By Sanford Meisner and Dennis Longwell
When I started acting, I didn't quite get it: I thought you had "it" or you didn't. A year or so after I'd dropped out of high school, my mother came to see me in some ghastly off-off Broadway play. She said that if I was going to be an actor, I should study. It was a criticism, yes, but it was said in a supportive way. I took a lot of classes and didn't do very well—I was scared and very resistant to working hard. Reading this book was an epiphany. Meisner taught a method he called the magic "as if." The gist of it is figuring out how I—Rob Morrow—connect emotionally to the story I'm acting. Using the technique, I stopped just saying words and doing gestures and started to try to inhabit roles. It helped me fall in love with the art of acting.