Even though, actor Allan Rich is famously known for his wide varity of character roles, he’s also a seasoned writer, producer, and director. Mr. Rich has been in over 110 television and movie productions: CSI, NYPD Blue, Quiz Show, Amistad, just to name a few.
Born Benjamin Norman Schultzin in New York of 1926, Rich aspired to a performing career at an early age, however, as an adult those aspirations were put aside for a while and Rich succeeded as a stock broker. This eventually led to the opening of his own firm.
Later, eager to act again, Rich landed a role in a stage production of “Journey of the Fifth Horse” with Dustin Hoffman in the early ‘70s. Finally, in 1973, he made his debut as District Attorney Herman Tauber in Sidney Lumet's "Serpico." From then on his career in Hollywood developed immensely. Rich has worked on-stage with the likes of Edward G. Robinson, Ralph Bellamy, Kim Hunter, and Henry Fonda.
His new acting book - A Leap From The Method: An Organic Approach To Acting gives aspiring actors the ability to “judge their own work.” It is a clear, simple, straightforward guide to acting and show business. Rich enjoyably took us along his life's journey and walked us through his own experiences and growths as an actor as well as a person. In addition, he illustrated how easy it is for actors to make things difficult when it’s unnecessary to do so.
Along his journey as an actor, Rich developed his series of beliefs and theories on the art of acting. He explained how to find the essence of a character’s behavior and how an actor can use his own fantasies to understand how a character might behave in any given moment.
He goes on to describe how an actor can fantasize a moment or a whole life based on his wants and needs. At that moment, he is able to transfer those emotions to the character’s wants, needs, and emotions. Mr. Rich made it transparent that the character is the actor and the actor is the character.
Reading this book will make you realize and understand why the skillful actor is powerful with his craft. Rich learned to analyze his life’s situations and embody them as an actor which helped him become his on screen characters. In other words, he took his life and entwined it with his character’s life. The result is he no longer is Allan Rich or the character - he is both. The actor's latest film:
The Last Word starring, Winona Ryder, Wes Bentley, and Ray Romano is scheduled to premiere in early 2008.
In addition to his busy schedule, Rich gives back to kids. His nonprofit (501 C3) film company: We Care About Kids was created to make a relevant difference in the lives of all youth by creating short films that promote ethnic and religious tolerance; discourage violence by promoting self-esteem; raise awareness of the harmful effects of substance, tobacco and alcohol abuse.
We Care About Kids also aids in the effort to promote quality early care and education programs for elementary, middle and high school students. All donations go directly to fund raising, film production and the distribution of the films. All the principle players of the company work pro bono – they receive no salary. We Care About Kids visit schools across the country providing film screenings of various movies produced by We Care About Kids
Actors and those who are thinking about getting into show business will enjoy reading this book as much as I did. I’m convinced any reader will come to a new appreciation and understanding for the art of performing. Reading A Leap From The Method: An Organic Approach To Acting is educational and entertaining. As always, Allan Rich has done a remarkable job - it is precise, wise, and brilliant.