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Head of Acting & Master Teacher

Charlie joined MFS in 2005, and decided to devote his professional artistic career to not only training serious, aspiring actors, but also to the ambitious vision Maggie laid out when she opened her NYC acting conservatory in 2001. Charlie bought the Maggie Flanigan Studio in 2012 and with his leadership and passion, has turned MFS into one of the most respected acting studios in the United States.


Charlie’s unique relationship with Maggie Flanigan began over twenty-five years ago. He received his MFA in acting from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School Of The Arts where Maggie and Bill Esper trained him in the Meisner Technique. Over the past 30 years Charlie has also studied and collaborated with many artists including Ben Kingsley, Fiona Shaw, Mark Wing-Davey, and Ellen Stewart.


Charlie has been committed to the craft of acting for over thirty years. He has worked in theater, film and television in NYC, LA, and regionally throughout the United States. Charlie also teaches Meisner internationally, most recently at Act4All acting studio in Lisbon, Portugal. He has collaborated with Kate Lacey-Kiley as associate producer on the Emmy nominated HBO documentary Casting By. Charlie has taken Maggie’s vision of a nurturing, small, serious training program and cultivated it into the most respected acting studio in New York City.


I believe that the job of the actor is to create behavior. Exceptional actors do this organically and truthfully from genuine experience. The Meisner Technique, when taught properly, fundamentally grounds an actor in craft, and provides a roadmap to achieve vivid, fully realized human experience, consistently. As the caretaker of Maggie’s lifetime commitment to the craft of acting, I am privileged to have the opportunity to provide a safe, nurturing, and artistic home for our students to embrace the creative struggle and risk something deeply personal. The standards set by Maggie and me are high, rooted in work-ethic, discipline, and dedication to artistry. The students who have strived to reach our bar have turned themselves into serious professional actors.

The Importance of Training

Great artists in any medium, whether its dance, painting, sculpture, music, or even sports spend their entire life dedicated to their craft and to the fundamentals of their art form. I believe that very few actors hold themselves to this same approach. Thousands of people flock to NYC and LA with an idea of becoming professional actors. The vast majority of them never will. If you have a desire to be taken seriously as an artist, you must train. The Maggie Flanigan Studio believes that Sandy Meisner’s Technique is the greatest way to fundamentally ground actors with craft. No one in this business will take you seriously if you have not committed to your art. Good looks and personality are not the keys to artistic success. Our studio is filled with students who agree.


I love actors. I am passionate about working with serious students who want to spend their lives illuminating the human condition. Our incredible faculty and I are committed to each student’s artistic development, and hold the highest expectations in order to provide them the opportunity to fulfill their artistic goals. Students at the Maggie Flanigan Studio receive individual attention from the entire faculty as we work together to solidify their craft. It is also the job of any serious teacher of the arts to create a safe and nurturing space for students to feel comfortable putting their soul on the line, but also to demand the highest artistic standards. I want everyone who enrolls at MFS to treat themselves like professional students. My expectation is that you show up on time, play full out with yourself, and don’t ever settle for your second best.


“I was placed in the intense reigns of Charlie Sandlan.  I became a better artist, actor, friend, sibling and daughter because of the studio. Even now, I crave the studio every day. What I learned is present in my work every day. I truly believe in everything they stand for.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Jes Macallan

Maggie taught me that I could control my work, my acting, and to throw all of the bullshit out that I had in my head about ‘what I should be doing’ and to just listen and respond honestly, in the moment. She gave me a craft. She is, quite simply put, THE BEST.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Leslie Bibb

Maggie Flanigan taught me the true meaning of artistry, passion, and professionalism. I am certain that I continue to work as an actress because of my training with Maggie. At every audition and every performance, her guiding voice is with me. It is a gift beyond measure.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Andrea Anders