Two Year Acting Program: Why Choose the Maggie Flanigan Studio?

byNoelle White

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Two Year Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Call (917) 789-1599

The two-year acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio helps actors create a foundation for a professional acting career based on the Meisner technique, created by Sanford Meisner. In this interview, a group of students from the January Two Year Acting Program discusses why they chose to study at this studio instead of other NYC acting studios and acting programs.

Q: Can you all introduce yourselves?

My name is Noelle White, and I’m in my second year at Maggie Flanigan.
My name is Matthew Ramirez, I was a January student. I’m now currently in the second year.
I’m Gil Rodriguez, also a second year, January Student.

Q: Did any of you have any Meisner training before you started at the studio?

Matthew: No.
Gil: No.
Noelle: [laughs]
Matthew: I did not.

Q: What did you think the Meisner technique was? What did you think actor training was before you came here?

Gil: For me, I thought that the Meisner training was just a two-year conservatory that did everything, like voice, speech, movement. I didn’t realize that it was going to be intensive. Coming from a background of music, I didn’t realize that I had to revisit things that I would do for music as well. So, I feel like it definitely opened me up a lot more in that sense of knowing what I was getting myself into.

Q: What about you Noelle?

Well, It’s actually exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be, but it’s what I felt I was missing. Before this, every time I took a class, I’d be so excited sign up for a class and then I was totally let down because I would just get a few notes about, just try to smile more.

I don’t know, little tiny notes from casting directors or acting teachers or about your headshot or about your resume. I was like, “I know, but I know there’s something missing from– There’s something missing from my acting.” I know it. I feel it when I go to the theater and I see something good, I’m like, “I want that in my work.” Although I had no experience with Meisner before, when I came to interview, I knew that the way the teacher spoke that they knew what that was. I was like, “Yes. That’s what I want.”

Q: What about you Matthew?

Yes, I know. I definitely agree with that. I was also excited to go and take an acting workshop once a week, but I had no Meisner experience although I read his book. When I came here, I was very excited to tackle what I’ve read in the book, what he spoke about, because I thought this was something that I could understand. It’s simple, straightforward, I could understand it. [laughs] You don’t really know until you actually do it, and then coming here and then actually doing it was so much better than what the book had given me, and what will any workshop could have given me.

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Before I came to this studio every time I took an acting class, it was a letdown. I knew there was something missing from my acting besides trying to smile more. Although I had no experience with Meisner, when I came to the interview I knew this was the place for me.

Noelle WhiteStudent, Two Year Acting Program

Q: How has your understanding of the Meisner technique changed now that you’re in your second year?

Matthew: A lot of people that I’ve met through workshops and acting classes, whenever Meisner would come up, they would say, “Well, you have really got to be patient. You got to be patient because the repetition, the activities, you just go to be patient.” Now in my second year, I realize that yes, you really do have to be patient because the second year work would not be possible without the first year work. If you don’t do the first year work, you’re not going to understand the second year work.

There are so many tools that we learned in the first year that are just expanding so much more and coming up a thousand times more in just one scene, one page of a scene from a play. So, impossible to do the second year without first year work.

Noelle: Yes, I definitely think that’s a benefit of January because we did it in such a quick truncated time span that– First year, you do have to be patient. But it’s nice because we were coming back and there weren’t a lot of breaks and you’re just pushing through. Whereas I know if you do the full year, they get a lot of breaks in the middle and I’m sure that’s hard, makes the patience part ever harder.

Gil: Yes. You definitely come back with an understanding of what you really need to do. The amount of patience that you have in general and then coming back to the second year, it’s like all these tools that you have, you can’t throw out the first year at all. You need to use everything that you were unconsciously doing this is now something that you really need to use.

Matthew: Yes. One thing with the first year, you learn so much about yourself from your thematic core and what angers you, what makes you happy, what devastates you. You learn that about other people too and what devastates them, what gets them angry, how do I push their buttons, how do I work off of them. Now in the second year, that’s all vital because you’re trying to step into somebody else’s shoes. You need to be able to at least try and understand yourself first before you go and try to step in someone else’s shoes.

Q: Why did you pick Maggie Flanigan Studio as opposed to all the other acting studios?

There are other Meisner studios, bigger studios, smaller studios, different teachers, why was this the only place for you when you made that decision to commit?

Gil: For me, I know a couple of people that came to Maggie Flanigan Studios and they studied under Maggie themselves, my managers. They would tell me, “you should go to Maggie Flanigan Studio because it’s better than any other studio that there is out there. It’s very intimate, and I can see that in the growth of people and how they are as people and how they listen to each other.”

I have so much more of an understanding of myself and my other peers, and I think it’s beautiful that I am able to call this place my home. I know I could have gone to Adler, Esper or Knickerbocker, but I chose Maggie Flanigan because I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be here.

Matthew: Yes. An agent had told me that– I came to him with questions about other studios and when I mentioned Maggie Flanigan, he said that he knows, that the actors that come out of Maggie Flanigan are hard working, and are passionate about what they’re doing and about the craft. I think that that’s important because I think with anything you do in life, you have to work hard at it. You’re not going to achieve anything if you’re just being lazy. You have to work hard.

The agent telling me that the actors that come out of Maggie Flanigan Studio are hardworking, and then coming here and seeing that firsthand and how hard you have to work. It’s not about just, “Oh yes, I’m going to work hard.” But you literally have to work hard to get this work. If you don’t work hard, you’re not going to get the work. There’s no room for BS. I think that that’s one of the biggest reason why Maggie Flanigan is the studio to go to because you get what you put in honestly.

Q: What about you Noelle?
Did you look at any other studios or any other places?

Noelle: At this point in my career, I didn’t actually look at a ton of other studios. That’s because I knew what I wanted because I had lived here a little while and I take other classes at other places. Of course, I knew I needed something longer so I could learn technique, but the two-year thing was definitely scary.

The really funny thing, in the beginning, was looking at the website and the social media, getting a totally different feel from Maggie Flanigan than I got from other places. Honestly, there were a bunch of flashy photos of people in costumes that are like, “Graduate with this degree.”

I just had already done that. I was tired of this idea of like, “You’ll be a star if you go here.” I was like, “I don’t want that.” I want to be good at what I do. That’s really what drove me to come here because I got that from advertising and social media that’s out there about Maggie Flanigan. Then I came here and that was only shown to me more when I spoke with Charlie and Karen.

Movement Class for Actors - Two Year Acting Program - Maggie Flanigan Studio (917) 789-1599

Movement Class for Actors – Two Year Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio (917) 789-1599

Learn More About Meisner Training and the Two Year Acting Program at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Learn more about the two-year program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. The acting program accepts new students in January and September. Acceptance to the studio is based on an interview with Charlie Sandlan, the executive director and Head of Acting. Serious students should review the website (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/) and call the studio to arrange an interview. Call 917-789-1599.

 

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