Michael Shurtleff quotes

  • Creating relationship is the heart of acting. It is basic. It is essential.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Heart #Creating #Acting

  • Conflict is what creates drama. The more conflict actors find, the more interesting the performance.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Drama #Interesting #Acting

  • Consistency is the death of good acting.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Consistency #Acting

  • Competition is healthy. Competition is life. Yet most actors refuse to acknowledge this. They don't want to compete. They want to get along. And they are therefore not first-rate actors. The good actor is the one who competes, willingly, who enjoys competing. An actor must compete, or die...Peacefulness and the avoidance of trouble won't help in his acting. It is just the opposite he must seek.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Opposites #Healthy #Competition

  • Listening is not merely hearing. Listening is reacting. Listening is being affected by what you hear. Listening is active.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Listening #Acting #Hearing

  • Actors, who should pride themselves on their singularity, are forever trying to be someone else. It isn’t necessary for you, the actor, to like yourself— self-love isn’t easy to come by for most of us— but you must learn to trust who you are. There is no one else like you.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Pride #Self #Forever

  • An expression of feeling isn't worth anything unless it interferes with what the other actor in the scene wants.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Expression #Feelings #Acting

  • No matter how much we know about the other person, there is always something going on in that other heart and that other head that we don't know but can only ponder. And no matter how we explain ourselves to someone else, no matter how open we are, there is always still something inexplicable, something hidden and unknown in us, too.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Heart #Matter #Inexplicable

  • The first step to a better audition is to give up character and use yourself.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Giving Up #Character #Acting

  • Acting in theatre or television or screen is only for the irrecoverably diseased, those so smitten with the need that there is no choice.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Choices #Theatre #Acting

  • There's only one reason why a character drinks: to seek confrontation. To fight for what they want in ways normally denied them.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Character #Fighting #Acting

  • Humor [in a scene] is not jokes. It is that attitude toward being alive without which you would long ago have jumped off the 59th Street Bridge.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Attitude #Bridges #Long

  • Whatever you decide is your motivation in the scene, the opposite of that is also true and should be in it.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Motivation #Opposites #Acting

  • Take nothing for granted. Make an emotional discovery as often as you can find one in every scene. Ask yourself: What is new?
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Emotional #Discovery #Acting

  • We don't live for realities, but for the fantasies, the dreams of what might be. If we lived for reality, we'd be dead, every last one of us. Only dreams keep us going...When you are acting, don't settle for anything less than the biggest dream for your character's future.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Dream #Character #Reality

  • An actor is looking for conflict. Conflict is what creates drama. We are taught to avoid trouble [so] actors don't realize they must go looking for it. Plays are written about...the extraordinary, the unusual, the climaxes. The more conflict actors find, the more interesting the performance.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Drama #Play #Interesting

  • To go into acting is like asking for admission to an insane asylum. Anyone may apply, but only the certifiably insane are admitted.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Insane #Acting #May

  • Competition [in a scene] is healthy. Competition is life. Yet most actors refuse to acknowledge this. They don't want to compete. They want to get along. And they are therefore not first-rate actors.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Healthy #Competition #Acting

  • Every scene you will ever act begins in the middle, and it is up to you, the actor, to provide what comes before.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Acting #Actors #Scene

  • An actor must make his needs (goals, wants, objectives) so strong that he is willing to interfere with the other actor in order to get what he needs. Interfering means getting in their way so that what you want is stronger than what they want.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Strong #Mean #Order

  • Often actors ask me if I think they should go on trying to be an actor. I have the same answer for everyone who asks: If you have a choice and could reasonably be happy doing something else, by all means go at once and do something else. Acting or writing or directing in the theatre or television or screen is only for the irrecoverably diseased, those who are so smitten with the need that there is no choice.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Mean #Writing #Thinking

  • The moral: Don't settle for anything less than the biggest dream for your future Fight to make the dream come true.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Dream #Fighting #Moral

  • The life of an actor is a bit easier to take if you admit you're bonkers.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Actors #Easier

  • The actor needs to find out what the basic fight is in every character in every scene.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Character #Fighting #Needs

  • Every scene is a love scene. The actor should ask the question: 'Where is the love?'
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Actors #Scene #Should

  • Everyone thinks romance is weak. Yet romance is everyone's secret dream-it's why we're alive.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Dream #Thinking #Romance

  • Humor is an attitude, a survivor’s way of looking at life. It’s not about telling jokes.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Attitude #Way #Survivor

  • Most actors make themselves unhappy by searching for their sanity, by insisting on their normalcy; it's a grave mistake.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Mistake #Unhappy #Normalcy

  • That's why there's so little romance in our world now: everyone thinks romance is weak.
    -- Michael Shurtleff

    #Thinking #Our World #Romance