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Letting My True Emotions Come Out

The Maggie Flanigan Studio New York acting programs train actors based on the Meisner Technique, created by Sanford Meisner. Devin Fuller, a first-year student in the acting program, talks about what he thought actor training was when he first started studying at the studio.

acting programs New York - Devin Fuller Interview

Acting Programs New York – Devin Fuller – Maggie Flanigan Studio Interview

Q: Devin, what did you think about to train as an actor before you started the two-year program at Maggie Flanigan Studio?

A: I think when I was starting out I thought that actor training was something that you could do and was probably helpful, but I thought, “Not everyone necessarily needs to train because I’ve heard stories about people who become successful without going to training programs.” I thought for me, I could show up and learn on set, and I could learn from experience, but I think ultimately what I’ve learned is that there’s this level of technique that you don’t necessarily get just from experience. It does help for someone to train you and to learn from somebody because you can only get so far, I think, on your own. It helps to have a teacher.


"I let it myself get angry. I let myself cry. I let myself break down. I feel like such a better actor after letting myself go to those places instead of just faking it."

Devin FullerActing Program, First Year Student

Q: What did you think or what did you know about the Meisner Technique before you started your first year here?

A: I had taken a couple of classes before that dabbled in Meisner, nothing super advanced though. All I knew about it was repetition involved. I didn’t see the process too much beyond some fundamental things about it. All I knew was that I knew some people who had trained in the Meisner Technique and they were outstanding. I was like, “I want to learn what this is about,” so here I am.

this image is for interested students to click to register for the two year acting program

Q: Now that you’ve finished the full first year of the two-year program, how has your understanding of the Meisner Technique changed?

A: I’ve learned it’s very– It lets you get into a part of yourself that you might not know you have. I feel like before when I didn’t have as much of an understanding of technique; I would show up then think, “Okay, how would this character feel?” I didn’t really– It was not in a particular way. I just felt along and tried to see what works. A lot of times, maybe it did work, other times it didn’t, I got feedback.

Now that I’ve trained a little bit, I’ve learned that having some structure to how you’re approaching acting is very helpful. This technique is good at getting you out of your head and focusing on what the other person is doing. It’s less about yourself. I’ve learned so much about reacting to people and understanding and also letting my true emotional response come out. There is a difference between being acting angry and being angry, acting sad and feeling sad. It’s like night and day once you realize that. It’s been a great experience, and I’ve learned a lot.

Q: What did you learn about yourself this year that was a surprise or that changed you?

A: In everyday life, you have to tamp down a lot of your emotions. You don’t want to be angry, or at least I don’t want to be mad at people. I don’t want to show I’m agitated but doing this, it’s like you realize you can access those parts of yourself and you can be excellent. Like when you’re angry on set, you’re not acting angry, you want to get to a point when you feel mad.

It’s all in a controlled experience but– I mean controlled in the sense that it’s safe, but it’s just this– You let yourself live out these experiences. It feels so rewarding to let yourself go to that place. It’s so much more– I think you get these rush of being like, “Wow, I did that. I let it myself get angry. I let myself cry. I let myself break down.” It’s fantastic, and you feel so much better. You feel like such a better actor after letting yourself go to those places instead of just faking it.

Q: How is being part of the two-year program different from your experience at other studios or in other classes?

A: Two-year program, it’s different. Previously, I had taken a lot of classes that were just one-offs, like here’s a scene study class, here’s an auditioning class. Here you get a lot more of a focus. Those things were usually like, four weeks, eight weeks, ten weeks, whatever and then maybe like once a week and you’re done. Then you feel like, “Well, I feel like I’ve learned something,” but you don’t necessarily feel like it changed you as much. Here, you envelop yourself in this program, and you feel like, “This is all combining together and really changing me as a person and as an actor,” much more than you could get from just a simple scene study class that you do once a week.

You do feel the growth over time as opposed to– From where I was at the beginning of the year versus where I am now is just so different. I’ve grown so much.

acting programs in new york ny - devin fuller interview

Acting Programs in New York NY – Devin Fuller First-Year Interview

Q: Well what’s it like to be in acting class and have a bad day?

A: I’d say the bad days you can feel really bad. I’ve had a few experiences where I felt, “Well, I didn’t do my best.” I knew it, but I felt more motivated at the end of the day to do better next time. You do learn a lot about yourself. Whereas if you can take criticism, and you can understand it, and you know it is a motivator at the end of the day because you feel like you want to be better. You want to understand, “Maybe I had a bad day today, but tomorrow I can be better, next week I can be better. I can reach those levels that I want to reach; I can reach those heights I want to reach as an actor.” Bad days are just another reason to do better next time.

Q: What’s it like to be in acting class and have a good day?

A: Be in class and have a good day. It’s [laughs] great. You feel like you’ve accomplished something. I feel like– it’s usually after– I think it takes a while sometimes to reach those good days. Because a lot of times if you feel like you’ve been just doing– your work has been exceptional or maybe mediocre, not great but then when you do have those good days it does make it all worth it.

this image is for interested students to click to register for the two year acting program

You feel like, “I’ve impressed myself. I feel excellent about my performance or my activity.” You feel like, “This is why I do this.” It’s a feeling unlike any other that I get from doing anything else. That’s why I do it. The good days are the best days.

acting programs - maggie flanigan studio 03 - (917) 794-3878

Acting Programs New York – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Call (917) 794-3878

Learn More About the Acting Programs New York

Learn more about Meisner acting and professional actor training at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, by visiting the acting programs and acting classes page on the studio website, or by calling the studio during studio business hours at (917) 794-3878.

Acting Programs New York

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