Sande Shurin has written two important books on acting:
STAR POWER: Defining Your Individual Signature
Published by Morgan James Publishing, October 2009.
STAR POWER: Defining Your Individual Signature
STAR POWER!, the workshop, engages the Actor and non-actor in new possibilities, helping them develop their Authentic Self and define their Individual Signature. As an acting coach, it is Ms. Shurin’s job to transform good actors into “brilliant” ones. For non-actors it’s how to transform anyone that wants a qualitative difference in their lives. This is a workshop about Ms. Shurin’s new discoveries about how to define an Individual Signature for each person. The combination of Individual Signature, Transformed Identity and commitment to design a new blueprint and vision for your life is the essence of Star Power.
STAR POWER! works.
STAR POWER! is for everyone.
TRANSFORMATIONAL ACTING: A Step Beyond
Published by Limelight. October, 2002.
A Step Beyond
“With this book actors take a step-by-step journey into knowing themselves; they use “self” as the raw material to transform into character.
“For creating, we tap into an active energy and intelligence alive in all of nature. This unifying intelligence and dynamic energy already exists inside each and every one of us. This essence is the source of my new approach.
“In Transformational Acting, the actor is taught to access this essence along with the “Emotional Body” (a new way to generate current emotions without having to rely on histrionics). Strong new acting distinctions are also taught in this technique, such as transforming who You are into That character—actually reinventing yourself as the character. It’s about you, who you are, what you bring to the character, and using what is relevant from within you. This new acting technique takes the actor beyond “Sense Memory” into Transformational Acting.”
This book is a determined effort to steer away from the intellectual, theory-based acting instruction to a more creative and viscerally human approach. It moves beyond teaching how to represent a character or various emotions toward living a role with in-the-moment identification and urgency. The goal of Sande Shurin’s transformational acting is to bring both the actor and the character into the same body. To do this requires, first, finding the difference and similarities that divide and link the actor and the role being performed; and, second, imagining the entire life of the character—including what is hidden on the stage or on screen.
Two of the author’s students, both stars in the original cast of the Broadway production of Rent, have commented on the work of Sande Shurin:
“Since I started working with Sande, I think it’s safe to say my work on character and my ability to transform into character have exploded and expanded beyond anything I previously would have imagined.” – Anthony Rapp
“After Rent, I did a film…dove in to music. Then, tweaking my skills, I encountered a class full of enthusiasm…[where] we discovered, uncovered, and tapped into characters as if in a serious playground…falling, being the fool and rejoicing in our own limitations…There is a passion, curiosity and generosity that informs Sande’s work and inspires mine. As a teacher she cuts through the superfluous and guides us to do the same. We create a carefully chosen armature into which we can breathe life through our own truthfulness and spontaneity.” – Daphne Rubin-Vega
And from the wonderful world of television:
“Sande is a wonderful teacher who takes a very complex form of acting, simplifies it and makes it fun again.” – Ty Treadway, star of One Life to Live
“Sande has created a solid, useful technique that helped me immensely as an actor. And now, as a casting director, I consistently see her technique inspiring and shining through her students’ auditions.” – Bob Lambert, associate casting director of All My Children
The Power of the Present
The Power of your “Self”
The Power of Creativity
These books can be found in Saugerties, NY at The Inquiring Mind (inquiringmindbookstore.webs.com), in Woodstock, NY at The Golden Notebook (www.goldennotebook.com), in Los Angeles at Samuel French (www.samuelfrench.com/store), and in local bookstores throughout the country.
Drama Book Shop
250 W. 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
211 West 71st Street
New York, NY 10023
REVIEW: Star Power – Defining Your Individual Signature
By Tim Beachumm, MovieBizCoach.com
I’m not sure what it is about Sande’s book Star Power – there is something magical about it. I have watched several DVD’s, and read a few books on acting, and how should I put this… They were sort of dry and boring and that is putting it nicely. However Star Power was captivating, and intriguing. From the introduction I felt as if Sande was sitting next to me coaching me.
Chapter by chapter Sande managed to peel back the layers of self-doubt that many actors share, myself included. I still believe that Sande should have called this book “The Psychology of Acting – Beyond the Script”.
There is one phrase that no one in the entertainment business ever wants to hear, and that is, “you don’t have IT.” Sande takes the IT factor and proves that everyone, in some way has the preverbal IT.
I often found myself after reading a chapter in Star Power contemplating many aspects of myself. Not only did Sande help me to get in tune with my inner star as an actor, I found that her words have also helped me in other aspects of my life.
I began reading Star Power on a plane trip from Virginia Beach, to Los Angeles. I want to say that the book was a quick read and it should have been, however Sande¹s thought provoking words inspired the theater of my mind. At first I thought this book was written for aspiring actors. Then I realized that anyone in the film business could benefit from this book, directors, writers, and even producers. This book is a must have for your library, the only thing that I wish, is that there was a version for my iPad, since I very rarely read physical books anymore.
For $14.95 you cannot afford not to have this book, it will improve your acting skills and nourish the soul.
Back Stage – Off the Bookshelf -
Great Actors and How To be One, by Michael Lazan
…Also with a rather contemporary bent is Transformational Acting: A Step Beyond, Sande Shurin’s book that describes a “Zen -like” philosophy with exercises to uncover the actor’s “inner self.” Shurin’s technique abandons Stanislavsky’s “sense memory” method and is more akin to Stella Adler’s techniques, with the difference being that Adler focuses more on the script while Shurin focuses more on the actor uncovering his or her “unique self.” The script analysis is not ignored here; it’s merely put aside until the actor is able to rearrange his or her psyche to fit the piece.
Notwithstanding the rather mysterious title, the book contains some segments that are more or less typical of acting volumes, with mention of techniques on how to manage practical problems such as being prepared for auditioning. There are also plenty of exercises in the book, from “living in the situation” to “character psyche” to turning points.” The overall impression is that Shurin’s approach is best for those with an open mind and a very thorough disposition. Certainly, lazy or under motivated actors will not want to exhaust themselves with the work that Shurin envisions them doing. Visualization seems an important aspect to many of the exercises, which also involve delving deep into the idiosyncratic details of the character’s world..
If you don’t know Shurin, she is a teacher in New York City and Woodstock, N.Y. who has also directed, including at BAM and Playwrights Horizons. Among her former pupils are Anthony Rapp, Matthew Modine, and Daphne Rubin-Vega.