Ken’s Recommended Reads & More

There just isn’t enough written about how to excel in the theater arts, whether you’re pursuing a career (or hobby) in producing, writing, acting or anything, for that matter.  That’s one of the reasons I started writing this blog and writing books and teaching seminars of my own.

However, there are a few Easter egg-like books and products out there that I’ve found incredibly helpful to me as I’ve pursued my own career.  Since so many of my readers have asked me what I’d recommend for further reading on the various subjects I discuss on the blog, I’ve listed them for you below.

How did I come up with this list?  Here’s what I did.  I imagined that I was teaching a graduate school course on Broadway and the theater in general, and had to come up with a curriculum.  All of these reads would be required.  Enjoy.  And let me know what you think, or if you have any of your own.

PRODUCING

MARKETING

  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin – My Bible for both marketing and product (show) development.  This book helped me define my style.  A must.
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini – This all about the science of selling.  Brilliant.  And scary.  Wait until you read about how commercial airline disasters increase after highly publicized suicides.

WRITING

ACTING

  • Actors on Acting – I’ve never been a fan of one “method” of acting or anything.  I believe you have to create your own methods.  This book gives you plenty of expert methods so you can make your own.
  • Audition by Michael Shurtleff – Being a great actor and being a great auditioner are two different things.  The only problem is, if you’re not a great auditioner, you’ll never, ever get to show anyone how great of an actor you are.  That’s why I started teaching my audition workshop.  And that’s what this book is all about.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Show Business:  The Road to Broadway – A modern film version of Goldman’s The Season that chronicles the 2004 Tony Race when that little show called Avenue Q beat the big monster called Wicked.
  • Final Draft –  If you’re a writer and you’re not using Final Draft, then you are losing at least 15 minutes for every one hour that you write.  Get it.  Save time.  Write more.
  • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – Even if you don’t believe it, it’s still a great way to live your life . . . positive and grateful.  And what if?

OTHER GREAT STUFF

  • GoDaddy – A website is the #1 tool that all shows, but especially new and developing shows (even ones that haven’t been written!) MUST have.  And it starts with a domain.  And the best place to start for all your web needs is GoDaddy.