Becoming Alive with Meisner Training

byJulia Gu

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The two-year acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio introduces professional actors to the Meisner technique. First-year acting program student Julia Gu, talks about coming to the studio without having any experience with the Meisner technique.

Becoming Alive with Meisner Technique Training: Julia Gu Interview

Best Meisner Training - Maggie Flanigan Studio - Call (917) 789-1599

Best Meisner Training – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Call (917) 789-1599

Q: Julia, why did you decide to study at Maggie Flanigan studio?

A: I started acting training without an acting technique. I went to voice class with the Linklater technique and then, also when to take client classes. Then, the teachers feel like as a talent, I’m too raw, regarding I don’t have acting technique. Then, they recommended- both teachers recommended Maggie Flanigan at the same time. They think, Charlie’s tough and sets a high bar in terms acting technique. The studio overall has a high level of integrity when it comes to training actors. They both tell me I will be in good hands coming here. That’s why I am here.

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"After the first year in the program, I have more empathy for the entire world and I care about other people more. I think life surprises me more now; I feel more lively inside me."

Julia GuActing Programs, First Year Student

Q: What did you think the Meisner technique was before you came to the studio since you didn’t have any experience with it before?

A: I’m Chinese, I don’t see a lot about American acting masters. I know several guys trained based on the method–

Q: Stanislavski?

A: Stanislavski. They are like Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and then Sandy Meisner. I thought Sandy Meisner was the guy who does repetition, that’s all I know. Repetition. I thought the truth would come up during the repetition exercise.

this image is for interested students to click to register for the two year acting program

Apply for Admission – Meisner Training Program – (917) 789-1599

Q: Now, you’ve finished a whole year of the Meisner work, what do you think the Meisner technique is now?

A: To be honest, I just finished one year. I don’t know the whole thing- how the entire thing is, but I would say repetition was indeed a minimal amount of the beginning. It’s not what the whole thing is about. Right now, my understanding is more like being specific in each aspect of acting regarding our emotional lives, concerning our relationship with other people in the play, our daydream, what happened. We have to create that daydream as specific as possible to form the reality when we’re acting. That’s where I am right now. That’s here may change.

Q: What did you learn about yourself during this year- this first year of the Meisner technique that was a surprise or that changed you?

A: I think, the first is about learning about ourselves and something surprised me is how much my family plays a considerable weight in my life. That surprised me; I did not expect to feel so much emotion. My emotional life is very much connected to my family.

Q: How did this change you as a person?

A: As a person, not as an actress?

Q: Or, as an actor as well. Given that you didn’t have a lot of technique before, it can apply either way.

A: I came here from a business background. In my old world, the business world, usually there is something, and you get it. I don’t care about other things. I’m very like go there. After the whole program, I saw- I felt like I have more empathy for the entire world and the people around me. It made me also realize that even if sometimes I think the most direct ways to get it, it actually might not work. There are so many things around it. I care about other people more. In return, somehow sometimes I get things unexpected. I think life surprises me more now; I feel more lively inside me.

Q: In regards to class, what does it like to have a terrible day in class?

A: A horrible day is– I felt like we have to do things to prepare for class and I felt like, “Oh my God. This thing is so good I’ll prepare this.” Wholeheartedly, I want to present this, and I want to do this because I have the emotional connection to it. I did that in class and Charlie was not happy with it. It’s just like you try to get fully naked, in front of everybody, with your heart, and they were like, “No, we don’t like that. It is not good.” It’s frustrating, sometimes sad.

this image is for interested students to click to register for the two year acting program

Apply for Admission – Meisner Technique Training Program – (917) 789-1599

Q: On the opposite side, what’s it like to have a breakthrough or a great day in class?

A: It’s like a lightbulb going on.

Suddenly, something I felt I did not do. Charlie’s feedback sometimes is very harsh, but then, at that moment, you know, “Oh my God, it’s true.” Now, it’s okay with where I am now. When he says good things, I know it’s true, and it’s not just to make me happy.

The struggle finally clicks in or finally registers something you’ve been struggling through maybe.

To be honest with you, well, now I finished the first year, I think back. I feel like some of my failure could be bigger, because sometimes I was afraid of, “I hope this doesn’t fail.” Then, it will be funnier if I think now back. It will be funnier if I fail more, and I will be like, “Oh my God. What was I thinking?”

Q: I think a lot of it is about failing, and that’s how you learn.

A: I think, I was supposed to try and to put us in a world to tell us this is an empty world and find yourself in this world. Sometimes you will bump into walls. That’s how I feel like, “Here’s a wall here, but there was an entrance here.” We’re just going to keep on searching.

meisner training and acting programs - maggie flanigan studio 04 - (917) 789-1599

Meisner Training and Acting Programs – Maggie Flanigan Studio – (917) 789-1599

Meisner Training at the Maggie Flanigan Studio

Serious actors who are interested in applying for admission to the acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York, can learn more about the studio by going to the acting programs and acting classes page or by calling the studio at 917-789-1599 with specific questions about the acting classes and acting programs https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/.


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