Having published four sole authored books, you might think it would be 'easy' to complete another book. But like anything worthwhile, taking on the writing of '(toward) a phenomenology of acting' for Routledge Press is an immensely difficult and complicated project. Over the past two years, in and around my recent production/touring commitments in Costa Rica, Norway, and the UK, I've been at work on this 'monster' of a new book.
It took me twelve years to research, write and published When the body becomes all eyes for Oxford University Press. I hope it does not take me twelve years to complete this one!
From my perspective, phenomenology is a way of exploring, investigating, and reflecting on the work that we do as actors, and on the way in which acting shapes and structures a certain type of experience. Building on my past publications, my specific purpose in this book is to address a simple question: How can the insights gained from a phenomenological understanding of our embodied experience be applied to both actor/performer training, and to the actor's work on a specific performance? I hope this book will contribute to further reconsiderations of acting and actor-training.
Part of my dilemma in attempting this impossible project is how to organise the material in a manageable way that will be accessible for actors, directors, and students of acting/directing. I hope that as of today I've managed to finally 'settle' on a Table of Contents that will allow me to address acting as a phenomenon and process incrementally. The Introduction and first two chapters discuss preliminary/foundational issues. The substance of the book in Chapters 3 through 10 will explore key issues including embodiment; temporality; subjectivity, self, and character; language; cognitive states such as remembering; emotion, affect, and feeling; intersubjectivity; and an 'ethics' of acting and performance.
Onward.....watch this space for occasional updates about progress on the book.