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Publisher's Summary

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 offering tips on everything from how to stay healthy to building a diverse network of friends and professional alliances. Honest, passionate, and inspiring, this audiobook has life-changing potential.
©2006 Anna Deavere Smith (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

Audie Award Finalist, Personal Development, Motivational, 2007
"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) "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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By S. Barker on 10-30-17

Great advice for artists of any age.

I gave the book to my niece who is interested in acting and was impressed with both the passion and real world advice (esp. about working hard).

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By Taj on 09-15-15

Heartening and a joy!

What made the experience of listening to Letters to a Young Artist the most enjoyable?

ADS has a warmth in her voice and delivery that makes the advice and recollections feel as though they are being delivered by a trusted family member. Like a gentle hand on your knee, reassuring your progress and path in authenticity.

Who was your favorite character and why?

As this was not a fiction piece, Anna Deavere Smith was my favorite character.

Which character – as performed by Anna Deavere Smith – was your favorite?

She did some characterizations but her recollections as herself were my favorite.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wouldn't think an extreme reaction would come from this content, but it did make me contemplative.

Any additional comments?

I would love to meet the author and discuss art and creativity even more because of this book.

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