Acting Quotes


Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances. - Sanford Meisner

An actor is a fool for God. - Gerardine Clark

Without wonder and insight, acting is just a businessWith it, it becomes creation. - Bette Davis

The best acting is instinctiveIt's not intellectual, it's not mechanical, it's instinctive. - Craig MacDonald

That's what makes acting so attractiveYou get to break all your own rules. Gerardine Clark

Acting should be bigger than lifeScripts should be bigger than lifeIt should all be bigger than life. - Bette Davis

Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly. - Rosalind Russell

Acting is not about being someone differentIt's finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there. - Meryl Streep

Good acting -- real acting is impossible to spotDo you ever catch talents like Robert Duvall or Kathy Bates acting? NoI defy you to show me where. - William Esper

Stop explaining yourselfShut up and act! - Craig MacDonald

Find in yourself those human things which are universal. - Sanford Meisner

The more personal, the more universal. - Gary Ballinger

An actor has to burn inside with an outer ease. - Michael Chekhov

Use what you knowDon't worry about what you don't know. - Michael Shurtleff

The actor has to develop his bodyThe actor has to work on his voiceBut the most important thing the actor has to work on is his mind. - Stella Adler

An ounce of behavior is worth a pound of words. - Sanford Meisner

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

If you really do want to be an actor who can satisfy himself and his audience, you need to be vulnerable. - Jack Lemmon

Creating relationship is the heart of actingIt is basicIt is essential. - Michael Shurtleff

Listening is not merely hearingListening is reactingListening is being affected by what you hearListening is active. - Michael Shurtleff

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

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

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

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

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

Honesty isn't enough for me. That becomes very boring. If you can convince people what you're doing is real and it's also bigger than life -- that's exciting. - Gene Hackman

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

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

My job is usually to express emotion as freely as possible. - Meryl Streep

I'm curious about other people. That's the essence of my acting. I'm interested in what it would be like to be you. - Meryl Streep

I think the most liberating thing I did early on was to free myself from any concern with my looks as they pertained to my work. - Meryl Streep

I believe in imaginational did Kramer vs. Kramer before I had children. But the mother I would be was already inside me. - Meryl Streep

All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today, in any scene. - Meryl Streep

The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part. - Miguel de Cervantes

Actors think more with their hearts than with their heads. - William Esper

Show me a great actor and I'll show you a lousy husband. Show me a great actress, and you've seen the devil. - WCFields

Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - George Burns

The theater has never been any good since the actors became gentlemen. - W.HAuden

Actors die so loud. - Henry Miller

I love acting. It is so much more real than life. - Oscar Wilde

If I wasn't an actor, I'd be a secret agent. - Thornton Wilder

The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. - Stella Adler

I'm a skilled professional actor. Whether or not I've any talent is beside the point. - Michael Caine

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

Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me. - George Bernard Shaw

There's nothing more boring than unintelligent actors, because all they have to talk about is themselves and acting. There have to be other things. - Tim Robbins

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. - Stella Adler

I think your self emerges more clearly over time. - Meryl Streep

I need to go where people are serious about acting. - Meryl Streep

The work will stand, no matter what. - Meryl Streep