The Angry Monster Inside

byNatasha Kim

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The 18 month acting programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio trains actors to have long professional acting careers utilizing the Meisner Technique. In this interview, Natasha Kim reflects on her first year in the two-year acting program and the Meisner Summer Intensive.

18-Month Acting Programs – Interview with Natasha

natasha kim talking about the acting programs at the studio

18 Month Acting Programs – Natasha Kim Interview – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Logan: To get started, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before you began to first year here at Maggie Flanigan Studio?

Natasha: That’s a good question. I had previously trained, more or less, when I was much younger because I started modeling. Then my agent sent me to an acting class for tv. It was memorizing lines, and make-believe that you’re sad, happy, just facial expressions and all that. So, yes, I could bring tears to my eyes and cry, but I never learned how to craft, how to actually– emotion prepare, and this is what I’m doing now.

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I was always very calm, polite and adorable. I have an angry monster inside of me that I did not think I had. It has been exciting to explore that side of myself.

Natasha KimTwo Year Acting Program, Actor

It’s a different level. It’s mind-blowing; I can’t even explain it. Charlie always says, “In the beginning, we think we know and then realize that we don’t know.” I just realized how much I don’t know and how much I must learn. I’ve been learning a lot, and it’s been life-changing in many ways, professionally and personally too, because I’m getting to get more in touch with myself and explore sides of me that I– it’s not that I didn’t know that I had, I didn’t want to touch there.

I’m like, “Okay, I have to look at that side too because there’s stuff there.” Surprisingly, it’s been great material for me to work with.

Q: Now that you are halfway through your first year of the two-year program, how would you describe what it means to train to be a serious actor?

A: It’s much more complicated than I could imagine, that’s for sure. As I mentioned before, I’ve worked as a model, and I also did a little tv but more commercials, music clips, and all that stuff. It was a lot of fun; you have a long day shooting and all that, but I can’t even find words to express. It’s honest work, and it’s serious work.

Q: Great. Has there been anything that you have discovered about yourself through the work that has surprised you?

A: Yes, I do. I have a vast angry side inside me, and I didn’t think I did. I was always very calm, polite, proper, smiling all the time, and adorable. No, I have an angry monster inside of me, but it’s been exciting to explore that side in particular.

Q: Did you know anything about the Meisner Technique before coming to the studio?

A: I did, but I didn’t know it was Meisner. I had trained a little before, but it was more like using your own experiences in life to bring the emotion out and to create that. I had never worked with imaginary circumstances. Something that it’s totally– how can I even believe that that’s possible, like, “Oh, your father died?” No, he didn’t. He’s pretty well; he’s having breakfast. I don’t know, like–

For me, it was like, “What?” Right in the beginning, when Charlie was, “Oh, you imagine, you believe, and you live through that as if it’s real.” I’m like, “Yes, right. Okay, fine.” I started with the summer intensive, so it was a couple of months, and at the end of the summer intensive, I said, “Charlie, I quit.” I can’t; this is too much. This is way too much. My life is a mess. I’m a single mom; I have two children, and I have to take care of myself, my career, and this, and I can’t. Then Charlie said, “Well if you wait for the perfect cosmic alignment to happen for you to pursue that passion, it’s not going to happen. It isn’t easy right now. This is only summer intensive; wait until you get to the real work.” I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to think about it.” I thought about it, and it’s like, “Charlie, I can’t do it.” Then he tells me, “I think you’re going to regret it if you give up now.”

He’s right. I would have regretted if I had given up, but now that I decided to continue, some mornings when I wake up and I’m like, “Oh my God, I have to go to class,” I regret that I continue to because it’s hard work and again it’s serious.

Q: Speaking of Charlie, what do you think about Charlie as a teacher?

A: Oh, Charlie, what can I say? Charlie’s amazing. This is the thing. I grew up with a tiger mom, I’m Asian, and my mom would sit next to me while I was practicing piano with a bamboo stick. Wrong note, [whip sound]. Wrong message, [whip sound]. I grew up with this idea of perfection, always having to be the best, very high standards, and all that.

I remember, in the beginning, some of my classmates were like, “Oh, Charlie is too tough, but he’s too tough,” and I’m like, “Have my mom as your teacher. That’s not tough. He just wants the best for us, and he knows the stuff,” so I trust him.

That’s the most important thing when looking for a teacher because you have to trust that your teacher is trying or is taking you in the right direction and is guiding you properly, and I trust him. That’s the most important thing. I love him. Even his grumpiness sometimes and his tough love it’s almost cute. He’s just tough on the outside, but he’s a good guy and an excellent instructor, that’s for sure.

natasha kin sits in teh student lounge at the studio talking with logan about the acting programs at the studio

Natasha Kim Interview – Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Q: Maggie Flanigan studio is unique because it’s smaller and a boutique studio. How do you think the community here supports you in your training?

A: I do feel that way, and it’s great because, for example, Charlie knows everyone by their first name, last name, whatever. He knows what we’re up to. If I can mention all names, Claire, sometimes I take extra lessons with her, she knows all of us as well. She knows what we are up to, our strengths and what we have to work on, and she can give us proper guidance because both Charlie and Claire know us.

I haven’t taken other classes yet because of a schedule conflict, but everybody I’ve crossed paths with gets to know us, and they care about us, and of course, Logan, what can I say about you? You’re just the sweetest, and those blue eyes, oh my God. I come in the morning and say, “Good morning, Logan.” His blue eyes were like, “Good morning.” So it’s excellent, and all my classmates, I love them all, and it’s great to be in the process with them. Because it’s small, we get the chance to connect with everybody, and even I have other class friends and classmates from previous classes in other classes.

We get to hang out together, too, so that’s great. It’s a great thing for the future for all of us because once we are in the industry working as professional actors, directors, producers, or whatever we choose to do, having this type of connection in the network is helpful.

Q: For prospective students who are considering training at Maggie Flanagan studio or another studio, what would your advice be to them?

A: If this is what you’re passionate about, go for it, go for it, but be prepared to work hard, to be frustrated, to be sad, to go crazy, to lose some nights of sleep. Also, be ready to explore yourself. It’s a tremendous gift to do what we do because we learn much about ourselves. I think it’s helpful whether you’re going to keep acting or if you’re going to go about your life and, I don’t know, open a business or something. It’s still beneficial for humans as well.

If you come to Charlie, be prepared to work hard and have high standards. It’s no joke.


18 Month Acting Programs New York, NY

Learn More about the 18 Month Acting Programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Actors interested in the Meisner training provided at Maggie Flanigan Studio can visit the studio website (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/new-york-ny) to learn more about the acting programs offered. In addition, actors who have questions about the application process can call the studio at (917) 789-1599.

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18-monthActing Program

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