Performing Identity

Performing Identity: Actor Training, Self-Commodification and Celebrity

By Barry King

'Performing Identity: Actor Training, Self-Commodification and Celebrity' examines how the persistent and deepening casualization and precarity of acting work, coupled with market pressures, has affected the ways in which actors are trained in the US and UK. It reviews the existing state of training, looking at various theories of what the actor does, debates about casting, and the impact of reality television and social media. In the increasing effort to find ways to overcome the precarious labour market for actors and other performers, the traditional emphasis on the theatrical character has been replaced by the celebration of the persona – a public image of the performer as a personal brand. As a result, a physiocratic elite, that literally incorporates the collective labour of cultural workers into the star or celebrity body, has formed. 

Organised into nine chapters, the book explores how the star or celebrity’s appearance and comportment are positioned as the rule of nature, formed and abiding outside capitalism as a mode of production. 

This book will appeal to students of theatre studies and performance, as well as those interested in contemporary stardom, celebrity, and how technology shapes our identities.

Barry King is a Professor of Communications at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and a member of IAMCR. 

The above text is from the publisher’s description of the book:

Title: Performing Identity: Actor Training, Self-Commodification and Celebrity
Author: Barry King
Published: 2023
Pages: 280
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

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