Francis Greenslade: How I Learnt to Act

Francis Greenslade How I Learnt to ActWhat’s it like to be naked in front of an audience? What do you do if you set fire to a bucket on stage? What is corpsing and why should it never be done?

Francis Greenslade is one of Australia’s finest comic actors with over thirty years experience working in theatre, film and TV. How I Learnt to Act: On the way to NOT going to drama school is a funny, accessible and honest account of a jobbing actor’s process.

Here he tells the story of how as an enthusiastic but formally untrained actor he learnt to manage the demands of text and character and emotional connection with the character. Along with how to stand on your mark, and read a call sheet, and deal with directors.

“Creative, meticulous and generous in the execution of his craft, Francis’ book is a worthwhile and much anticipated read.” – Lisa McCune

Half acting manual, half entertaining tale of the world of professional acting in Australia, this is a book for all actors, whether amateur or professional, novice or veteran, and indeed anyone who has ever wondered what it is that actors actually do.

“One of Australia’s finest comic actors has generously given us two books for the price of one: a disarmingly frank account of a thespian life and a compendium of practical advice for actors of any age. Sagacity, insight and perceptiveness illuminate every page.” – Max Gillies

Francis Greenslade is a familiar face to TV and theatre audiences, having been a freelance actor for over thirty years. He is a regular on the ABC’s satirical comedy, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell and spent five years as Brian Gross in Channel 7’s family drama Winners and Losers.

His other TV credits include The Leftovers, The Micallef Programme, Jack Irish, Doctor Blake, Full Frontal, Blue Heelers, It’s a Date, Offspring, Bed of Roses and City Homicide.

He is also a prolific theatre actor having worked with most of the theatre companies in Australia. Credits include Melbourne Theatre Company’s Shakespeare in Love, The Odd Couple, 33 Variations, The Club, School for Scandal, Funerals and Circuses, and Urinetown. He is set to star in Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling at Theatre Works in 2020.

Greenslade is also a writer. He was commissioned to translate and adapt Feydeau’s The Girl from Maxim and his adaptation of Accidental Death of an Anarchist was produced by Sydney Theatre Company in 2018.


How I Learnt to Act is published by Currency Press and available from all leading book retailers including Booktopia.

Image: How I Learnt to Act – courtesy of Currency Press

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