Monthly Archives September 2011

The Physical Voice with Paul Boehmer

October 16 – November 20

Combining the ideas of Fitzmaurice vocal work and Physical Dynamics, this workshop is geared to help in important areas of an actor’s development.

“One of the best and most freeing voice classes I’ve ever experienced. Paul is a master teacher”

Richard B.

What it does:

Physicality: we develop awareness of patterns of vocal effort or blocks through a series of gentle and/or rigorous exercises.

Breath: we explore the central role that breathing plays in both vocal production and the inspired imagination.

Vocal Quality: we cultivate the ability to accurately communicate our thoughts and feelings while meeting the demands of text.

Practical Results: we reduce strain in the voice, increase vocal range and expressivity, make speech easy and clear, allowing creativity to flow.

When: Sundays 7 – 9pm

Where: EMAS

7600 Melrose Avenue, LA 90046

Cost: $270 for 6 classes

Contact: 323-528-6280

***Highly recommended for those in the 2-year Meisner Training Program***
This class is a magnificent way to make sure that your instrument is able to do all it is required to do when working on emotionally charged scenes. It helps the actor to work through physical and emotional blocks while also helping them understand the way breath and language can help tell the story, develop a character and engage the audience.
Call 323-528-6280 for more information.
To learn more about the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio

EMAS is the recommended training program for
NBC’s Talent Development Initiative.
Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio
7600 Melrose Ave. 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, California 90046

THE MEISNER TECHNIQUE at the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio

Although our two Meisner Technique sessions are filled, we have one alternate spot in each session. An alternate attends all classes, has rehearsal partners, and gets to work in class when a full status student is absent. If at some point in the program a full status student leaves the class, the alternate then steps in to the full status spot.

Alternates pay 1/2 tuition but still get the opportunity to learn this amazing technique at this incredible studio. Call us at 323-528-6280. Registration will be open until October 3rd.

If you are ready for professional actor training, the EMAS Meisner Technique Program is for you. It has been desigend for actors who want to ignite their imaginations, work from their instincts expand their emotional availability and add passion and excitement to their performances.

Sanford Meisner’s clear, step-by step process give actors the tools they need to create dynamic and memorable scenes, for auditions and performances.

That is why the Meisner Technique is so respected in Hollywood, it gets you the training needed to make acting your career!

Click here for more information on EMAS

THE ELIZABETH MESTNIK ACTING STUDIO is one of Hollywoods most highly regarded acting schools:

Here’s what the industry has to say about EMAS:

“EMAS has a very talented and versitile group of actors.”
-Paul Weber -Head of Casting Paramount

” I have seen Elizabeth work miracles with actors from beginning to advanced”
– Damona Resnick – Casting Director – NBC

” She is simply the best at what she does”
– Ed Yeager – T.V. producer – Still Standing, Suddnely Susan, Gary Unmarried

When: Classes start September 19th, 2011

Session A: Mondays and Thursdays 10am

Session B: Tuesdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 10am

Where: 7600 Melrose Avenue, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Read what our students and the industry have to say about EMAS at YELP


Learn more about The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio at:


Why Study The Meisner Technique? (flyer)

The Meisner Technique demands that an actor make a commitment to their training, as this training, if you follow the syllabus developed by Sanford Meisner, takes place over 9-months. This is serious training for serious students. So why should you make this sacrifice of time, effort , and yes – money? Why not take a 4-week workshop and be done with it? What does the Meisner Technique do that is so special?

To put it simply –

I have always compared acting to sports, because in sports the work you put in directly affects the product you put out. You can be a weekend jock, or an Olympic athlete. So, to continue this metaphor, if acting is like, say… Gymnastics… then Meisner is like going to the gym to get strong and flexible. The more traditional acting skills (objectives, actions, character biography etc) are like learning the different elements, – (the cartwheel, the back flip, the somersault etc.) Most Acting Classes teach you the elements, but don’t know how to get you into shape.

Now I will be honest with you. I can do a somersault, and I can even do a cartwheel – but they are pretty pathetic because at the age of 42, I’m really not all that strong and flexible. But if I worked out every day to increase my upper body strength and the flexibility of my spine, those elements would look much better. And when Olympic gymnasts do these elements, we are in awe, because they dedicate themselves to knowing the elements and being fit enough to execute them.

The actor who understands the “elements” like playing an action, or making a character choice, but isn’t emotionally connected to the material leaves the audience cold, or even worse – uncomfortable for the actor. Like me doing my somersault, we don’t want to see it again! The out of shape actor can make sense of a part, but will lack the heart. And we need for the audience to be drawn into our performance, to feel what the actors feel – and if the actors feel nothing – well, the audience will feel nothing. THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! So we train, rigorously, like professional athletes, to take our performance to the next level. To put our abilities on par with the best actors out there.
So why take Meisner? Because it gets you to:
Discover who you are and how you are unique
Work from your instincts and not your intellect
Work honestly off of your acting partner
Access and strengthen your emotional range
Be fearless in your work
Make bold and honest choices
Be surrounded by other serious actors
Remove self consciousness
Really do, really feel, really fight, really laugh, really be…Really!

It also says a lot to the people who might hire you about how dedicated you are to mastering your craft. A casting director who sees that you have completed a true 1 or 2 year Meisner Program knows what they can expect. Spontaneity, emotional range, self knowledge, brave choices and truthful behavior.

I hope I will see you working out with me this Fall!

For more information on the studio visit us at

Smart exceprt on Meisner

“Meisner was very opposed to Strassbergs use of Emotional Memory. He believed that depending on one’s own life experiences for emotional connection limited what the actor might be capable of playing. If an actor did not have a wealth of dramatic experiences from which to draw from, they would be at a disadvantage. He also feared that continually drawing on traumatic experiences from the past was not a healthy way to work.  Meisner preferred for actors to expand their imaginations so that they could connect to the imaginary circumstances of the play and stay in character, always working from what the actor’s truthful response to imaginary circumstances.  He discovered that the body often responded to a fully lived fantasy in the same way they responded to real life events.”

learn more from the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio on the Meisner Technique


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 ProgramScene 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

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
Cost: $500
Prerequisite: NONE

Call 323-528-6280 for more information or visit us at


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 protected] for more information or to arrange your interview.

A note from the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio

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.

Elizabeth: Thanks!

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