In A Young Actor Prepares, Jeff Alan-Lee masterfully delivers kids' and teens' acting classes presented as plays in script form. The classes are based on actual semesters at the Young Actor's Studio in Los Angeles and provide step-by-step approaches to help children and teenagers portray complex characters and tackle emotionally challenging roles.
For over thirty years, Alan-Lee has worked with thousands of young people, teaching the work presented in this book. His work has been the springboard for award-winning artists in acting, directing, playwriting, screenwriting, and music. Inspired by Stanislavski's An Actor Prepares, Alan-Lee has developed engaging and exciting ways to create great acting, using a unique version of the Stanislavski system that he reworked for the young actor. It's a fun and easy method to help children and teens learn to apply Stanislavski-based exercises and use their own their own life experiences, imagination, and emotions to create authentic acting and performances.
The book is for kids and teens, as well as teachers and parents. Kids and teens can find relatable characters and gain a deeper ability to make their acting shine. Teachers will get a unique look at how to handle a multitude of personalities while teaching the real work to children as young as eight. Parents will discover an actor's process that can lead their kids to greater self-esteem and creativity in all the arts.
Jeff Alan-Lee is the artistic director of the Young Actor’s Studio and a top acting coach in Los Angeles. He has taught and directed young people for over thirty years, both in New York and Los Angeles. He was a former child actor himself and began acting with his own television series at age nine. He has a BFA from New York University and has taught and directed at private schools, public schools, and youth shelters as well as teaching and directing children and teens at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institutes in New York and Los Angeles. His students include Shia LaBeouf, Scarlett Johansson, and Olivia Rodrigo, among many other great actors working in all areas of entertainment.
“There is usually a disconnect in the ways in which young actors and adult actors approach a character. AYoung Actor Prepares pays respect to the process of young actors by introducing the techniques that can develop over a lifetime. Jeff Alan-Lee's remarkable book provides a method for finding the artist within.”—Evangeline Morphos, professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, independent producer, former co-chair Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
“With this book, A Young Actor Prepares, Jeff Alan-Lee has filled a giant gap. So many would-be young actors learn habits they later have to unlearn if they remain serious about acting. What a gift it is that he has written a book that works with young actors from the inside out. Using the best of the best methods out there, A Young Actor Prepares creates a way for young actors to begin a life of honoring process. It sets the stage for a life in the theater that doesn’t have to do with people-pleasing and scoring the next commercial but instead honors creative self-expression and creation of characters—characters that will entertain and, beyond that, offer audiences a mirror and, maybe most importantly, fellowship in the way only good theater can. What a spectacular book.”—Helen Hunt, Academy-Award winner
“A Young Actor Prepares is a book that must be read. It is The Young Actor’s Studio in print. Jeff Alan-Lee is a master, with decades of talent and experience onstage, teaching and directing young actors. His book is a bible, helpful to teens and adults as well. Buy this book, read and enjoy it. Then get onstage and let your passion sing out. I applaud you.”—Judith Bouley, CSA Casting Director (Credits include Jurassic World)
“There are a lot of acting teachers out there who concern themselves with the commercial aspects of the entertainment business; there are fewer—too few—who focus on how a young actor can grow as an artist. Our industry would be better off if all young actors understood the basic principles of acting as they’re outlined in Jeff’s book, A Young Actor Prepares.”—Mark Bennett, CSA Casting Director (Credits include Academy-Award winner, The Hurt Locker)
“A Young Actor Prepares is an extraordinary book every drama teacher and young actor should read. Jeff Alan-Lee deeply cares and teaches young actors to discover how to bring their authentic self to the role to make their performance as truthful and unique as they are. In a world of social media and fleeting external influences, he teaches what really matters: the inner work that will stay with you forever and finding your true voice as an artist and human being.”—Annet McCrosky, President of Artistic Endeavors Entertainment. Former president of The Talent Managers Association
“Only a former child actor now overseeing a successful acting school for children in the acting mecca of Los Angeles could have conjured up such as ingenious approach to initiating children in the mysterious art of acting, whether onstage or for the camera. His book, A Young Actor Prepares, is so much more than just your typical how-to manual for drama teachers; it fills a gaping hole in the existing literature on children’s theater. Quite simply, Alan-Lee takes the time-tested exercises conceived by Konstantin Stanislavski in the 19th century (later refined by Lee Strasberg in the 20th at The Actors Studio), and adapts their tried-and-true techniques into a method of his own which enables actors from age 6 to 16 to access profound inner truths in their acting roles. Above all, Alan-Lee is adamant that children be creators and discoverers rather than mere puppets manipulated by a director. A brilliant contribution to the canon and a must-read for drama teachers everywhere.”—Kerry Muir, Childsplay: A Collection of Scenes & Monologues for Young Actors
“I’ve had the extreme privilege of directing Jeff. He’s that rare kind of actor: one who immerses himself completely in the character in a very personal and masterful way. I’ve also observed Jeff while teaching his students. As a teacher, he removes any mystery or false idea of acting and dissects the art of performance in very clear, practical, and effective results. When I’m in a position where I need to cast young actors I always ask the casting directors I’m working with to look at Jeff’s students first. How wonderful that all the years of work is now available in his book, A Young Actor Prepares!—Coy Middlebrook, Broadway producer-director indie film director and Artistic Director of The Wallis Annenberg Center for The Arts, Los Angeles