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Summer Acting Program Interview – Amilia Shaw

The Summer Acting Program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York includes the six-week Meisner Summer Intensive. Amilia Shaw discusses the acting program and what it was like studying the Meisner technique at the studio.

Amilia Shaw discusses the acting program and what it was like studying the Meisner technique at the studio.

Summer Acting Programs Interview – Amilia Shaw – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Summer Acting Program: Amilia Shaw Interview

Q: Why did you decide to study at Maggie Flanigan Studio, starting with our six-week summer intensive?

I had an acting coach, and he told me, he was like, “I really want you to go to the Maggie Flanigan Studio and do their six-week intensive over this summer.” I had just finished my freshman year of college. I was like, “Yes, of course. Oh, my gosh, Meisner. Yes.” There’s so many well-trained Meisner actors out there that I respect. So I was like, “Of course, yes.” I did the six weeks.


"I thought that being an actor was all about practice making perfect. It was about going into class, doing scenes over and over again to the point where it becomes like second-nature, but it's not."

Amilia ShawStudent, Two Year Acting Program

Q: Had you studied Meisner previously? Did you have a little bit of an insight to what it was going to be like?

My first year at my previous university, I read Stanislavski’s book. Stanislavski was one of Meisner’s teachers, so I had that perspective. Growing up in middle school and high-school, I did this program on Monday nights, that we explored a bunch of different acting forefathers like Suzuki and Meisner.

Q: What did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the six-week summer intensive?

I thought, being an actor, it was all about practice making perfect. It was about going into class, doing scenes over and over again to the point where it becomes like second-nature, but it’s not.

Q: What happened during the six weeks that changed your perspective on training?

I came in, and I was just stunned at how repetitive everything was. For the six-weeks, it was all the same structure. It was the same exercise with different elements, of course, added and subtracted. I started getting more frustrated than I’d ever been in my entire life. It made me question for the first time, and I was like, “This is what I’ve wanted all along.” I feel myself starting to become what I’ve always wanted to be. It’s through this frustration, it’s through this being put outside of my comfort zone that I didn’t know I desperately wanted until I had been offered that.

Q: What happened during the summer intensive that was a surprise or that changed you?

I got really angry, and I– I felt obligated or entitled to my emotions for the first time, and I started breaking out of a shell. It was like I was disenchanted.

Q: Did you take any other classes during the summer intensive like movement or voice?

Yes, I took Movement 1, and Voice 1, and On-Camera Auditioning.

Summer Acting Programs Interview with Amilia Shaw at the Maggie Flanigan Studio

Summer Acting Program Interview with Amilia Shaw at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Q: How was that for you working during the movement and voice work simultaneously with the acting work?

It shouldn’t be done any other way. They’re so intertwined and interconnected. I’m over halfway through my first year here at Maggie Flanigan, and I’ve been taking– well, I took the first semester off of movement and voice because I did it over the summer, but now I’m back in Movement 2 and Voice 2. It’s such a relief to have that training on top of what we’re doing in the room because it’s everything that Charlie talks about in the room, it can be applied to what we do in movement and voice. Movement and voice are almost the same class in some regards because they’re also interconnected.

Q: Why did you decide to leave your college program and join the two-year program?

It was very much an in retrospect decision because while I was at the university I was at, I was absolutely in love with it, and I had the best year of my life, one of the best years in my life. And it wasn’t until I had been offered something I’d never been offered before when I came here that I needed to stay.

Q: How has it been working with Charlie? How do you describe him as a teacher?

Lots of people would say, “Charlie is so intimidating. He’s so scary.” I understand the perspective. I’m not scared of him. He repeatedly emphasizes that he only has our best interests in mind, and he has such a– what am I trying to say, a sense of right and wrong that it’s an inspiration to be in class with him, and you never feel like he is being belligerent for no reason.

It’s really touching actually how much individualized attention he gives us.

It’s nice because we’re becoming more tight-knit because we’re getting to know each other really well. I noticed that even with Charlie, we’re building more of a relationship. He is getting to know me even better and I’m getting to know him even better. That just makes the work even better because it becomes more of a team effort.

Meisner Summer Acting Program - Maggie Flanigan Studio 01

Meisner Summer Acting Programs – Meisner Summer Intensive – Call (917) 794-3878

The Summer Acting Programs and the Meisner Intensive

To learn more about the summer acting program, the Meisner Intensive and the other acting programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio, visit the studio website online or call the front desk at (917) 794-3878.


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