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Vulnerable, Prepared and Confident

The acting programs in New York at the Maggie Flanigan Studio train professional actors based on the actor training technique of Sanford Meisner. In this interview at the studio, Chelsea Perez discusses the first year in the two year acting program.

Acting Programs in New York: Chelsea Perez Interview

Chelsea Perez discusses acting programs in New York and the first year in the two year acting program.

Acting Programs in New York – Chelsea Perez – Maggie Flanigan (917) 794-3878

Q; Chelsea, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the acting programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio?

I don’t think I had any real solid knowledge of what it meant to train as an actor. I think after I came here is when I started to say, “Wow, this is pretty intense,” but I learned about myself when I came here more. I wasn’t expecting that. I just thought that I was going to learn how to read lines and do that. It was much more than I expected, so it’s terrific.

Q; If somebody asked you now that you’ve finished your 2nd year, what it means to train as an actor, what would you say?

I would say that it’s very, very in-depth. As I said, I learned a lot about myself, and I have a toolbox now with a bunch of things in it that I can go in there and reach out and grab whatever I need, whenever I need it.


"This was more than I expected. I learned a lot about myself, and I have a toolbox now with a bunch of things in it that I can grab whatever I need, whenever I need it. I feel more confident now knowing that I can go into any audition and do good work."

Chelsea PerezTwo-Year Acting Program in New York

Q; Can you tell us a little bit about your background in acting?

I was auditioning before I came to the program, but I just felt like they were horrible. I would go in, and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t feel prepared, I didn’t feel confident, and I knew that something was off. I wasn’t booking any jobs either. That was not always a clear indication, but just the way that I felt and the result that I was getting, it wasn’t what I wanted. After coming here, I realized that this is what I needed. I needed to be a trained actor.

Q; What were the steps you took when you realized that you needed to train?

I’m originally from New York. My parents, they moved us out to Pennsylvania when I was very young. A friend of mine knew that I was into acting, and I had a child acting background. She sent me this studio, and she was like, “Hey, look. Just look at this. Why don’t you check this out?” She’s not into acting; she had no idea. She just knew that it seems legitimate, and so I looked into it, and I was like, “Okay, this is what I need to do.” I packed up all my stuff, and I made a move. I did the Summer Intensive Program, and it was the most wonderful summer of my life because I realized– the minute I walked in the door, I just- I knew. It was such a different feeling compared to other places that I had gone and looked into. I just felt like this was finally it. The energy and everything were just on point.

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2 Year Acting Program Registration – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Q; During the Meisner Summer Intensive, you got to work with Charlie. When you came back, you worked with Karen.

Yes. Karen Chamberlain is wonderful. She’s like a second mom to me, honestly, because she’s just so nurturing, and she taught me so many things about myself and how to open up and how to stand up for myself. I will love her forever for that. Charlie is very tough. He’s honest, but he is also very nurturing in his way. He has so much empathy, and he has so much knowledge. He’s just fascinating, fascinating human being. I’m genuinely grateful that I got the chance to train with both of them and learn the different approaches that they both have. Even though it is the same work, they both have different spins, and different takes that they’ll put on certain things. It was just really beneficial to have that, both sides.

Chelsea Perez talks about the two year acting programs in New York and her experience at the Maggie Flanigan Studio

Two Year Acting Programs in New York – Maggie Flanigan (917) 794-3878

Q; What were some things you learned about yourself as both an actor and a person that was a surprise and that changed you?

I learned that as a person, I have so many things inside, like so many experiences that I went through and just buried them and never really dealt with it, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s life.” As an actor, I realized that all of those things that I went through; they were so beneficial to me and my craft. Everything was being pulled out of me while I was here. Because there would be times where I would be training with Charlie or Karen, and I would think like, “That’s it. I don’t have any more in me. I can’t give any more.” They would always pull out something extra. I feel like coming here, it gave me a sense in my own life, like, “Wow, okay, all this stuff did happen to me, but I can use it now for something. I can use it to teach people or to make somebody else feel more confident, even though they have certain things that they’ve gone through.”

Q; How would you describe the community at the studio and how it changed your experience during the two-year program?

It’s very much like a family. I didn’t realize that that was how it was going to be when you start here. When you start, and everybody’s nervous and shyly introducing themselves. Now, after I’ve been through the whole program, I have so many friends, and I have people that I would say that they’re like my best friends. I had no idea that that was going to happen while I was here. It’s a sense of family, and it’s a sense of people that you can lean on when you’re going through it because you’re not always going to feel right or be prepared. They’re there for you. It’s like you’re all going through this challenging thing together, and everybody comes along, and it creates a beautiful experience.

Q; How did the auxiliary classes change your experience in the acting classroom?

I did take a few extra classes, specifically the cold reading class with Karen. I felt like that was great because it helped with my auditioning technique. I learned how to get a script quickly and break it down quickly and make choices and be solid about those choices because that’s one of the main things that I feel is very important. When you create an individual choice, you have to go with that choice all the way; you don’t just half-make it. The cold reading class helped me in that sense. It was great because we got to work on all kinds of material, so that was fun. I also did do Reiki, and Reiki was an excellent experience. I think Reiki helped me out actually, because the first time I did Reiki, I had so many things inside that I never let out. In doing Reiki, it just all came out of me. Everything that I had ever gone through really just experienced it, and after the class was over, I just felt like this wind of emotions and relief. It was like, “Wow, that was amazing. I want to do that all the time.”

Q; How have your audition abilities changed?

Yes, I feel more confident. I thought Chelsea four years ago; she didn’t know what to expect. I would get auditions, and I didn’t even know, like if they didn’t give you much information like I didn’t even know should I come with something? Are they going to provide me with something? I had no idea.

Now I feel like I’m prepared. I have monologues in my back pocket that I can pull them out and perform them at any time. It’s just really a massive note of confidence knowing that I can go in there and I can do good work and feel good about it. You’re not going to get every job; you’re not going to get the majority of tasks that you go for. Sadly, that’s just the business we’re in. The main goal, what I learned here most importantly is to go in there and do good work, and you will be remembered, and I feel like that’s where I’m at so far. I’ve just been trying to go into every audition and giving my best and showing them who I am and being vulnerable and I feel so much better about it.

Chelsea Perez Interview - Acting Programs in New York, NY

Best Acting Programs in New York – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Two Year Program

The Acting Programs in New York at the Maggie Flanigan Studio

To Learn more about the two year actor training program, and acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, visit the acting program page on the studio website. Students with questions about applying to the actor training programs can call (917) 794-3878.

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