Acting with Consistency

byCharlie Sandlan

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I know that many actors can relate to this; you are in a rehearsal, or perhaps on stage or set, and something unexpected happens to you. For a brief moment, you were emotionally alive, fully present and entirely out of your head. You hear “cut” from the director, or you walk off stage, and you feel like a Mack truck has hit you. The feeling is amazing. It’s an incredible high for an actor. But then as quickly as it was here, it is lost. And you have no idea how you did it, or how to experience that again. What you lack is consistency, an ability to work in a way that allows for that deep experience every time you act.

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"The Meisner technique is the most effective and truly brilliant way for actors to establish a fundamental set of skills."

Charlie SandlanHead of Acting, Executive Director

The main thing that an actor like this lacks is craft and technique. Any art form, be it painting, dance, music, graphic design, sculpting, and even sports has a fundamental skill set that ultimately needs to be mastered for talent and instincts to flourish. The great artists in any medium spend their entire lives working on their craft, mastering their instrument. Years and years of dedication, ultimately leads to a body of work that is consistently good, sometimes brilliant, but never awful. So the question for the actor is what does it take to establish a consistent way of working?

There is a fundamental set of skills, which should be second nature to any serious actor. I believe that the Meisner Technique created by Sandy Meisner in the 1930’s to be the most effective and truly brilliant way to achieve this. An excellent actor can consistently do many things: they have the placement of concentration off of themselves and onto the other person or what they are doing. They listen intently, surprised in every moment. They never ouch louder than they are pinched, letting moments unfold through inevitable cause & effect. They have a developed point of view and have the capacity to respond personally in every moment. They understand that acting is doing and not feeling. They have a vulnerable and sensitive instrument that allows them to be genuinely played upon and changed. They have developed the ability to act before they think, out of their heads and onto their spontaneous impulses. They know how to craft a previous circumstance, an acting relationship, shared circumstances, and objective, and they understand that actions are the clay of behavior.

Outstanding actors know how to do this; it’s been ingrained in them through hard work and excellent training. It is ultimately a way of working, a process that supports them every time they act, in auditions, on set, and on stage. This is the key to consistency: craft and technique. Its what will ultimately set you free and provide you with the ability to take what was is now a fleeting moment or two of divine inspiration, and turn it into just what you do. Act consistently well.

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Acting Programs – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Call (917) 789-1599

The Meisner Acting Programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Learn more about Charlie Sandlan and the acting programs and acting classes at the Maggie Flanigan Studio by visiting the studio website https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/ or calling the studio front desk at 917-789-1599.


Acting Programs – Maggie Flanigan Studio

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