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Emotional Preparation – Meisner Technique

The first year of Meisner training includes learning to prepare emotionally for complicated scenes. This video explains the importance of emotional preparation and why this acting method is considered healthier for the actor than other acting methods.

Charlie in the studio talking about meisner technique and emotional preparation

Emotional Preparation – Meisner Technique – Maggie Flanigan Studio

One of the most significant pieces of fundamental work you get in the first year is learning how to prepare emotionally. It is what an actor does off-stage, off-camera, to bring themselves to life emotionally to relate to the previous circumstance of the scene. So if you’re doing complicated work, significant parts, sometimes you need an intense, vibrant emotional preparation. Whether that’s rage, heartbreak, joy, silliness, grief, shame, or humiliation, so that when you hear the action or you walk on stage, boom, you’re alive.


Creating emotions is a very delicate part of acting. Meisner teaches you how to do is how to daydream and fantasize as an actor to bring you to life.

Charlie SandlanMaster Teacher

It’s self-induced emotion, and it’s a very tricky, very delicate part of acting. This is really where Meisner and Strasberg in the method diverged. Strasberg was all sense memory and emotional recall, and Meisner just thought that the imagination was a healthier place to work from. So what Meisner teaches you how to do is how to use your ability to daydream and fantasize about your craft as an actor to help bring you to life. Your imagination and your ability to daydream are far more potent, far healthier, and a far more creative place to work from.

We spend several months getting good at emotionally preparing and getting comfortable being open and available with yourself. How do you work with yourself? This is your instrument. Emotional preparation is something that once you do it, and you continue to do it, and you get comfortable with it, coming to life becomes like stepping off a curb. It’s just something that you fundamentally can do.

Learn More About Emotional Preparation and the Meisner Technique

To learn more about emotional preparation and the two-year Meisner training at Maggie Flanigan Studio, visit the website for the acting studio ( Actors with and without previous Meisner experience are welcome to apply for admission to the studio programs. Apply online or call (917) 794-3878.

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