The Journey from Biomedical Engineering to Meisner Training

byAdam Marsh

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Many students interested in becoming professional actors, enroll in the summer acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. Adam Marsh discusses his decision to train as an actor after receiving his degree in biomedical engineering.

Adam Marsh: Summer Acting Program Interview Part 2

adam marsh discusses the meisner summer acting program

Meisner Acting Programs – Summer Acting Program at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Adam, tell me about your background in acting.

Okay, I started acting when I was in fourth grade. It was right after I saw my first play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I was like, “I have to do that.” From that point forward, I think I was always in a play of some sort until I was 18 years old. Then I studied biomedical engineering in college and didn’t a show again for the next 12 years until just about now.

What were you doing before you started the six-week Summer Intensive?

I’ve been working in electronic medical records for the last eight years. Most recently, I made a consulting contract so that I could move out to New York and land on my feet before I did something like this.

Had you ever studied the mind your technique before?

No.

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"I knew that I needed to have a program where somebody cared how I was doing and that I needed somebody who was going to expect a lot from me. That was all obvious to me after talking to Charlie."

Adam MarshStudent, Summer Acting Program

How is it different than what you expected?

I had no idea what to expect. I knew a little bit about repetition. I knew I’d be doing that a little bit, but I guess I didn’t expect it to bring me to live in ways that it did.

I know you’ve said you moved here, but what were the steps you took that led at Maggie Flanigan Studio in the Summer Intensive? Or did you see any training? Was it something you were unsure of?

The first steps that I took when I moved to this city were you get headshots, and you get a coach. I got a coach and talked to him about different programs in the city. I googled it, and Maggie Flanigan was not far from where I lived and where I was working. I thought I’d go in there and I talked to my coach about it too. He was like, “Maggie’s amazing. I think the program has to be great.” Interviewed, and here I am.

Did you look at any other studios, or was it just here?

Just here.

What led you to decide to commit to the studio after the interview?

I think it was two things. One was just actually getting to talk to Charlie. I knew that I needed to have a program where somebody cared how I was doing and whether or not I was growing and was going to pay attention to me and know about me and where I’m at, my journey, and I’d have small class sizes. That was all obvious to me after talking to Charlie.

I also knew that I needed somebody going to be hard on me, expect a lot from me, and expect me to grow quickly. Otherwise, I’m just going to check out. Then I talked to somebody in the elevator that had done the program and then had done the two-year program after the Summer Intensive. They were just going on and down the elevator ride about how much they changed their lives and how I needed to do it if I was even considering it.

That was enough for a selling point for a seven-week program for me to try it out.

How do you think the other classes at the studio contributed to your overall experience at the studio?

Sure. I’ve grown close to all the other students here. I don’t know how you cut in and have a soul after seeing just how vulnerable and exposed and earnest the students are here, and how hard they’re trying. They’re fun people too, but it’s nice to look out into the classroom when you’re nervous and scared and know that everybody out there cares about you and wants to see you do well and is excited to see what you’re about to do. I think that means a lot.

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What has your experience been like with the faculty at the studio?

They’re lovely. I suppose it must be because of having similar backgrounds and training or something, but I feel like Karen and Charlie are identical in the way they work with you and what they expect from you. I think Karen’s come into our classroom two or three times during the program, and after maybe the first time, I already felt like she somehow knew me as a person.

The next time she came in, she remembered everything I’d done the week before or a week and a half or whatever it was, and she was still able to give me helpful notes. I think Liz and Tina and Larry, they’re all just so genuinely excited. In class, whenever they see as a bright moment or see something click for me, I can tell that they’re thrilled, and they just give it everything they have every day that they’re there. Wonderful people.

Can you just share a little bit about your experience and what made you leap at moving from Wisconsin, a stable career, having a steady job, to moving to New York City?

First of all, I can relate to all of that a lot. It was terrifying to me, and it’s always been terrifying to me to consider pursuing my dreams and doing the one thing that was still in the back of my mind that I felt I needed to do. I’m 30 years old, and I had a friend that I was visiting out here that was acting and working and loving what he was doing, and it just made me realize that it was possible. After I let myself believe that I couldn’t stay away anymore, and I knew that I had to give it a shot.

As soon as I decided that I had that impatience, I need to audition immediately, and I need to get out there, and I need to be working. I think doing this has been helpful because it did give me a way to channel that energy into something, and it gave me something to do that would help me improve, and it also made me realize that I have so much to learn. If it’s honestly something that I want to do and if I want to be the best actor I can be, the best artist and if I’m serious about this, then it’s the only option for me, is to keep studying and to learn as much as humanly possible. If I’m lucky, I’ll be a student forever.

adam march discusses the meisner summer acting program

Meisner Summer Acting Programs – Adam Marsh Interview at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Is your family supportive of that moving transition?

Yes, I think they’re nervous for me, but they’re also really excited about it. I call my mom all the time and talk to her. She’s back in Wisconsin. I think at first when I told her I was doing this, she probably about had a heart attack. When she hears me talk about it and talk about how classes are and everything I’m learning, she always tells me she’s going to cry, because she’s so happy for me and she knows that I’m meant to be doing this. They’re supportive, and they know how important it is to me.

How has the close community here, the small classes, made the transition a little bit easier for you?

Because I have a background in software and all that and because I just moved here this year, I don’t have this massive community of actors and people that understand what I’m going through. My friends are great, but they just give me weird looks when I tell them like, “I’m really stressed. I spent two hours crying today.” Like, “What?” It’s nice to have such great classmates here that I can just grab a beer with after class and talk to and share our experiences and what we’re going through.

People say they learn things about themselves that they didn’t realize talking to their therapist. It’s nice to be able to share something like that with somebody that’s going to listen and understand why that is and be supportive about it.

What would you say to someone feels like it’s too late, they are too old or they don’t have money?

It’s not going to get more comfortable, and they’re not going to get younger, but also, it’s ridiculous to think of anyone being too old to act. It’s not like everyone just wants to watch 19-year old network television. I would hope that that person would understand that they’ve had valuable life experiences and a different, unique experience and perspective that they’re going to bring now, just from the fact that they’ve lived and done other things. I think I’m a different person than I would have been having I gotten the other side of the coin when I flipped it as an 18-year old and decided I’m doing it then. I think I’m more ready for it now than I was when I was a kid.

What would you also say to that person is the number one reason to study at Maggie Flanigan Studio?

Well, if their primary concern is that they’re afraid about time and money and making it work with the rest of their lives, I feel like I’ve found a place here with people that are understanding of the fact that you do have experience. You do have a career, and you are trying to get work. If you miss class because you get an audition or something or you get practice, then you’re going to find people here that are excited and are going to help you work through that and do makeup classes and things like that. It’s a perfect environment to land in if you’re going to try and make that jump.

Best Acting Programs New York - Maggie Flanigan Studio - Call (917) 789-1599

Best Summer Acting Programs New York – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Call (917) 789-1599

Apply Today for the Summer Acting Program

The six-week acting program at Maggie Flanigan Studio includes the Meisner Summer Intensive, as well as voice, movement, and on-camera acting classes. Students who want to learn more about the acting programs and professional actor training at the studio should visit the studio website before calling for information. Students with questions about enrollment can call (917) 789-1599. ( https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com )

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Meisner Summer
Acting ProgramThe Meisner Technique

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The Maggie Flanigan Studio has the best summer acting program in New York and the United States for serious actors who are interested in the Meisner technique.
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