Performing Identity : Actor Training, Self-Commodification and Celebrity

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    • Abstract:
      This book examines how the persistent and deepening casualization and precarity of acting work, coupled with market pressures, has affected the ways in which actors are trained in the US and UK. It reviews the existing state of training, looking at various theories of what the actor does, debates about casting, and the impact of reality television and social media. In the increasing effort to find ways to overcome the precarious labour market for actors and other performers, the traditional emphasis on theatrical character has been replaced by the celebration of the persona – a public image of the performer as a personal brand. As a result, a physiocratic elite, that literally incorporates the collective labour of cultural workers into the star or celebrity body, has formed. This book explores how the star or celebrity's appearance and comportment are positioned as the rule of nature, formed and abiding outside capitalism as a mode of production. This book will be of interest to those studying theatre studies and performance, contemporary stardom and celebrity and the impact of technology on the formation of identity.
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