Reflecting Life Without Apologies

byTurron Kofi Alleyne

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Many professional actors and working actors chose summer acting classes in New York to study the Meisner Technique with Maggie Flanigan Studio. In this recent interview, Turron Kofi Alleyne talks about what it was like studying Meisner again after many years of working professionally.

Summer Acting Classes in New York: Turron Kofi Alleyne

Turron Kofi Alleyne talks about what it was like studying Meisner again after many years of working professionally

Summer Acting Classes in New York – Turron Kofi Alleyne at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Q: Turron, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before starting the Six-Week Summer Intensive?

Oh, well, I knew it was hard work. It wasn’t easy. It’s funny. You caught me off guard with that question. Can I talk about my history a little bit?

Q: Yes, please.

I did go to Rutgers University before I came here. I went to study at Mason Gross School of the Arts. When I first experienced like, “Whoa, I thought the acting was just memorizing lines.” Then it just blew me away about technique and all these different instruments and different tools that come into acting. That was a while ago. I graduated with my BFA, did great in my audition, and still working and things of that nature. However, over time, I have a family now. I’m married with three kids, and I don’t get to work on my instrument as much as I used to do so.

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When I started the summer intensive I thought that I would be able to brush up, get my feet wet and get back into it because this was just the fundamentals. Boy, was I wrong.

Turron Kofi AlleyneStudent, Summer Acting Classes

I got an email about the Maggie Flanigan School, and I saw the summer intensive. When I came here, I thought that I would be able to brush up and get my feet wet again and get back into it because it was going over the fundamentals. Boy, was I wrong? Charlie kicked and is still kicking my butt. Like, “Oh man, it’s a tough process.” Crafting, and well, coming up with circumstances, for those who may not know. I’m not even talking about just seeing me at first, understanding who you are.

This opened me up again to understanding; you have to be in tune with who you are to be alive and be open and available for whatever human condition you have to process or live out and get rid of all the gunk, and the nonsense was in me. Do you know what I mean? Be able to live again was great. This just reminded me how– It’s funny, how hard acting is, and it’s not easy. If you want to be active, if you’re going to be an outstanding artist, you have to put in the work. That’s one thing about this conservatory that taught me– what reminded me, I should say, about how important putting in work is.

I went into acting like this, but what I would say being an actor is putting in the preparatory work before you even touch a stage or get on camera or whatever it is. You have to be specific, and as Charlie would say, he says, “Simple.” When I first heard him say it, he said, “Do an exercise and just make it simple and specific.” I said, “Okay, he wants it simple.” I’ll do something simple, [laughs] not knowing that simple is not easy. Charlie’s definition with simple is, simple is very complicated, but it’s still simple. It’s always simple, but it has to be very specific.

Acting for me is putting in the work behind the scenes when no one’s looking so that you’re just open and available to whatever condition you’re going to be living out when you’re there.

Q: What’s something that you learned these past six weeks that changed your acting?

The biggest thing for me, I already know, that was my answer is– How do I articulate this? I would say not allowing my daily behavior to interfere with my acting life, my experience because over the years and even– I grow habits. I’m not the person that I am in class all the time. I don’t fully live out my emotional life, whatever that is, all the time. The biggest thing for me was allowing just being able to open that up and not caring about whoever or whatever thinks about you in those moments of just living out whatever your experience.

That was the biggest thing for me, just overcoming that hurdle and still overcoming, not that I’ve arrived. I’m just trying to live out whatever life that’s going on with me unapologetically. I’m not allowing my daily worldly life of suppressing, whatever that is, getting in whatever experience I’m living on that stage or in that classroom.

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Q: You’ve been fortunate enough to study the Meisner technique before at Rutgers. What would you say that draws you to the Meisner technique the most, as an actor?

Well, for me, it’s when I had the conversation of the day. Meisner was the first introduction to acting that I got. I didn’t have any acting background before going to Rutgers. When I went to Rutgers, I was taught, and all with other different techniques, but the focus was Meisner¬†Acting. About Meisner, what I do love, and I’m not sure if other methods do this or not, but through the teaching that I’ve learned at Rutgers and here again, it gets you in touch with yourself. It allows you to wrestle with any demons you may have and not necessarily throw them away.

It’s more so, “I didn’t know that about myself.” Meisner, it’s set up to pick at whatever– You can’t hide anything. [laughs] If you continue with the work, you cannot hide. You cannot continue to do this Meisner technique and protect who you are. You would have to eventually break and open up and reveal all the gunk, all the history. I have a friend of mine who uses and talks about how this technique is so very therapeutic. It’s so therapeutic. These weeks have been very therapeutic for me in my life. I’m able to express myself a lot more now.

Summer Acting Classes in New York - Turron Kofi Alleyne Black and White Photo

Summer Acting Classes in New York – Turron Kofi Alleyne – Maggie Flanigan Studio

I didn’t realize how much I was suppressing myself and speak my mind without it being this hard thing to do. Do you know what I mean? Being grounded with my opinion and my perspective about something, and this Meisner work, I believe, really taps at that. It taps those things out. The best thing for Meisner that I’ve experienced is getting in tune with yourself and knowing who you are. Then also realizing that it’s not about you. Do you know what I mean? It’s not really about you. It’s about your partners and what you’re doing, and it allows you to listen and take in. Take in and give. Take in and give out.

It’s something that you are allowed to flow in. It’s not robotic. You don’t have to be in character all day or things of that nature. You don’t have to be robotic. It’s very fluid. It’s very open. It’s very vulnerable. If you don’t like being vulnerable, then it’s not for you. You know what? I would encourage anyone to, even if they are afraid of being vulnerable when you’re doing Meisner, you’re not vulnerable to be judged. You’re not vulnerable to be picked on or made fun of. You’re really vulnerable to access things you never knew about yourself.

You’re also vulnerable so you can begin to stand up for who you are unapologetically, and the work does that. It’s so funny how it just reflects life. Nina Simone said something like, “Art should reflect life.” I’m not sure if I’m quoting that correctly, but this Meisner work does that exactly.


Summer Acting Classes in New York

Learn More About Meisner Summer Acting Classes in New York at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Actors who are serious about developing the work ethic required to be a professional actor, are encouraged to enroll in the summer acting classes at Maggie Flanigan Studio (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com). To learn more about the acting classes and summer acting programs at the studio, visit the studio website, or call the studio with enrollment questions (917) 789-1599.

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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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