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If there's anything approaching a unified theory of acting, it's that acting is doing. And if there's any primary tenet of comedy, it's that you can't teach someone to be funny. Simple and direct, Gold's book is written as if in defiance of these ideas, and it's the type of tool that all serious actors should have available to them. Certainly, other great teachers have put their theories onto the page, but Finding Your Funny Bone! is imbued with a distinctive voice and personality often lacking in other manuals.


A longtime teacher at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and a student of the legendary Jacques Lecoq, Gold begins with very basic elements and exercises that actors with even a modicum of training have been exposed to. It is the way she builds on them that makes the book so unique. Beginning with space work and neutral positioning and moving on to mask exercises and clown work, Gold promotes the idea of the actor's self-discovery.


There is also a joy and passion that jumps off the pages of Finding Your Funny Bone! without things becoming dogmatic. In fact, Gold encourages actors to jettison those elements of the book that don't work for them. In a field in which teachers are often self-styled gurus, it's refreshing to encounter someone who doesn't claim to be the be-all and end-all.


If there's any drawback to the book, it's that it cannot, or should not, be used in a bubble. Finding Your Funny Bone! is most effective when used with other activities, be it in a class, a workshop, or a living room with fellow actors. Then again, that is the point: Acting is not a solo endeavor. To exist, it demands a relationship with an audience and with fellow performers. This book is a delightful, detailed approach to comedic performance that every actor can learn from.


Scott Leggett, Backstage Magazine


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Show-business legend has it that the dying words of celebrated Shakespearean actor Sir Donald Wolfit (1902-1968) were “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Most challenging of all is physical comedy, which has prompted a new book on the subject: Finding Your Funny Bone: The Actor’s Guide to Physical Comedy and Characters, by Nancy Gold. Gold’s book is a

basic how-to manual for performers, directors and teachers that touches on mime, movement, acting, clowning, improvisation, writing and even juggling. Physical theatre training is difficult

to capture within the pages of a book, but Gold does a good job — helped by lively text, photos and illustrations. Her approach

is refreshing, too — urging readers to experiment with all the techniques she describes, then discard what doesn’t work

for them.


Stephen Peithman, Stage Directions Magazine


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The cover calls this idea packed volume “an actors guide...”,

but during the first read through, the book reveals itself to be

a source for anyone looking to open themselves up to a lighter

heart and a brighter spirit. As for true performers, a novice or

pro will learn and grow more each time they peruse the pages.

Everyone wants to reveal their funny bone and Nancy Gold has developed techniques (with photo illustrations) that guide the

way to laughter. Go ahead, be a clown!


William Moynihan, Actor, etc.


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Just received your wonderful book and have dived in -- it's so spot-on and acute -- you not only know what you know (and

that is definitive) you know how to share it -- and inspire with it. I know it's a book for everyone -- it really is -- yet I feel it's a tribute and celebration -- it gels what we longtime professionals have learned through years of doing... and elucidates it eloquently -- without ever forgetting the soul of the thing: laughter and fun.


David Johnstone, Actor/Director


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Thank you for your book. I have read it and find it very useful. The laugh doctors from my city would like to do a workshop with your book. We find in it invaluable tools for our work.


Jesús Cuevas, www.risaterapia.org


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Finished my first pass through “Funny Bone”. I went to see “Corteo”… What a hoot, after your introduction to some of the nuances of performing, to see them "in action" at Cirque Du Soleil. A wonderful treat, it all was!  Now, I have an even deeper understanding and appreciation of the depth of skill…the brother/sister-hood of performers have — and make look so natural and “effortless”. WOW!


Stan Friedman, photographer


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Nancy Gold really knows her stuff and it's funny stuff at that.

Whether you're a stage, film, TV type or someone needing to

brighten up the corporate office party, this book offers great tips.

It's rare to find an informational book that's fun to read, laid out

in an easy-to-follow format and is accessible to all ages and professions. Warning, once you read this, you may want to rush

out and grab a red nose and act real silly. Which isn't a bad idea

for our world, now is it?


Stephen Wolcott, Writer/Producer


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What a brilliant book. It’s great. It is so great! It is just what I needed. Teaching

my circus arts class, looking for inspiration and voila! there it is. I am so excited and I am so happy. It is so good. Your writing is so inspiring and creative.


Jeannie McKenzie, Performer/Teacher





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