Like all great performers, Nicole Kidman approached her role in The Hours as a creative collaboration. Kidman knew that portraying Virginia Woolf on screen required a truth that she as the actor and Wolff as the character shared. Enter acting "alchemist" and "technician of the spirit" (The New Yorker) Susan Batson. Batson's process gave Kidman the tools to find that truth and honed her performance from the inside out. She won an Oscar for her work.
In Truth, the most sought after acting guru in Hollywood and on Broadway distills her half century's experience as an actor, teacher, and personal coach into a step by step process for creating a character from first read through to final performance.
Debunking a century's worth of myths about "method acting," Batson identifies the unifying forces of Need, Public Persona, and Tragic Flaw to unite the actor with his or her character. Need is the primal, unfulfilled desire that a character's Public Persona hides. Tragic Flaw is the confrontational dramatic behavior that erupts when the character's Need and Public Persona clash. Truth shows how actively defining and understanding these three principals leads to the most truthful performances possible.
A must-read for beginning actors, a wake-up call for working actors, and an indispensable reference for writers, Truth reveals the inner game of telling stories and creating vivid, three dimensional life out of words.
Susan Batson and her New York and Los Angeles based Black Nexxus acting school have been profiled in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and Backstage. A protégé of theater legends Joe Papp and Harold Clurman, Batson is a member of the Actor's Studio. Her work on stage was recognized with a New York Drama Critics Award, an LA Drama Critics Award, and an Obie.
As a coach, Susan Batson has consulted with actors Nicole Kidman, Juliet Binoche, Tom Cruise, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Connolly, Liv Tyler, and director Spike Lee. She was a producer of the hugely successful Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs.
Susan Batson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts and now makes her home in Manhattan.