatre students and theatrical teachers. As a director, producer and casting director, Gordon Hunt has been involved in the casting of thousands of productions for stage, screen, TV and radio. (He is also Helen Hunt’s father). A good primer for the actor.