Jane's Philosophy


The pursuit of character as the primary work of an actor is commonly held to be the true aim of the actor. However, this approach often leaves actors self-conscious and intellectual. On the other hand, if actors pursue action within the given circumstances, the character will inevitably emerge. The job of acting is not to determine, “Who I’m supposed to be”. Rather the job is to discover, “What should I do?” and then to do it.


More properly, this word should be changed to ‘interaction.’ An action to be effective and dramatic is something done to a partner to achieve a desired end. The best actions have a physical component whether expressed or repressed. 

Michael Shurtleff’s 12 Guideposts to a Successful Audition

Many teachers base their acting classes on Michael Shurtleff’s 12 Guideposts to a Successful Audition. Michael was a casting director for Broadway shows for many years. In the course of watching so many auditions, he had a very good idea of what made one audition succeed and another fail. Teaching actors audition helped to solidify his observations and he published them in his book Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part. It earned the name of the actor’s bible for auditions. The Guideposts help to guarantee a great cold reading in a limited amount of time. These valuable tools encompass acting regardless of medium. They are also used throughout the entire rehearsal and performance process. 

Jane is one a few acting teachers who actually studied with Michael.  He was her mentor and she was his personal assistant.

Creating relationship is the heart of acting. It is basic.  It is essential.
~ Michael Shurtleff ~
What Is My Dream? The 12 Guideposts

From Audition By Michael Shurtleff

  1. Relationship (Love & Interaction, History)

  2. What Are You Fighting For? (Conflict & Actions)

  3. The Moment Before (First Action—Strong Beginning)

  4. Humor (Not Comedy)

  5. Opposites (Make a Mess)

  6. Discoveries

  7. Communication & Competition

  8. Importance (Highest Stakes Possible)

  9. Find The Events

  10. Place (Emotional Relationship to)

  11. Game Playing & Role Playing

  12. Mystery & Secret 
    (and after the book was published)

  13. Mischievousness