TITLE: Fine on Acting: A Vision of the Craft
AUTHORS: Howard Fine with Chris Freeman
AWARDS TO DATE:
Winner: First Place, Reader Views Readers Choice Awards
Finalist: ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Awards
PUBLISHER: Havenhurst Books (Los Angeles)
Tell us something about yourself.
I am originally from Cranston, Rhode Island. Cranston has been in the news lately due to flooding. I am the son of an auto mechanic and a Holocaust survivor. I am the only member of my family to pursue a career in the arts.
I left Cranston after graduating Rhode Island College and moved to Boston to attend graduate school. I then moved to NYC and landed a teaching job at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, which was founded by Phillip Burton, known as the man who adopted Richard. After one semester of teaching, I was promoted to head the acting department continuing a strong tradition. Sanford Meisner was the first head of the department at AMDA.
What inspired you to write this book?
After more than 25 years of teaching and coaching, I realized that I had encountered just about every conceivable situation that confronts actors and come up with solutions for them. If I think in terms of a “relay race” that was begun by Stanislavsky and carried forward by Uta Hagen, I felt that I was ready to run my leg. I felt that I had knowledge and experience that could advance the field.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
As a brand new author, I knew that I needed help and guidance. Havenhurst Books offered me the brilliant services of award-winning writer and editor Chris Freeman as my writing partner. From our first meeting, I knew that Chris would help me achieve the book that I wanted to write.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Getting the outline done is the hardest part. Once you have a workable plan, the rest is execution.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
Chris Freeman kept telling me that “we aren’t editing now” just get your thoughts down. He helped me not worry about the result. This proved to be invaluable advice.
What are you reading now?
The Defector by Daniel Silva
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I am a political junkie and I love the behind the scenes of Washington books by Bob Woodward. I also love thrillers. My favorite authors in addition to Daniel Silva and Bob Woodward are Nelson DeMille, Ken Follett and I have just started reading Brad Thor.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
The labor pains from this birth are still too fresh. I wouldn’t rule it out but there are no plans at the moment.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
If you feel that you have something to say, then go ahead and find a way. There are all sorts of new ways to get work published. It doesn’t have to be done in the traditional ways with the large publishers.
What have you done to promote your book?
I have appeared on radio and television and have a number of book events including signing at Samuel French in Hollywood and London. My book has also been excerpted by Emmy magazine (the official publication of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) as well as the national actors magazine Back Stage.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
My website www.howardfine.com