Giving and Receiving Love in our Acting


An actor's job is to add warmth to a character - to bring to life the lines from the script and be the physical vessel to communicate ideas and intent to the audience, other characters and environment. Michael Shurtleff, author of "Audition", insists that love is a key ingredient to making your acting interesting, no matter which kind of character you are playing.

In fact, it makes life in general more interesting, even if you're not an actor exploring character work. Feel free to replace the idea of "character" with your own self.

  • How does your character receive love?

  • How does your character give love?

  • How does your character show love to himself or herself?

  • Is your character the type of person who understands how people want to be loved, or the type to impose the way they receive love upon others?

  • Is your character the type to assume they know what’s best for someone,

  • Is there an internal roadblock that’s preventing them from getting what they want because they can’t fully listen or become willing to love someone in a way that’s unfamiliar to them?

  • Is it causing frustration that seeps out in other ways throughout the story?

If there's a lack of love being doled out or received, it could be due to F E A R.

Oooo guess what?! We can add an element of fear here as well! Let's do it!

  • If your character is a love-avoider, what is the reason for the fear behind that?

  • What pain does your character endure?

  • If he/she could be fearless in love, how WOULD he/she receive it?

  • What kind of connection does your character crave?

  • What are the character's fears of connection

  • What are the character's fears of not connecting?

"Where fear is, happiness is not." - Seneca


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