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Closing the Gaps in My Training

The Meisner Summer Intensive at Maggie Flanigan studio introduces actors with all levels of acting experience to the Meisner Technique in a safe and trusting environment. In this interview Christine Nyland talks about her first real experience training with the Meisner Technique.

Christine Nyland talks about her first real experience training with the Meisner summer acting program

Meisner Summer Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio = Call (917) 794-3878

Meisner Summer Intensive Interview – Christine Nyland

Logan: All right, so tell me about the moment you knew you wanted to be an actor.

Christine Nyland: Oh, I don’t even know if I know the moment I knew I wanted to be an actor. I feel like, at some point as a kid, I realized dress up could be a job.

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"I think the six-week summer intensive has given me a glimpse into the possibility of being the actor I've always wanted to be. I see a capacity in myself that I didn't think I had before."

Christine NylandMeisner Intensive, Student

Q: Did you do a lot of plays and musicals and things growing up?

A: I didn’t do a ton of plays and musicals and things growing up just because there wasn’t much around until I was in high school, but I somehow got on the track very early anyway.

Q: What brought you to New York City?

A: Acting and a bad breakup.

Q: Did you move here to train?

A: I moved to New York to just be near the industry.

Q: Have you trained anywhere before?

A: Yes, I got my BFA.

Q: Was that in acting specifically?

A: The program I did had an acting track that you could then supplement writing and directing into, so I added on writing and directing as well. My degree’s technically in original works, but it was like a full acting program.

Q: Have you ever studied any Meisner prior to our six-week summer intensive?

A: I’ve not really done any Meisner before this. I feel like sometimes in acting class, there will be like, “Oh, we’re going to do some Meisner repetition,” but nothing like this.

Q: What made you take this leap of faith to do the summer acting intensive?

A: I’m a filmmaker, and I’ve been generating projects to work on for the past few years. I feel like last summer, I really reached a point where I could just tell where the gaps in my training was. I could tell the things that I had and I could tell the things that I didn’t have, and it just felt really clear that if I wanted to continue doing this work, I needed to take responsibility for those things.

Q: How did that awareness lead you to Maggie Flanigan Studio?

A: Well, so since I moved to New York, I’ve met a number of people who would just be fantastic actors, and almost all of them, when I asked them where they trained, said here. It was always a really easy decision in my mind that if I was going to do further training, this would be the first place I would look.

Q: What would you say has been the most surprising thing of the Meisner summer acting program?

A: I feel like in class, Charlie tells me to stand up for myself a lot, and that’s not something I’ve ever thought of myself as being bad at doing. I feel like at first, when it started coming up, I was like, “That’s so strange.” Then the deeper we’ve gotten into class, the more I’m like, “Oh, no, I really do need to do that more.”

Christine Nyland talks about teh Meisner Summer Intensive at Maggie Flanigan studio in Manhattan

Christine Nyland – Meisner Summer Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Q: Is it scary for you?

A: Standing up for myself? Yes. I think, sometimes, I experience it as just an option that doesn’t feel present oftentimes. Maybe that is the fear. The fear keeps it so buried that it doesn’t even feel like something I consider.

Q: Interesting. Would you say that the six-week summer intensive has made you a better actor?

A: Yes, I would.

Q: In what ways?

A: I think the six-week summer intensive has given me a glimpse into the possibility of being the actor I’ve always wanted to be. I don’t think like I own it, but I feel like I see a capacity in myself that I didn’t think I had before. Because I feel like sometimes, you’ll watch actors whose work just feels like lightning in a bottle. I think I always just thought like, “That’s not me though.” I work differently. It’s never going to feel that dangerous or that alive.

Q: What has it been like being in class with Charlie?

A: Charlie is a great teacher. I smile a lot, and I’ve had acting teachers call me out on it my whole life. Charlie was the first teacher to ever say, “You smile a lot. That’s protected you, hasn’t it?” Just that, as an acknowledgment, created so much space for something else to happen.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your experience in the classroom with other actors. What does that do for you and your training?

A: It’s really nice to have a sort of artistic home. Again, it’s been a really long time since there’s been a routine place that I like go to where it’s like, “Oh, now I’m here. It’s time to do the work.” I don’t know, it’s very grounding and it creates like a nice shift in your brain. You arrive, and this is it. I feel like it’s easy to fall into situations where we’re rehearsing in people’s apartments and then the show goes up very quickly or like you have one day on set. It’s cool to have a space that feels like a home.

Apply for Admission to the Meisner Summer Acting Program

Learn more about Meisner Training and Maggie Flanigan Studio by visiting the website for the studio (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/). Students can apply online for admission and call the studio during business hours with questions. Call (917) 794-3878.

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