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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

Extended Audio Sample Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts—For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind, by Anna Deavere Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (193 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Deavere Smith Narrator: Anna Deavere Smith Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by Meg Cain | 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 by Patty | 8/29/2012

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

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About the Author

Anna Deavere Smith has had a high-profile career as actor, teacher, and playwright. She has won two Obies, two Tony nominations, a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. She is currently director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue and is a professor at New York University.