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From Mexico For Meisner

The Meisner Summer Intensive at Maggie Flanigan Studio is a six-week course that allows actors to experience professional actor training. In this video Gibran Cantu talks about coming to NYC for this program and his experience with the Meisner Technique.

Summer Acting Program – Gibran Cantu Interview – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Logan: Okay. Why don’t we start at the very beginning? When did you realize that you wanted to be an actor?

Gibran Cantu: When I was like six years old, probably. I would watch a movie, and I was like, “Oh, I want to do that.”

Q: Was there a specific actor in that movie, a director, or something that happened?

A: It was a kids’ movie. It was also baseball involved, and I liked the sports, so it was just a bunch of, “Oh, those kids are playing baseball, and they’re also acting, and they look like friends. They’re having a good time.” So, yes, that set me on this path.

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"Charlie won't pat you on the back. He will push you to see if you want to be an actor and if you are committed to it. You won't get praised for mediocre work here. I appreciate that. He is an excellent teacher."

Gibran CantuSummer Acting Program, Student

Q: Great. Did you do a bunch of theater and things growing up in school, then?

A: No. I had maybe one or two classes, but I don’t remember doing much theater when I was in school, mostly because I was also playing sports and I couldn’t get in touch a lot with my feelings if you were the sensible kid, you were picked on and bullied and made fun of. So, yes, I had both worlds because I also liked music and playing the guitar, and my mom started to– well, she influenced me.

I did it because I wanted to, but I remember doing poetry readings. I had both worlds, the sports world and then the artistic one. I was always in the mix, so that I couldn’t express myself. My family also comes from a small town in Mexico where everything is very macho. A man must be challenging, and you should not cry or blah. So it was hard to express myself. Only when I was growing up, did I start to pursue the acting world.

Q: Sure. Well, Mexico is a long way from New York City. What brought you here?

A: Wow, it’s far. Well, I got here very by mistake, and I mean that because my girlfriend, who also attended this course, told me that this life coach she follows on Instagram was talking about how her husband was an acting teacher and he was starting a podcast. “You should check it out,” and I’m just like, “Okay, let’s try it.” It was a pandemic, and I was reading a lot and trying to do new things, including podcasts. So I started listening to Charlie’s podcast and connected to it.

I said, “Oh, what’s he talking about? I resonated and connected to it.” I was listening everywhere, in the gym, and just walking around, making my notes, trying to apply what he was saying, but I wanted to come and know what he was talking about. So that’s why I’m here; two years after the first episode I listened to, I could make the trip to New York.

Q: Great, so you came here for Maggie Flanigan Studio and for the six-week summer intensive?

A: Yes. I came here for the six-week Maggie Flanigan Summer Intensive program because of Charlie because I knew he was teaching the course. Otherwise, it would’ve been tough to decide because it was a lot of things that were involved for me to be here. It was like money, and it was just logistics, and where would I stay? What was I going to eat? I pushed it so I could be here, so yes.

Q: If there were one thing you would say changed the most during these six weeks?

A: I think it’s everything. It’s intertwined. As an artist and as a person, it’s who I am, and basically, I learned a lot, but what I will take the most is for me to listen to how I’m being talked to and to stand up for myself. That’s the most valuable lesson I will take with me.

Summer Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio 02

Q: What do you think about Charlie as an acting teacher?

A: He set up the bar high since day one. I didn’t expect any other way, to be honest. Because of listening to him, I already knew what kind of teacher he would be. From day one, he put the bar high.

Charlie won’t pat you on the back. He will push you to see if you want to be a serious actor and are committed to it. But, yes, I’ve seen the struggle in many of my classmates. Some of them, they seem like they’re having a bad time. I am to praise on being mediocre, when we do a random something, and it’s like, “Oh, yes, it’s okay.” But, no, you won’t get praised for a mediocre job here, so I appreciate that.

That’s the only way you’re going to learn and going to be better. He is an excellent teacher. He knows what he’s doing. He knows his craft, and definitely, he’s a great teacher.

Q: What’s next?

A: What’s next? Yes, I’m going to go back home to resettle and start to, I don’t know, wrap my head around everything that just happened here. It seems surreal, and I want to have a different approach to life, my work, my studies, and everything. I need to get 100% on what I am doing. That’s also a great take that I have with me from coming here, to do things, to do them and not pretend and commit to stuff. What’s next is I would love to go to the two-year program.

I will make that happen, and you’ll have me here soon enough.

Q: Is there anything you want to share that I have yet to ask you about?

A: It’s this intensive summer program. You want to try it if you’ve never seen what a Meisner Technique is and what actual professional training is. In case you have that bug off, this is a must-do, “Oh, I want to be an actor; I want to be an actress. I could because blah, blah, blah.”

Whatever the reason is, you should put yourselves through this so you can know if this is what you want or if you want to be in front of a camera and do anything. So yes, I would recommend this to my friends, actors, and people who have that bug, to anyone looking for an experience to try this.

About the Summer Acting Programs at Maggie Flanigan Studio

To learn more about the Meisner Summer Intensive and the summer acting program at Maggie Flanigan Studio, visit the studio website (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com). Students who have questions about enrollment details can call the studio at (917) 794-3878.

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