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Experiencing Emotions with the Meisner Technique

The Summer Acting Programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio are the first step for many actors who think they might be interested in a professional acting career. In this interview, Adam Marsh discusses his experience in the program and why he has decided to enroll in the two year program.

meisner acting programs - maggie flanigan studio - adam marsh 05

Meisner Summer Acting Programs – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Adam Marsh Interviews

What did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the six-week Summer Intensive?

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never done any acting classes before. I was memorizing lines; learning may be about the business a little bit. I didn’t know what I was getting into at all.

Well, now that you have one week left to the intensive, what you think it means to train as an actor?

I would say what it’s meant to me to learn about acting and to study acting, is to find out how to pay attention to how I feel, and discover how I’m responding to another actor, and what’s going on, and listen and have those feelings and experience them.


"It's important to train with someone you trust when you're going to be vulnerable like this. I trust Charlie. I know that whatever he says isn't going to be just to break me down or flatter me."

Adam MarshMeisner Summer Acting Program

What was something that happened during these past six weeks that was a surprise, or that changed you?

I’ve had so many experiences that I didn’t even realize I was capable of, like just experiencing despair and rage, and I said some horrible things to people. I didn’t know I was capable of any of those things. I think I’ve cried more in the last few weeks than I had for years before that, five or six years before that, and I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to– This is terrible. I thought about it this way, but that I wasn’t going to be able to fake that kind of emotion, and I’ve felt them.

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Before you started the six-week summer intensive at Maggie Flanigan Studio, had you ever studied the Meisner technique before?

No, I didn’t know anything about it. I had a vague idea that it was about repetition or something, and that was it.

What would you say is the one thing that has made the most significant difference for you, if you could pick one thing?

The biggest thing is learning how important it is to prepare and a craft for a scene or whatever it is you’re about to do because that’s all you have control over is how you make for it before you get there. By really doing that, you can go into a moment and believe what’s going on, right? It makes such a huge difference, and it allows you to experience things in a whole different way.

How did the voice, movement, and on-camera classes help you grow?

Sure. All right, so movement, voice, and on-camera. Voice showed me that there was a whole– different setup. Well, acting showed me there’re these whole worlds of emotion and feelings inside of me that I didn’t know there. Voice showed me the physical things that I didn’t realize I had access to and allowed me to explore that. It gave me some practical, physical warm-ups and exercises that allowed me to pay attention to what was going on in my body and how it was affecting me.

Sometimes before acting class, I would do some of those things to prepare mentally and loosen up and try and prevent things like physical blocks that I carry with me from affecting how I was going to behave.

Then I think movement just brought me back to feeling like a child again and feeling creative and playful, and we do so many things that just feel like fun games to me. I think it’s probably essential to have access to that and to be able to play pretend and be like a toddler again when you’re acting.

And the last one, on-camera stuff, we start with scripts right away in there. It lets me see my progression a little bit, and there was a real difference in the way I approached those scenes at the beginning, and now it’s only been a few weeks, but it’s been fun to see what that looks like for me.

adam march discusses the meisner summer acting program

Meisner Summer Acting Programs – Adam Marsh Interview – Maggie Flanigan Studio

How would you describe working with Charlie as a teacher?

Charlie is tough. He’s straightforward, he tells it like it is. It’s beneficial to me because I know that whatever he says, it’s precisely what he sees. I can trust him. It’s a safe space in the studio, and you need somebody that you trust to train with when you’re going to be so vulnerable in those moments, to know that whatever he says afterward isn’t going to be just to break you down or flatter you or anything like that. He just tells you the advice that he thinks is going to be most meaningful, and then when he says, ”You’re on the right track,” or, ”Good job,” it’s significant, and it helps a lot. He’s a good guy.

What would you say to someone that you know who’s thinking about taking this summer intensive, but maybe they are unsure about it?

Sure. I asked somebody this question before I took the intensive, and they said that it changed their life, and I don’t think I was capable of understanding that for that time, but like, ”What does that even mean?” It’s been true for me. It doesn’t seem clear to me that there’s another program or school out there, maybe there’s a few, who knows, but that could have allowed me to grow so much as a person, emotionally in just that short period. I’m doing the two-year acting program now, so I must like it.

students at the studio during the Meisner summer acting program in New York

Meisner Summer Acting Programs – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Learn More About the Meisner Summer Acting Program

Learn more about the summer acting program and the Meisner Intensive by visit the acting programs page on the studio website ( Students who are interested in interviewing for admission to the studio should complete that online application before contacting the studio. Students who have questions about the schedule and class details can call (917) 794-3878.

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