All posts by Elizabeth Mestnik

Movement 1: Honing Physical Expression for Actors

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Movement 1 2018/2019 Course.Register now

Movement 1

 October 3rd – December 12, 2018 & January 9th – March 13th 2019
Great actor training focuses on the whole instrument: voice, mind, heart, and body. A strong physical presence is crucial to the professional actor being fully aware and open in terms of physical habits, postures, gestures, body language and voice and sound. 

Movement I is designed to develop the actor’s physicality. It will release the constrictions of the actor’s instrument and free the actor’s emotional life; to move away from pedestrian, every day, socialized behavior and to embody a more authentic, expansive, and unbridled expression.

Throughout the twenty-week period, students go through a variety of exercises drawn from the Williamson Technique.  They will begin to understand how this technique is the physical component of the acting work they are doing in their Meisner classes. It is a chance for students to immediately move beyond physical constrictions and use the body as a full acting instrument that can interact unimpeded with all the senses, to the world around them and to the other “players’ in that world..

Students will explore where tension is held in the body and how the body responds when it is emotionally alive. Simultaneously, students will be building a sense of grace, flexibility, strength, stamina, and vulnerability. The goal is to effortlessly apply these principles to making clear physical choices in the acting work.

Class Schedule:
Wednesdays at 7pm

Tuition:
$940 ( Weekly classes over a 20 week period ) 50% deposit required to register.

Instructor:
Caitlin Rigney

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If you would like more information, please call Elizabeth at 323-528-6280, or director@emasla.com.

Conservatory Course: An alternative to BFA/MFA in Acting

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Conservatory Training Program 2018/2019. Register Now

EMAS is excited to announce our new Conservatory Training Program (CTP).Created to be an affordable alternative to BFA/MFA Acting programs,this option offers actors the ability to develop their actor’s instrument, learn to analyze text as well as acquire their acting craft.The Conservatory Training Program will consist of the following courses:

  • Meisner Acting Technique
  • Fitzmaurice Voice Work
  • Movement for Actors
  • Shakespeare

This is a rare opportunity for student actors to get professional training at a fraction of the cost of a conservatory. We believe that the focused, daily nature of conservatory –style training helps make actors more competitive in the entertainment industry.

CTP will begin in the fall of 2018.

Tuition for the 9-month program is $4800.Payment Plans available.

Admissions are through Interview only.

About The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio

EMAS is a dynamic acting training program for those who want to study the craft of acting in a challenging and inspiring environment. Our reputation is for producing exciting and spontaneous actors with reliable acting technique. That is why The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio is ranked as the top acting program in Los Angeles by CBS and Backstage, among others. our Professional approach, as well as the individualized commitment to each student that has earned us the reputation as on of L.A’s most respected acting schools.

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 If you would like more information, please call Chase at323-528-6280, or chase@emasla.com, or register now 

 

An Actor’s Audition Checklist

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There are actually 2 phases of audition preparation.  The first is what you do BEFORE you get to the audition and the 2nd is what you do in the waiting room once you are AT the audition.

When Emmy winning Casting director April Webster is asked what tips she has for actors auditioning for her, her first response is “Have your preparation done.”  What does that mean?  If you don’t know… then you might not be ready to be out there auditioning with the big boys. Get into a class and develop a technique and a process.  But if you need a reminder – a process or ritual to follow for each audition – here’s a little checklist:

PHASE 1

When you get the script:

  • Read the audition sides multiple times.
  • Research the show (read the entire script (if film or theater) if possible, watch episodes of the show (if for TV) to understand the tone and genre.
  • Make any character choices that are necessary – however, most of the time the character will be pretty close to who you are – that’s why they are bringing you in. .. make sure you honor any physical, vocal or psychological differences to your own natural state.  Practice with those from the beginning! (ie: if the character is drunk – rehearse her drunk from the get-go)
  • All the basics – where are you, what’s your relationship, where are you emotionally at the top of the scene etc. This is really your opportunity to do a short performance for the Casting Director – I found that thinking of it as a performance helped with nerves.
  • Memorize as best you can, and get comfortable auditioning with the script in hand.

Night before:

  • Decide what you are going to wear – make sure it fits, it’s ironed, that you can move in it etc. Do NOT dress as the character but make sure you dress appropriately for the character.  For example, do not audition for a prisoner in a tie.
  • Find out how to get to the audition (don’t rely only on your GPS the day of – they aren’t always correct), where to park etc…
  • Pack easy snacks and plenty of water. Auditions infamously run late – and you want to sustain your energy.
  • Pack your script and extra headshots and resumes.
  • Schedule something to do right after the audition – so you can move on and not ruminate on what you could have done differently.

PHASE 2

At the Audition

      • Before you leave your home, make sure you have warmed up physically and vocally.
      • DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. Once you are in the waiting room – don’t look at it – turn it completely off.  Screen time takes you away from being present.  There are studies that show that the auditory receptors in the brain start to disengage when all the information is being brought in through the eyes and that it can take up to 30 minutes for your listening abilities to return to normal.
      • Don’t change your crafting in the waiting room. This isn’t the time to second guess what you have worked on –  it’s the time to commit fully to your choices.
      • Don’t “chit chat” with the other actors. Be friendly but stay away from small talk.  It may be disruptive to other actors and might hurt your focus.
      • Stay loose and be present. Mindfulness is really helpful at these times!
      • While waiting, use your imagination to build the world and environment of the scene. Get emotionally available to the triggers of the scene. This is more important than running the lines in your head another 10 times. The CD wants to know that you can act – not that you can memorize.
      • If the audition is for something small– treat it as such, stay light, and relaxed – no CD wants to see someone brooding over an audition for a one liner. Just be yourself.
      • Smile and show ‘em what you got!

Elizabeth MestnikElizabeth Mestnik is an award winning, actress, director and teacher. Elizabeth founded EMAS to bring her New York style of professional actor training to the west coast. -She received her MFA in Acting from Rutgers University under the tutelage of William Esper, Sandy Meisner’s associate at the Neighborhood Playhouse for over 17 years, and New York’s leading Meisner teacher.

Now Enrolling: Summer Meisner Intensive

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The Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio (EMAS) has now opened registration for our 2018 Summer Meisner Intensive Class.

Located at our Hollywood studio, the Summer Intensive offers 3 classes per week over a 5 week period to give students an immersive introduction to the philosophies and structure of Meisner-based training.

At the heart of the Meisner Technique is a tangible, step-by-step approach to acting training with each exercise building on the last. Not only does this give actors a dependable process to draw on but, ultimately, actors are taught to work truthfully, employing their genuine impulses and talent rather than working intellectually.

Our Summer Intensive course guides students through the beginning steps of the Meisner Technique in just over a month. Classes meet three days a week for three hours at a time. Sessions are scheduled both in the morning and in the evening to avoid scheduling conflicts. We’re invested in your development as an actor  and, as such, attendance is mandatory.

Summer Meisner Intensive Info:

June 25 – July 31, 2018
5 weeks/3 classes a week
Session A: Mon, Wed, Sat at 10:00AM
Session B: Tues & Thurs at 7:00PM, Sat at 2:00PM

Interviews for the Summer Intensive are ongoing. There is no deadline, however, once classes are full we will continue to hold interviews for a wait list. The earlier you interview, the more likely there will be availability for a spot in a class.

In order to schedule your interview, please apply on our registration page. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us or call the studio at 323-528-6280.

More information about the Meisner Technique can be found on our Meisner Class Page or on our Blog.