Download Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts—For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind Audiobook

Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts—For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind Audiobook, by Anna Deavere Smith Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Anna Deavere Smith Narrator: Anna Deavere Smith Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781481542159
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (193 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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From “the most exciting individual in American theater” (Newsweek), here is Anna Deavere Smith’s brass-tacks advice to aspiring artists of all stripes. In the manner of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Deavere Smith mentors her young artist over a period of five years, sharing her hard won wisdom about the challenges and rewards of the artistic life. Drawing on her own life experiences as an actor, teacher, and playwright, Deavere Smith provides a motivating example for how to pursue one’s art without compromise, while addressing the full spectrum of issues that people starting out will face—from questions of confidence, discipline, and self-esteem, to fame, failure, and fear, to staying healthy, presenting yourself effectively, building a diverse social and professional network, and using your art to promote social change. Honest, passionate, and inspiring, this audiobook has life-changing potential. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What emerges most persuasively is Smith’s sense of the complex interrelationship between one’s art and one’s everyday life. With a pithiness that wards away the preachy, Smith succeeds in conveying the pain, the joy and the effort that characterize a life on the stage and in the world.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Interesting, humorous, practical, and profound…Every bit of the author’s own life experiences is brought into this insightful audio presentation. Read by the author in a wry and touching tone, the production has a narrative style that is relaxed and direct…For an artist of any age, this advice is indispensable. This audio presentation is worth listening to again and again.”

    AudioFile

  • “Smith reads her own book in a bright, encouraging style. This book will be enjoyed by aspiring artists and those who are interested in how artists think and pursue their difficult but vital craft.”

    Kliatt

  • “Her letters are filled with anecdotes and stories about her own successes and failures, giving the book an accessible, conversational feel…The book reads breezily front to back but is also divided into categories so it can be easily used as a reference when needing inspiration in specific areas…a witty and inspiring guidebook for anyone interested in pursuing an artistic life.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Whether she is speaking about childhood memories, tough Hollywood situations, or finding inspiration in the work of others, Smith is generous, vulnerable, and perceptive. Readers of all disciplines will come away from these pages feeling opened, nurtured, and eager to follow Smith’s call to action.”

    Booklist

  • An Audie Award Finalist in Audie Award Finalist

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 12/24/2013

    " what an interesting actress and author "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brett | 3/22/2013

    " i loved 'fires in the mirror' and perhaps approached this book with too high of expectations. the introduction was absolutely inspiring and there were some good sound-bites throughout- but i just couldn't get into it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 9/28/2012

    " Never in my life have I read a more inspiring book. I was left each page with a strong desire to do anything and everything I've ever wanted to do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 8/29/2012

    " Great advice for all ages, all disciplines not just "young artists" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle-aneesha | 12/6/2011

    " loved her letter about stage fright... it is a must read before taking the stage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 9/14/2011

    " did the audio version, read by the author. she is brilliant. good book for everyone, not just artists "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 7/28/2011

    " A really delightful view into the mind of an incredible artist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 2/10/2011

    " i read this as the art on paper in magazine special. would love to read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liza | 9/4/2010

    " I liked what she had to say about stamina. That is what I sorely lack. So hard to maintain an even pace in the "biz" when your body is holding you back. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake | 1/5/2010

    " i like this book. there are small gems and it can be the pep talk when you can't give it to yourself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 5/24/2007

    " Very good advice for creative people. Anna Deavere Smith has pithy observations about life, great stories about her life as an artist, and sets forth a very clear idea of what it means to be an artist and interact with the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 11/26/2006

    " This book got me through my college auditions. I will never be without it. "

About the Author

Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, teacher, playwright, and the creator of the acclaimed On the Road series of one-woman plays, which are based on her interviews with diverse voices from communities in crisis. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President Obama and two Obie Awards, and her work also been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award. Onscreen, she has appeared in many films and television shows, including Philadelphia, The West Wing, Black-ish, and Nurse Jackie. She is a professor in the department of art and public policy at New York University, where she also directs the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue. In 2019, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.