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Acting Demystified

The eighteen month acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is an accelerated acting program based on Meisner acting techniques and principles. Oriana, a student in the acting program, talks about what it was like auditioning without professional training and her decision to start training in the acting program at the studio.

eighteen month acting program new york ny - maggie flanigan studio 01 - (917) 794-3878

Eighteen Month Acting Program New York NY – Maggie Flanigan Studio – (917) 794-3878

Acting Demystified – The Eighteen Month Acting Program

Q: Oriana, tell me about your background in acting.

A: Before I started at the studio, I was studying Theater in general at Hunter College. It was a pretty good education, but I felt that as soon as I graduated, I wasn’t ready to start auditioning and I wasn’t sure what was missing for me. I decided to look into this studio where I had a lot of friends that had been here before, and they said great things about it. I was like, “Okay, I’ll try it.” Here I am.”

Q: Have you ever studied the Meisner technique before you started the acting program here?

A: I was 18 when I found this studio that’s focused on the Meisner technique. For me, that was a weird experience because I was very young, and it felt as if the program was intrusive in a lot of ways and I wasn’t ready to dive into those parts of me. It was good once I started at this studio because I realized that the technique isn’t intrusive at all. It allows you to find yourself, but it shouldn’t feel like you’re being violated emotionally. That was my experience way back, and it turned me off for a little bit, and then I decided to try it a few years later.


When you go to an audition, you always feel like the people auditioning you have all of the power. Now, because I know what I'm doing, I feel like it's a conversation at auditions. They are not as intimidating anymore.

Oriana LineweaverEighteen Month Acting Program, Student

Q: How is Meisner training at Maggie Flanigan Studio different than what you expected?

Well, I’m not sure what I was expecting to be honest, but it’s demystified acting for me in a good way, where now I have so much more respect for it. I know that nothing is arbitrary. Everything you’re watching there’s an entire process, and knowing what that process feels rewarding, versus just being like, “Oh, I’m talented. I think I can dive into a script.” I don’t know if that makes any sense.
Summer Acting Program - The Meisner Summer Intensive 2019 Begins

Q: Were there any specific problems that led you to seek professional actor training?

A: Well, for one, I definitely couldn’t make any choice. I would go into an audition room and just flat, read the script, and it would be super flat. I was like, “I hope they’re getting what I’m trying to do.” It was horrible, both for them and for me watching each other go through this. I feel being comfortable with making choices and claiming the time of being on stage and feel like I had something to say. I feel like being at the studio has taught me that I am more of an artist than I gave myself credit for before and I do want to say certain things and make them clear.

Q: How did you feel about auditions before you started the two-year acting program?

A: Petrified. I was not ready to go out and audition, it just felt like the next thing that I had to do after college. After trying it out for a little bit, it just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. It wasn’t because I wasn’t right, it was only because I didn’t know what I was doing.

Q: If you started auditioning again tomorrow, how would you feel about auditions?

A: Absolutely. I feel when you go to an audition, you always feel like the people auditioning you have all of the power. Now, because I know what I’m doing and I’m sure I’ll know even more once my two years they’re done, I feel like it’s a conversation at auditions. They’re not as intimidating anymore.

Q: What are the specific steps that led you to the studio?

A: Well, I used to do costumes as well, and I was assisting someone on a show. I remember the main actress; she blew me away. There were three actors in the show. It was mad. I remember everyone was insanely talented, really hardworking, but something that stood out for me about her was that the stage managers loved her because she would hit every little thing that she had to do and keeping the same emotional life for as I saw the other actors had to play around a little bit, which was also excellent.

The fact that they couldn’t be as consistent as she was, and I was wondering how she did it. When I asked her, she said that she’d come to this studio. At that point, I was sold. That would be it for me.

Q: Why did you choose the two-year program?

A: As soon as I walked out of the elevator and I came in, I was like, “This is it.” I didn’t know what it was. There’s just something about the space that feels sacred. It’s just like it matches up with your passion like you’re walking in and you don’t know what you’re doing, and then you open the door. I remember there was this little thing on one of the walls that it’s like, “The home of the serious actor.” I remember looking at that and being like, “Okay, I’m home. This is it. This is the next step.”

eighteen month acting program new york ny - maggie flanigan studio 01 - (917) 794-3878

Eighteen Month Acting Program New York NY – Karen Chamberlain – (917) 794-3878

Apply for Admission to the Eighteen Month Acting Program

To learn more about the eighteen month acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, as well as the other acting programs at the studio, visit the acting programs page on the studio website Interested actors with questions about enrollment and class schedules should call the studio directly at (917) 794-3878.

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