Category Archives Acting Studio

LA Times: “Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio, life is no act”

LA_Times

Today let’s get a sneak peek at our founder Elizabeth Mestnik and her Meisner Technique class. Our founder and her teaching class was featured in LA Times earlier this week.

“To do truthfully under imaginary circumstances, that is our defining quality” – says Elizabeth.  According to her the truth and imagination come in close contact and what comes out is true feeling. Actors don’t pretend to feel sad, devastated,  joyous. The live those emotions.

“We work in a way that allows to truly get angry, truly get devastated, truly be joyous” – shares Elizabeth.

To see the full video by LA Times click here.

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.

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:

Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio’s New Website!

Elizabeth Mestnik's new responsive mobile friendly site
We’re proud to announce the launch of Elizabeth Mestnik’s new website. Designed to be responsive to mobile phones and tablets, the full range of content will now be available to users no matter what device they’re using.  As LA’s premier Meisner-based acting school, we believe the site will not only provide a more user-friendly experience, but also better provide information, ideas, and news that’s relevant to  the LA acting community.

We’ve updated the site with a significant amount of new information regarding our studio itself. Anyone interested in acting, from beginners to experienced actors can see exactly what we offer. From pages that will provide more frequent updates on upcoming classes and events, to new pages that contain biographies of our teachers, coaches and alumni, our hope is that the new site allows the acting community to better understand who we are and more easily engage with us.

Furthermore, we pride ourselves on bringing experience and a unique technique to our students. Emasla.com is not just a place where actors can sign up for classes, but rather a place where anyone can come to better understand our methods and technique specifically, and the acting industry more  generally, in particular how they relate to you as an actor; we’re happy to share our knowledge and experience on this new platform. We hope you like it!