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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Shelton Audio Clip and Transcript

Jean Shelton Clip 

Interviewer: Dawn Pyne Murayama

JS: Right. There’s two basic things about acting. There’s behavior and there’s what we call inner life, the motivation for that behavior. And there’s physicality, well, there’s physical behavior, and so it basically boils down to what you want, why you’re there; it boils down to what we call objectives.

DM: And how do you get it?

JS: Know more, how do you get it?

DM: Know how do you get it.

JS: Just go straight for it. The actions tended to make people too heavy. They were very helpful for a long while, and maybe for a beginning actor, but you had too much to think about. The less you have to think about, the freer you are. Certain things are very important to think about, what you’re talking about, why you’re talking about it, making that real to yourself, and being able to not bump into the furniture, and your behavior which is the objective. Practically everything else I’ve dropped. I don’t use improvisation much, I don’t let people learn their lines.

©Museum of Performance + Design

Jean Shelton
Shelton Audio Clip and Transcript