Maura Vaughn has been a professional actor and teacher of acting for over thirty years. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she trained at Circle in the Square. As a performer, she was fortunate enough to have graced stages in New York, across the United States and in Europe.
I have been teaching actors for nearly as long as I have been an actor. For the past fourteen years, I have been the Director of Theatre at The Branson School in Ross, California.
A few years ago, I realized that my student actors needed a clear, practical guide to help them develop a process for reading a script and mining it for clues, a chart to help them make the hundreds of individual artistic choices that come together as a full, rich performance.
I looked through all of the available literature–including classics by masters such as Stanislavski, Hagen, Meisner and Adler–and found that even the best books on acting were either written for experienced performers or focused on the experience of being available and in the moment, of connecting on stage.
Many of these books touched on text analysis–the technique for scoring or breaking down a script–but their approaches were often too abstract or too unsystematic to be helpful to actors who were just starting their journey.
And so I set out to write the book myself: The Anatomy of a Choice: An Actor’s Guide to Text Analysis.
This book offers the actor a concrete method for approaching a script. The Anatomy of a Choice details a simple process to discover and define a character’s scene and super-objective, obstacle, beats, and tactics. It includes practical information on building a character, maximizing rehearsal time, and what to do when nothing is working.