For nearly 25 years, expertise has been considered an important testing ground for theories of cognition. Cognitive scientists have examined experts as diverse as chess masters, waiters, field-hockey players, and computer programmers. Recently, increased attention has been given to the arts, including dance, music appreciation and performance, and literary analysis. It is therefore somewhat surprising that--except for the authors' program of research dating from the late 1980s--virtually no studies on the cognitive processes of professional actors can be found in the literature. These experts not only routinely memorize hours of verbal material in a very short time, but they retrieve it verbatim along with the accompanying gestures, movements, thoughts, and emotions of the characters. The mental processes involved in this task constitute the subject of this recent research and are described in detail in this book.