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Ken Rea’s The Outstanding Actor, Seven Keys To Success published 12th March 2015

Ken Rea
Ken Rea – Photo by Vincenzo Barracco


What are the qualities that make an actor stand out from all the rest?

This is a wonderful book with a unique take on how actors can get better and improve their chances of success. If we can all perform with half the warmth and generosity with which Ken has been teaching for the last 30 years, then we will have fulfilled our responsibility as story tellers, and audiences all over the world are in for a real treat.” Damian Lewis (Homeland)

How did top actors such as Damian Lewis, Ewan McGregor Dominic West, Michelle Dockery, Orlando Bloom and Daniel Craig, manage to stand out? Ken Rea, who taught them at the renowned Guildhall School of Music & Drama, shares his secrets for the first time.

Ken Rea’s The Outstanding Actor identifies the key qualities that help an actor step up from good to outstanding and become more successful. Published by Methuen Drama on 26 March 2015, The Outstanding Actor is packed with fresh solutions, techniques and exercises that actors can use immediately, both on stage and screen, and in everyday life. Its focus is not just on the core skills, but the qualities on top of those that make a difference. It also draws on research in sports, business and positive psychology, and the exclusive advice of legendary actors such as Dame Judi Dench and Al Pacino.

The classes with Ken at Guildhall, I consider to be the most important part of the acting training. They are exercises in patience, unpredictability and encouraging students to make utter fools of themselves…Vital for any actor embarking on a life in the profession.” Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)

The Outstanding ActorWhether actors are highly experienced or just starting out, The Outstanding Actor gives a strategy for becoming the actor they aspire to. It explains how to be bolder, fresher and more charismatic, giving actors the tools to take control of their life and career.

Ken’s classes were some of the most interesting and diverse that I was lucky enough to attend in drama school. He opened the mind to what acting could be. There seemed no end to the possibilities, to the depth, only how far you were prepared to go.Ewan McGregor

Ken Rea is the senior acting teacher at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He studied at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and Royal Holloway University of London. After working as a leading actor and director in New Zealand he studied theatre in Bali, Java, India, China and Japan, as well as studying with leading European teachers.

He has also taught in the national drama academies of China, Indonesia, India, Italy, New Zealand and Canada. He has worked with many theatres, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and is Artistic Director of Koru Theatre.

Plays and adaptations include The Brave Magicians of Mangalore, Pippi Longstocking, The Deceived and Voyagers. Publications include A Better Direction. He has also worked as a journalist – previously a feature writer for The Times, and theatre critic of 10 years for The Guardian.

Ken taught us to be dangerous; to abandon any sense of failure and to take risks – that’s where to find creativity. A lesson we can never stop learning.Orlando Bloom

Published in paperback 272 pages
Twitter: @Kenneth_Rea

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  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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