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Meisner Summer Intensive Program: A Candid Interview with Jacob Orr

The Maggie Flanigan Studio provides the leading Meisner Summer Intensive program in the United States. In this video interview, Jacob Orr discusses how the six-week program changed his understanding of what it means to train as a professional actor.

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

Meisner Summer Intensive Program - Meisner Intensive Jacob Orr

Top Meisner Summer Intensive Program Begins 2017

I think a lot of script work, a lot of breaking down of the script. I think that for me was a lot of doing scene work and then with some weird exercises like, “Be on a boat.” We’re like we live in that reality. I don’t know what that mean. I think a lot of people had a lot, not a lot, but some Meisner experience. The exercise or what was called the exercise. Truly, I thought it was dumb.

I thought it felt to me like the only successful way to do it was to just drum emotions up and you’d be like, “Okay. Look, I’m getting mad. There you go. Are you happy? There you go.” What did I think the acting training was working on a scene, breaking it down, and then faking exercises to your teacher’s standards. Yes, I think that’s like what training was.

What happened during the six-week summer intensive that changed your perspective about acting classes?

A lot of things happened. I think to answer that question, I can’t just talk about the acting class, which obviously was so surprising and revelatory, but I took acting, and I took movement, and I took voice, and I took auditions for the film. All of those classes together just changed the way I thought about acting and they’re the way I think about the world. That sounds so lofty and philosophical. Truly as a unit too, they work off of each other.


The Meisner Intensive changed the way that I think about acting. All of these classes together changed the way I think about the world.

Jacob OrrActor, Two Year Acting Program

Some of my classmates just like the acting and Charlie with it, but you can see people who are also struggling with movement and going through voice because it all works together. It’s this very symbiotic relationship between. Every time you have a class for one, you’re almost having a class for all the other ones too because you come in with this new set of skills. That changed me.

I had always thought a lot about the acting and then your voice and then your movement and then audition for the film, which sounds like business-oriented, but it’s so obviously connected. To think of those as a unit and your body is this instrument and that you’re not working, one part, one part, one part, you’re working to have this open channel, this instrument that can work. I mean, that changed a lot for me.

What did you learn that was a surprise?

It was a surprise. A lot of tension, both physical and emotional. I think when I came here, I knew I maybe had habits, but I never, ever thought about physical tension impacting my emotional life at all. That sounds so silly saying that now, but a lot about how you hold yourself and about recognizing tension in yourself and being able to observe it without then trying to change it because that’s just going to create more tension.

Also about emotional and holds that you place on yourself. For me, for example, I really learned I have this really strong mechanism within me when I feel the emotions to breathe, to let it go, which is something I think before I came here, I was like, “That’s a really good thing about me,” like, “That’s awesome. I’m so calm.” I’m like, “That is so wrong. “That’s so silly that I thought that,” but it’s also not. The world makes you think that, but with acting, you’re having this open channel, this instrument. That surprised me how much releasing in certain places; then my emotional availability just came out. That’s not for me.

What is Charlie Sandlan like as an acting teacher?

Charlie as a teacher is an experience definitely, and I mean that in a great way. I think that sounded negative. Charlie is easily the most passionate teacher I’ve ever had in my entire life. I don’t just mean that kind of passion where you’re angry and explosive, and then you’re like, “That’s the end of class.” Charlie truly is so passionate about teaching what he teaches, and he wants everyone to succeed.

He says this the first day that he’s going to bring everything. Charlie brings everything Charlie has every class. You never come in and see Charlie half-a*****g it, and he expects that from you, which is so good, I think. It sounds like it would be difficult and it is difficult, and that’s great. That’s so helpful to have someone who’s pushing you because they know you can do this. They’re working just as hard as you because it’s so easy, I think, to fake your way through things, in classes especially, and get by on being charming or whatever. Charlie, he’s just so–

How To Apply for Meisner Summer Intensive Program Admission

leading meisner summer intensive program begins soon

Meisner Summer Intensive Program Begins – Maggie Flanigan Call (917) 794-3878

Admission to the studio is based on your personal interview with Charlie Sandlan, the executive Director and Head of Acting. To learn more about the Meisner Summer Intensive Program, and to start your application process, call the studio at (917) 794-3878.

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