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Brian Bates is a psychologist who spent seven years researching the psychology of acting with students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He is now Director of the Medical Psychology Project at the Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, England.
Shamanism and the primitive power of magnetic actors is the subject of psychologist Bates's book. Working with Royal Academy of Dramatic Art actors, he succeeded in heightening their ability to communicate personal energy. Bates demonstrates the training needed to draw from deep within their lives the concentration needed to intensify, enlarge, and focus actors' emotional tools. With a willing audience, that energy can be released in a way similar to that of primitive spiritual leaders. Extensive interviews with major actors lends the weight and persuasiveness needed to address a skeptical audience, because Bates goes well beyond actor-training here. His practice of trance-inducement and ``out-of-body'' travel left this reviewer doubtful, but his portrait of the work and powers of actors is authoritative and accurate. Controversial, but most important.Thomas E. Luddy, English Dept., Salem State Coll., Mass .