Getting My Soul Back On Track

byKamau Mitchell

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The Meisner Summer Intensive with Maggie Flanigan Studio is a training program for actors and students who want to learn about the Meisner Technique and experience what it means to train as a professional. In this interview at the studio earlier this year, Kamau Mitchell discusses his experience in the six-week Meisner Summer program.

headshot for kamau mitchell a student in teh summer acting program at Maggie Flanigan studio

Meisner Summer Intensive Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio – (917) 789-1599

Meisner Summer Intensive Interview: Kamau Mitchell

Kamau, what did you think about the need to train as an actor before you started the six-week summer intensive?

I had a good idea of what it meant to be training as a good actor. I understood logically the work that it took to put in. I realized inevitably like, “Yes, it takes hard work, it takes smart work, and you have to be working every day and building your muscle every day and about how much work you have to put in”. Logically, I understood. Truly understanding and feeling what that’s like in my bones is quite different. I think that I didn’t have a sense of humility that went into my work, and now I understand what that humility truly feels like in putting that into the action.

What were you doing before you started this six weeks summer intensive?

Three years ago, I graduated from Howard University. While I was there, one of my professors and a couple of my professors recommended this program. Kim Bay, she studied at Rutgers, she told me how amazing this program is. I always knew that it was in my timeline; I just didn’t know when I was going to do it. After I graduated, I was in DC for two years, just building up my resume, which worked out nicely. I was booking work immediately right off the bat.

Then I moved here about a year ago, and said, “Oh, I’m good, but so is everyone else.” That instant gratification I was receiving in DC went away, so I was down on myself, and I realized that my self-worth was created by results that I was always getting. I had a massive ego because I was very insecure. I had this ego, and it showed itself when I wasn’t getting the work that I was getting in DC.

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"I thought I was a good actor, then I came to NYC and realized so were many other people. That instant gratification that I was used to getting as an actor went away. I understand now what humility truly feels like and I am putting that into my work."

Kamau MitchellStudent, Meisner Summer Acting Program

I was auditioning left and right, off-Broadway, Broadway, TV, and film. I got some audition invites, which was cool. I was like, “Okay, feeding my ego, but thank you. Thank you I need some; maybe I’m starving.” I ended up booking some commercials, but I was down. I was disappointed. I just remember there was one point where I just had to stop auditioning. “I am not doing this until I get myself together until I get my soul back on track.”

I stopped auditioning, and I was reading a lot. I read a lot of books to kind of feed my soul to just educate myself and still train a little bit by not having to audition. People always say, “You need audition, and that’s how you train, and that auditioning is so much fun because you’re acting.” “Yes, but I also just want to act and do something without having to worry about getting something.” Because auditioning it’s not always fun. People always say it’s fun. Just be real.” It’s not. It’s not fun, but that’s what my ego was saying.

It wasn’t fun because I wasn’t receiving those things that I did. So I was on this journey of getting my soul back on track, reading, and just simply living my life. I was not so concerned and caught up in what I created my future to be, like getting so caught up in my dreams and putting my ideas over God’s path for me and relying on my thoughts to give me happiness. I was getting to a place where I wanted to know what it’s like to be humble and not have to freak out when I don’t understand something when I’m right. I was so down on myself because of all these results and me logically, before I knew it’s not about the result like logically┬ábut truly feeling what that is like, “Phew.” You just feel joy when you only live life every day and being okay with where you’re at. There’s a difference between being okay with you and being lazy because I feel people get caught up in that sometimes. Many people are worried about being content in where they’re at because they think I might fall into laziness. No. They are very much different.

I decided that I was going to take this program. What I wanted out of this program was an idea of what it’s like to have a strong work ethic. I thought a strong work ethic was the thing that I needed because I relied so much on everything else. I’m charming, and I know how to use that, and I was given all these things, I think I am good at what I do. I felt that I could kind of pass. I could get by, and I’m good looking too, so things are going to work. But that’s not the kind of actor deep down I want to be.

summer acting program banner

I don’t want to be an actor who’s good looking and who can act okay, who is just mediocre. That’s never been me. I’d prefer being known for my acting, and not have this star dream career. I wish to act, and I want to get to the truth every time. Being consistent every time, that’s my main goal, just being logical.

I talked with Charlie, we set up an interview to do this program, and I told him what I wanted. I said, “I want to be an actor. I don’t want to be a star.” Star sounds nice. It does look nice, making millions of dollars doing what you love to do. That sounds great, but I know that that’s not important. I know that doesn’t guarantee me joy.

All that dream stuff that I created in my head and dreams are good to have, but I focused on my goals. I was so result-driven that it was just shutting me down. I was upset every day because I was not getting these results that I was seeking. I was just talking with Charlie about all this. My favorite actor is Christoph Waltz; he is this German White man. He is so different from me, and I think he is just absolutely incredible. He works in such a healthy way.

Kamau Mitchell on the Meisner Summer Acting Program with Maggie Flanigan Studio

Meisner Intensive Summer Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio 2020 – Call (917) 789-1599

I respect Daniel Day-Lewis. He is the main person who I think of in terms of method acting. Even though Leonardo DiCaprio back in his young days, he was a method actor. Method actors. I respect them, and I think it’s cool that they do what they do. For me, that would drive me crazy. One, because I want a lot of different things.

I want a family. I’m currently engaged, so having a wife, kids, and being a method actor, I feel that you have got to be single to be a method actor. Being someone else every single day, it’s too much. I would instead do it a healthier way.

So I talked to Charlie, it ended up working out, and I got into this program.


Summer Acting Program

Choose Maggie Flanigan Studio for the Meisner Summer Intensive Training

Professional actors, as well as students enrolled in undergraduate programs, choose to study with Maggie Flanigan Studio (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/new-york-ny) during the summer to experience the Meisner Technique as Sanford Meisner initially taught it. Students interested in applying to the program should apply online and contact the studio with any enrollment questions by calling (917) 789-1599.

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Fall 2021
Meisner IntensiveThe Meisner Technique

Starts Oct 13th
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.
917-789-1599

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