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 –
TO GET IN ACTOR SHAPE!
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!
THE ABILITY TO DO THE ABOVE MEANS YOU ARE IN ACTOR SHAPE!
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 www.emasla.com