Accidentally on Purpose: Reflections on Life, Acting and the Nine Natural Laws of Creativity

John Strasberg, Author Applause Books $24.95 (258p) ISBN 978-1-55783-196-5
The author is the son of Lee Strasberg (a major force in the history of the Actors Studio), brother of Susan (the actress) and a would-be theater guru in his own right. His book is a combination autobiography (""My parents were too busy with their own dreams of success... for me"") and a how-to guide to creative acting, his answer to his father's famous ""Method,"" which, he says, only taught actors to think like actors. Lee Strasberg is presented as a selfish martinet who came alive only at the Studio. The author's mother is seen as a neurotic who sacrificed her independence for, first, her husband, then, for Marilyn Monroe. Monroe appears briefly (she gave the author a car when he was 18) as do--even more briefly--Franchot Tone (whom the author would have preferred as a father), John Garfield, Al Pacino, Geraldine Page and various Actors Studio hangers-on. Strasberg also touches on his two marriages, his work at the Film Board of Canada, his acting schools in France and Spain, his experiments with LSD and his Reichian therapy. In much greater detail, he reprises scenes he performed in class at the Studio and--with less enthusiasm--plays presented by the Studio theater company in the early 1960s and by his own company, The Real Stage, in the late '70s. This highly egocentric performance ends with a discussion of the ""natural laws of creativity,"" which owe a lot to Wilhelm Reich. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-55783-358-7
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