Wow! I cannot believe that the summer is already over. It absolutely flew by. Thank you for making our summer programs such a success. And if you are new to EMAS, Welcome! EMAS is a dynamic professional acting training studio for the dedicated actor at any stage of his or her career.
Our summer was jam packed with two great Meisner Intensives, the return of Chris Game for Commercial Technique and the Advanced On Camera class. It left me hardly any time to go to the beach! And to top it all off EMAS’ very own Three Feathers Theatre Company was voted “Most Promising Theatre Company in L.A.” by Backstage West!
But the summer is almost over, Hollywood is picking up the pace and so is EMAS. This newsletter is a way for you to find out about what has been going on at EMAS and more importantly what is coming up. Because, as we all know in this crazy business called acting, the only thing you have control over is your craft! So take control of it and make sure you are getting all the skills you need to be at the top of your game. Look for information on our Fall Meisner Program, Scene Study, and Beginning Acting classes.
So I hope you have had a fantastic summer, are well rested and ready to get back to work! Because it is time to
DO WHAT YOU CAME HERE TO DO!
See you soon!
September 22 – December 8, 2011
EMAS is offering our Basic Technique class this fall. It is an 11-week course that is designed for the student with little or no acting training. Through exercises, improvisations and scene study you will learn the importance of relaxation, emotional availability, research and working with others. This exciting class develops skills that can be applied easily, effectively and specifically.
When: Monday nights at 7:00pm
Call 323-528-6280 for more information or visit us at http://www.emasla.com
EMAS is currently interviewing applicants for the Fall Professional Training Program. This prestigious program will begin September 17th.
There are two available sessions:
- Tuesdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 10am
- Mondays and Thursdays at 10am
This program is considered one of the best Meisner Training Programs in Los Angeles, and is for those actors who are ready to dedicate the next 9 months to this challenging and exciting technique.
Admission is through a personal interview.
CALL 323-528-6280 or email email@example.com for more information or to arrange your interview.
An interview with some if our working actors.
At EMAS we have a number of students and alumni who are out there working professionally – I had a chance to get a little insight from 5 of our students and to talk about what tools they use on set and what the Meisner training brings to their performances.
I spoke with:
Sharif Atkins: currently he plays Clinton Jones on TNT’s White Collar, other credits include The Good Wife, The 4400 and 4 years as Dr. Michael Galant on ER.
Susane Lee: appeared in The Soloist with Jamie Foxx, Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP and the film festival favorite Kosher Pig.
Christopher T. Wood: whose credits include Ira Ungerleider in Friends with Benefits and roles on The Office and Without a Trace.
Charles Michael Davis: currently plays Liam on ABC family’s Switched at Birth. He’s also shooting for BET’s The Game.
Lily Holleman: most recently starred in the West Coast premier of Circle Mirror Transformation at South Coast Repertory. She also starred in the independent movie urFRENZ which will be on Video on Demand this Fall.
Elizabeth: So, we have a lot of students at the studio who are just at the beginning of their training or people who are just trying to decide what direction to go in to start their acting careers – could you share a little about your first steps into acting?
Sharif: As a young actor, the Meisner Training was so important to me. It helps you know who you are, which is key to being a successful actor.
Chris: Definitely, it really taught me how to bring myself to any role I may play. When you are starting out they don’t want big character choices – they just want you to “be the guy” they are casting. I got very comfortable being myself in a variety of imaginary circumstances.
Sharif: Yes, and the ability to access any emotion in a fictional context is priceless. Elizabeth, I always remember that moment in class when I had an emotional breakthrough when doing an activity. It is the doing that fuels the emotions, and it is the emotion that drives the doing. When you see it at work it is beautiful, and so helpful for the actor’s process.
Susane: The Meisner work really gave me the tools to approach a role whether it’s for an audition or for something that I’ve booked. That gave me the confidence to work deeply and effectively enough to really be free and enjoy the ride of the scene no matter what the medium is.
Charles: Having no theatre experience and very few credits before I started the program – the sheer volume of stage time I had in class and the variety of exercises were invaluable to bringing me closer to the experience level of a working actor. I worked in every class – and my best was demanded every class. The program is so challenging that it has really helped me handle the demands of working on set or location.
Chris: Definitely, my toughest times as an actor always come in class with you…it makes being on set easy, like a vacation!
Elizabeth: That being said – what are the biggest challenges of being on set?
Lily: As an actor, we always have battles with insecurity, but those are few and far between when you know that your foundation is 100% solid. Once I got cast on very short notice, and during the short rehearsals, I got very sick – I just relied on the skills I learned at EMAS, the emotional preparation, the listening and responding as well as the vocal and physical warm ups to get me through – and I did it – with very little rehearsal. What you need to do is drilled into you – so preparing for a role becomes second nature.
Susane: It’s about trusting that you’ve paved the way for something magical to occur. I have to remember to breathe (no seriously) and to just give fully. In the Meisner work I’ve learned to effectively listen and respond so that I can stay open and alive to my partner and to trust whatever may happen between us.
Chris: For sure – you need to train in a way that your skills can get into your bones as opposed to your head – so when there is a challenge – it’s easier to call upon them.
Sharif: Often, my biggest challenge is wanting to make power-packed choices dripping with nuance for every moment of every scene. My cure for that actor malady, is relaxing into the simple Meisner exercise of observing behavior and trusting m y instincts, the script, the other actors and understanding my characters function. I still have to work hard to prepare so that the scene can eventually seem simple though, but once I’m on set – I just have to give over to the moment to moment work.
Charles: For me the difficult times come up when I am self conscious. Self- consciousness can really make you lose your focus. I always have to go back to the fundamentals – focus on your partner or on the circumstances, on what you as the character has to get done…focus on elements outside myself and as one of my favorite directors says “really listen”.
Elizabeth: So what made you decide to train at EMAS? Why do you recommend the program?
Sharif: I recommend EMAS because of Elizabeth Mestnik.
Sharif: I trust that the teachers you hire match your level of insight, compassion and ability. You have to have an eye for BS as an acting teacher and you have it. You’ve called me on my own more than once in class. You have an eye for nuance, the little itty bitty details that others may miss. Those details could be what moves a scene from good to great.
Lily: I knew that the Meisner work was developed to prime an actor’s unique point of view – and that was lacking from my acting. But not anymore.
Charles: I was recommended to the school by a fellow actor – I took some introductory classes didn’t want to stop – so I took the whole 2 year program.
Susane: Elizabeth constantly pushed us – I was in Charles’ class – and he’ll agree – she pushed us always to strive for excellence. I am definitely a stronger actor having gone through the 2 year program.
Charles: Yes – and you get a lot of personal attention at EMAS. It expanded my emotional range and strengthened my sense of truth.
Chris: I recommend EMAS because it made me a working actor.
Lily: You should study at EMAS if you want to inspire and be inspired and take a unique journey of self discovery that allows you to be a professional actor.
Sharif: When you look in the dictionary under reall really good , high quality acting teachers, of the many faces you will see – you will no doubt see Elizabeth’s.
Elizabeth: Oh, wow… Thanks so much everybody.
Another article from the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio
Scene Study is a weekly workout where trained actors test their performance abilities in a challenging, playful environment. Through working on scenes of various genres, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses with the help of a trained director’s eye. This class is for 14-weeks and will integrate cold reading and auditioning skills into the syllabus. This class is only for actors with significant training and performance experience.
When: Mondays 7pm
Instructors: Elizabeth Mestnik and Scott Conte
Admission is through an audition. The audition requires a 1 – 2 minute monologue that shows the actor’s range and abilities.
Call 323-528-6280 for more information or visit us at http://www.emasla.com
|If you have always wanted to explore acting, EMAS has the perfect class for you. EMAS has developed a series of acting classes just for beginners. Through exercises, improvisations, and scene work, you will understand the way actors work and acquire a clear, solid and effective approach to the acting craft. Our goal is to get you a set of “acting tools” to draw upon when approaching any role or scene. As a result, you will acquire confidence, self-awareness, and a vivid imagination – all necessities if you are to become an actor in Los Angeles. In this class, beginning actors will explore the 4 major foundations of acting:
Classes are small to give each student plenty of “stage time” and personal attention. So come join us in our upcoming 11-week Acting Foundations class and do that thing you have always wanted to do!
For more information on the studio visit our website at
Acting Foundations Class
LOCATION: 7600 Melrose Avenue, 2nd Floor
MORE: This class meets once a week for 11 weeks.
REGISTRATION: Call 323-528-6280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
We’ve got a special event coming up and we want you to be part of it. Please join us on Saturday August 27th from 10am – 4pm for an on-your feet workshop with L.A.’s top Meisner Technique Instructor, Elizabeth Mestnik. Many actors hear about how effective and popular this technique is, especially for film and television, but many aren’t sure why or if it is the technique for them. Elizabeth will give 20 lucky actors the opportunity to learn about the Meisner Technique through a combination of discussions and exercises.
Where: EMAS – 7600 Melrose Avenue, 2nd Floor
When: Saturday August 27th, 10am to 4pm
Details: Bring a pack lunch and please only come if you can stay for the entire workshop
Contact: email@example.com or 323-528-6280 to reserve your spot.
For more information on The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio visit our website
Saturday August 27th from 10am – 4pm Elizabeth Mestnik will be holding a free introductory workshop on The Meisner Technique. Spaces will be available for the first 20 people to contact the studio. This is a great on your feet workshop that will help you understand the Meisner Process and what it might do for you or your acting. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-528-6280.
Advanced Scene Study 14 Weeks Starting Monday September 12th
Mondays 7pm $620
Meisner Training Program – 9-month program begins September 17th
First Year – $295/month
Session A: Mondays and Thursdays 10am
Session B: Tuesdays 7pm and Saturdays 10am
Second Year – $290/month
Wednesdays 7pm and Saturdays 1:30pm
Technique Series for Beginning Actors – 11 weeks starting September 22nd
Acting Foundations: Thursdays at 7pm – $500