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Now Registering – Acting Foundations, Fundamentals for Actors of all Levels

acting class in session

The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio is now registering acting students for its Fall Acting Foundations class.

Beginning September 13 and running through December 13, Acting Foundations touches on the fundamentals of the actor’s craft, including character development, breaking down a script, imagination work, and the actor’s instrument (voice and body).

Acting Foundations is a mixed level class that’s designed to benefit new acting students looking for a comprehensive introduction or an experienced actor looking to hone their core skills.

Registration for Acting Foundations is open to all acting students with a desire to train professionally, no interview is required.

Visit the Registration Page to secure a place or contact EMAS for more information.

ELIZABETH MESTNIK ACTING STUDIO

11423 Moorpark St
Los Angeles, CA 91604 United States

Phone number: (323) 528-6280
Email: director@emasla.com

It’s not just about Acting.

Oliver

I want to share with you how important this work is that we do. As many of you know we had a very difficult day in our family yesterday. Our beloved dog, Oliver passed away. He was almost 15, and I had had him since he was three months old. My children have never known a world without him. We are all grieving, and it is hitting my daughter very hard. I am so grateful that I know how important it is to honor whatever feelings happen in times like this, to allow it, to accept it, to work with it, to work through it.

Many people try to avoid it, to repress it, and even though it meant that I sat in the bathroom of my sons school with him while he cried for 20 minutes …that was OK. I did not tell him to suck it up, or that it was OK, we just sat there on the tiny toilet and were sad and cried. He shared at the end of the day that he cried in class a couple times, and his classmates also cried about their own losses and he seems to be processing it really well. (thank God for Montessori school that is keyed into the emotional life of children as well as the academic)

My daughter, unfortunately, is in the throes of middle school. I think you all remember those years where you’re unbelievably self-conscious. She did not allow herself sadness at school. She just stuffed it down and stuffed it down all day until she got home at 6:30 last night and it all overwhelmed her and she’s not processing , she does not want these feelings. Before bed, it all came up again, and she balled for over an hour. It’s almost as though her inability to release emotions when it happened compounded them. But I just sat there with her and Hugged her and honored her feelings and cried with her too.

It’s not easy, to let these emotions roam free. But for my children’s sake, I am so glad that I am comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m glad I could sit there and not try to fix it. Meisner training taught me that. Sometimes this training is for more than acting.

~ Elizabeth

On Camera Technique Workshop: Enrolling; Limited Class Size

On Camera Pilot season is coming up quickly! It’s starting January 19th 2017…

Whether this is your first or fifteenth season, it is important that you be at your best, ready when your opportunity arises!
With the majority of all auditions for television and film requiring that the actor be put on camera for the casting director, director or producers to review, today’s working actor must have a solid understanding of on-camera technique that is specific to the audition format.
In this course strong cold-read and on-camera skills are developed as well as an empowered perspective of the casting process and a clear understanding of what it truly means to “own” the room.

You will learn:
  • How to break down a script so you can make choices that are specific, strong and actable.
  • Understand what the camera “sees” so that you work has the most impact:
    • How to use your eyes
    • How to use stillness
    • How to use the “frame” of the camera
  • The tools to work within the audition “close-up” so that all your skills as an actor are revealed.

Whether you have just completed your professional training, or have been a working professional, this class is meant to sharp and ready to give your very best on camera auditions. Only serious actors with prior training or experience and a true desire to improve their craft need apply. Class size is limited to 10. Each actor works every class, individually, on-camera.

The class will be taught by Thom Rivera, who is a television, film, stage and voice actor. As an actor, he has worked at most of the top theatre companies in the country.

Want to know more? For more details of the class, click here. Registration is already open!

On Camera Acting Class:
When: Thursdays at 7pmJanuary 19th – March 23rd
Instructor: Thom Rivera
Where: 11423 Moorpark Street, North Hollywood, Los Angeles
Tuition: $520 for 10 weeks

Now Enrolling for Winter Shakespeare Classes

shakespeare 400 yearsThe Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio (EMAS) is proud to announce registration for our Winter 2017 Playing Shakespeare Class.  Playing Shakespeare can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding endeavors for an actor.  Whether acting on stage or on screen, the ability to bring a full, living character to life using Shakespeare’s words is an invaluable skill; one that is evident when watching the many greats of screen and stage who have their roots in Shakespearean drama.

Held on Mondays from February 27th through May 1st, the class will consist of both monologue work and group exercises to use voice, physicality, and authenticity in connection with playing their character.

The class will be taught by Diana Jellinek, who has deep roots in Shakespeare in addition to her other work in Los Angeles.

To learn more about the details of the class, click here. Registration is now open!

Playing Shakespeare:

When:          Mondays at 7pm – February 27 – May 1 2017
Instructor:   Diana Jellinek
Where:         11423 Moorpark Street, North Hollywood, Los Angeles
Cost:             $380

 

Play Reading Series at The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio

4 Actors, 4 Music Stands, 4 Chairs and an audience. No props, no costumes, no lights.  
Just the actors with their scripts  – and the audience.

emasla faculty reading the play Dinner with Friends

On October 29th EMAS presented the first play of the 2016-2017 Play Reading Series with Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies.  EMAS took this opportunity to allow  the acting studio’s faculty members Diana Jelinek, Jordana Oberman, Ken Weiler and Michael Yurchak to star in this Pulitzer Prize winning drama – a rare opportunity for our students to see their teachers practicing the craft.  “It was wonderful to see our instructors in action! Seeing them putting on such a great performance without any props, blocking, or anything that can help create a “scene” made me appreciate their skills even more (and really solidified my trust in them as instructors) because they were only able to use their instrument and the power of relationship to tell the story.” said EMAS alum Tessa Brennan. She added, “I love that I can continue to stay connected to the community through events like these staged readings. I’m always so grateful that I found the EMAS Meisner program when I did, not only for the foundation it has laid in terms of my craft as an actor, but for the support and connections I have garnered through the studio.”

So what exactly is a Play Reading? It almost sounds academic…but trust me it’s not! A good play reading can be full of magic. Like a great radio play or audio book, it takes you on the journey – unencumbered by complicated production values. It’s the story, the actors and the audience. That is it. With minimal rehearsals the actors work with script in hand and can really commit to their craft as storytellers and revealers of the human experience. . Believe it or not, when actors do their job well…the audience actually stops seeing the actors flip pages, they stop see the bare set, and become transported to the world of the play. As EMAS student Stephanie Hoston shared “This reading taught me just what a good actor can add to a script. The script is nothing but words on paper until the actors make choices to bring it to life. If I had simply read this play, I may have dismissed some of the more controversial characters, however because of the actors I was able to see the human sides of each character. I left the reading feeling enlightened about circumstances in my own life as a child of divorce, and inspired as an actor. As an audience member, this is all I can ask for.”

I decided to develop this program because being exposed to great writers, having knowledge of genres and styles is an important part of being a fully trained actor. It’s inspiring to see the great breadth of material that has been produced by our master playwrights. If an actor is not familiar with the work of our great playwrights, they are taking advantage of the creative inspiration they offer; the juicy roles, the imaginative circumstances. They won’t know entirely what is demanded of the actor. Remember – plays are the actors medium, movies the director’s. Many of the today’s directors ground their vision in their knowledge of theatre, Kenneth Lonergan and David Hare to name a few. Actors might mmiss important references by directors (like the idea of a scene being “Pinter-esque” or a reference to Mamet’s rhythm) and they certainly are not grounding themselves in the rich history of acting that allows them to understand the roots of the craft itself.

So we decided to offer monthly play readings to whet the appetite and help our students develop a deeper understanding and love for the best plays our western cannon offers.

We will be focusing on reading plays of the 20th and 21st centuries, giving our students an opportunity to use the training they are receiving here to approach some of the most coveted acting roles of our times. It’s a great work out for the students who are cast in these readings, as there is really minimal rehearsal. They have to do the work themselves and call upon everything they have learned here. But it is also an amazing time for the entire studio to come together as an artistic community and hear some of the greatest plays of our times.

 

Upcoming Plays in our Play Reading Series are:

December 4th, 2016  – Spike Heels by Theresa Rebeck

January 29th 2017 – All My Son’s by Arthur Miller

March 26th 2017 – Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks

Admission is free – but requires an RSVP, and donations are gratefully appreciated to help us continue this program.  All readings end with a post-performance discussion that always inspires and leaves us wanting more!

Hope you come and join us for one of these events in the next few months.

~Elizabeth


Elizabeth MestnikThe founder of EMAS, Elizabeth Mestnik is an acclaimed actress, director, and acting coach . Having spent her formative years in New York City studying under William Esper, her commitment is to bringing the best of the Meisner technique and New York Acting to hollywood and the craft of acting more generally.

Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio adds Tony Award winner Chris Bensinger to Faculty

Bringing Broadway craft to Hollywood actors

tony award winner Chris Bensinger to teach musical theatre classes at emas LALOS ANGELES, Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio (EMAS) is adding “Singing Performance” to their fall schedule taught by Tony Award winning producer of American Idiot and Book of Mormon, Chris Bensinger. This is an 8-week class beginning September 26th. The class runs 8 consecutive Monday evenings at 7pm.

In light of the increase in television and film productions in which singing is a required skill, (Empire, Pitch Perfect, Glee, La La Land) this class has been developed to fill a gap in the Los Angeles acting community for professional singing performance instruction. Limited to 10 students, each singer will work every class. Singing training/experience is strongly encouraged, as this is not a class where students learn to sing, but rather where they strengthen the performance aspect of a song. The final class will be a performance night for invited guests.

Tuition is $420 with a 50% deposit required for registration. Students can can read more about the Musical Theatre class here, and register at http://www.emasla.com/registration/

EMAS Is Moving to a New Studio Location

Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio (EMAS) has announced that on February 22, 2016 it will move from its current location to a new studio located in North Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The new location’s address is:

Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio
11423 Moorpark Street
North Hollywood, CA 91604

The upcoming move coincides with plans to increase the number and variety of classes and seminars offered to acting students. According to Elizabeth, “EMAS is excited to offer more supplemental workshops, such as our on camera classes, commercial technique, and personal audition coaching. Furthermore, for the first time, we’ll be offering a musical theater class which will be taught by the Tony Award-winning producer, Chris Bensinger.”

Any inquiries regarding the new location can be directed to Elizabeth Mestnik by email (director@emasla.com) or by calling the studio at (323) 528-6280.

EMAS LA’s New Location:

Summer Meisner Technique Intensive

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Summertime is here, and the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio is proud to announce our Summer Meisner Technique Intensive. Meisner Technique is a transformative acting technique, which takes the actor away from the introverting exercises many methods practice, such as emotional recall and sense memory.

The Meisner Technique, on the other hand, seeks to do exactly the opposite. Meisner Technique believes in taking the intellect out of the acting process and having actors work entirely from their instinctive impulse. Sam Rockwell, Jon Voight, James Caan, Amy Schumer, Kathy Bates and Robert Duvall are just some of a long list of successful actors and actresses who have trained in the Meisner Technique.

The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio is currently interviewing for their 5-week Summer Meisner Technique Intensive.  Classes begin on June 27th and run 3 times a week until August 1st. Daytime and Evening sessions are available. These classes will stimulate your imagination, reconnect you with your emotions and excite your spirit and passion for acting.

At the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio, we pride ourselves on turning good actors into great actors.  That is why we have been ranked as Los Angeles top acting studio by CBS.

We want people who are passionate, enjoy a challenge and really want to grow.  That is why admission to the Summer Meisner Technique Intensive entails a personal interview. If you believe in acting as a craft, if you want to exceed even your own expectations, this summer intensive is for you. Visit our website for more information on the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio and the Meisner Technique. Call 323-528-6280 or email director@emasla.com today to set up your interview!

The Meisner Technique

The Meisner Technique has helped turn many actors into household names.  It was developed in the 1930s by Sanford Meisner, who would continue to refine it for the next fifty years.  Developed at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, it is considered one of the most systematic and holistic acting techniques in the western world. It has made a strong influence not only on American acting and culture, but on European acting as well.

A traditional Meisner Training Program is taught over a two-year period.  In contrast to Emotional Recall, where actors recall emotions from memories of actual experiences, the Meisner Technique believes that the imaginary world is a stronger and healthier way to draw out an actor’s emotions.  It defines acting as “living truthfully under imaginary circumstances”, requiring actors to respond from their instincts rather than their intellect.  It is a step-by-step, improvisational process that demands the actors be truthful in every moment. The first year focuses on the actors finding how they, themselves would truthfully respond in a whole slew of imaginary circumstances, whether they be joyous, maddening or devastating. The second year continues this work in the realm of creating characters quite different from the actor with the same sense of truth. When the Meisner technique is taught, it begins with simple repetition exercises using one or two sentences, then builds on this to eventually work with complex improvisations and eventually scripts.

The Meisner technique is used by countless actors on stage and in film, including Sam Rockwell, James Gandolfini,  David Duchovny, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates, Robert Duvall, James Franco, Jeff Bridges, Jeff Goldblum, Naomi Watts, Stephen Colbert, , and many others.