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Michael Shurtleff’s Thoughts

Guidepost 1: Relationship
 “Start with the question: What is my relationship to the other character in
the scene I am about to do?” (33)
 “Once you know the fact of a relationship, you are ready to explore how you
feel about this other character…the feeling in the relationship now” (33)
 “Create the feelings as you would feel them” (36)
 “I say every scene is a love scene. The actor should ask the question, “Where
is the love?” of every scene, or he won’t find the deepest emotional content”
(36)
 “Isn’t that a more vivid choice… of course you always say yes to the question
of love” (37)
 Implied: Don’t throw away negative choices for the sake of love—just add
them to positive choices.
 Implied: “Where” doesn’t mean, “Is there love?” It means, “What role does
love play in the scene?”
 “Neither one is offering love, each one is demanding it of the other. It’s a rich
love scene…The desire for love, to give or receive it, preferably both at the
same time, is the chief propellant in human beings.” (41)
 “Expand your concept of what love is to include the various peculiar and
perverse forms it can take in human relationships.” (41)

“More” (39)
“As an actor you should always be looking for the most immediate emotional
involvement” (36)

“Make these questions active in the reading: keep asking these questions… the
process of trying to make an emotional decision is more dramatic than the
achievement of it” (39)
“Instead she uses words of rejection almost entirely in order to protect herself… she
fights against it with words intended to cover over the emotions she is feeling” (35)