Acting

Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself. – Rodney Dangerfield

Acting is magical. Change your look and your attitude, and you can be anyone. – Alicia Witt

Acting is the least mysterious of all crafts. Whenever we want something from somebody or when we want to hide something or pretend, we’re acting. Most people do it all day long. – Marlon Brando

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

The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing. – Ralph Richardson

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It’s a bum’s life. Quitting acting, that’s the sign of maturity. – Marlon Brando

People acting in their own self-interest is the fuel for all the discovery, innovation, and prosperity that powers the world. – John Stossel

Acting is not about being famous, it’s about exploring the human soul. – Annette Bening

Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on. – River Phoenix

Acting is always a challenge. – Robert Downey

Film acting is one of the only industries where you’re criticized for working hard. In any other industry, it’s considered a quality and something to behold. – Nicolas Cage

Acting is a question of absorbing other people’s personalities and adding some of your own experience. – Paul Newman

Great acting is not easy; anyone who says it is is either shallow or a charlatan. And one of the hardest things about acting is admitting that it is hard. – Robert Cohen

Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself. – John Gielgud

Acting is not being emotional, but being able to fully express emotion. – Kate Reid

Acting is a spiritual quest to touch human beings. – Larry Moss

Acting provides the fulfillment of never being fulfilled. You’re never as good as you’d like to be. So there’s always something to hope for. – Washington Irving

Acting is nothing more or less than playing. The idea is to humanize life. – George Eliot

Acting is happy agony. – Jean-Paul Sartre

Acting doesn’t bring anything to a text. On the contrary, it detracts from it. – Marguerite Duras

Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy. – Clive Swift

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

Acting is a matter of giving away secrets. – Ellen Barkin

Acting is not about dressing up. Acting is about stripping bare. The whole essence of learning lines is to forget them so you can make them sound like you thought of them that instant. – Glenda Jackson

I must say that acting was good training for the political life that lay ahead of us. – Nancy Reagan

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

Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there. – Meryl Streep

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 business. With it, it becomes creation. – Bette D

The best acting is instinctive. It’s not intellectual, it’s not mechanical, it’s instinctive. – Craig MacDonald

That’s what makes acting so attractive. You get to break all your own rules. – Gerardine Clark

Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It 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 different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there. – Meryl Streep

Good acting — real acting is impossible to spot. Do you ever catch talents like Robert Duvall or Kathy Bates acting? No. I defy you to show me where. – William Esper

Stop explaining yourself. Shut 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 know. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. – Michael Shurtleff

The actor has to develop his body. The actor has to work on his voice. But 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 drama. The 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 acting. It is basic. It is essential. – Michael Shurtleff

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

Acting is a nice childish profession – pretending you’re someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself. – Katharine Hepburn

Listening is not merely hearing. Listening is reacting. Listening is being affected by what you hear. Listening 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 jokes. It is that attitude toward being alive without which you would long ago have jumped off the 59th 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