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Acting Through Life: Insights from Working Actors

Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by Paul Guliner and Jay Cornelius
Directed by Paul Guliner
DVD, color, 34 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Acting, Careers

Reviewed by Gerald Notaro, University Librarian, Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 8/14/2008

In the world of working actors, only a few become stars, or even recognizable. In Acting Through Life: Insights from Working Actors, a few of the lucky ones who make their living by acting tell their stories. They are the names you don’t know, whose faces you might—among others: Kevin Conway, Peter Maloney, and Melissa Leo, who was devastatingly brilliant in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

The narration is by Tony Roberts, who, thanks to Woody Allen movies and some Broadway hits, is one of the few well known and well compensated. Their stories include some table waiting, catering, and commercials, but mostly movies and stage work. When they do television, it is mostly the characters you see on all the Law and Orders and Homicide: Life on the Streets. They wouldn’t be caught dead on an episode of Two and a Half Men even if rent were due.

For a vocational guide, segment descriptions as Rejection, Disillusionment, Insecurity, Unemployment, Jealousy, and Survival may hardly seem motivational, but at least they are honest. All of the actors appear to have striven for, and attained, integrity and honesty—rare in any profession. Though Acting Through Life: Insights from Working Actors may have limited appeal it is well produced and refreshing.