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Confidence To Be Who You Are

The six-week summer acting program at Maggie Flanigan Studio introduces actors to professional actor training and the Meisner Technique. In this interview at the studio Nicole Almanzar talks to Logan about her experience in the acting classes and insights she has gained.

Meiner Summer Intensive – Nicole Almanzar Interview – Maggie Flanigan Studio 01

Meiner Summer Intensive – Nicole Almanzar Interview – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Logan: Why don’t you tell me when you decided to be an actor?

Nicole: The moment I decided I wanted to be an actor? Ah, I was a little kid. I grew up in a big family, there were six of us, and then we had a bunch of cousins. We would put on performances for the adults. We made a play called the Fufu Musical, and we used to put on dance shows as well. It just made me feel so good like I could express myself. Since then, I started going to middle school and high school, and I would take theater.

I was an awkward kid. Theater was the place where I could go and express myself. Though I never allowed myself to audition for plays and stuff, theater class was a haven for me. As I grew older, my twin sister and I would do monologues in bed every night. Yes, that was the moment for me. Growing up, I said, “Okay, this is fun expressing myself.”


There is this kind of confidence that you gain from expressing yourself in this art form. You learn so much about yourself that it gives you the confidence to be who you are. I've been able to do that here and I am grateful.

Nicole AlmanzarActor, Meisner Summer Intensive

Q: Are any actors, directors, or filmmakers inspiring you?

A: Yes, actors that I grew up watching. This is funny because the actors that I enjoyed were rom-com film actors like Cameron Diaz or Anne Hathaway and Rachel McAdams. I just loved watching them. I thought they were beautiful and delicate. I was just like, “Oh my gosh, I want to do that one day.” Actors like Meryl Streep and seeing the different characters she could play inspired me, “Oh, maybe I can play more than just in love kind of gal, hopelessly romantic,” so those were a few actors.

Q: Sure. Where did you grow up?

A: Well, I was born here in New York, but I grew up in Orlando, Florida. I’m a Florida kid at heart.

Q: All right, what brought you back to the city?

A: Acting.

Q: Did you come back specifically to train?

A: See, I came back. It felt like God tossed me into New York like, “Okay, go to New York.” I met a friend who said, “Hey, if you’re serious about acting, go to Maggie Flanigan’s Studio.” I was like, “Okay.” He’s like, “It’s going to be a little intense,” and I was like, “All right, no, I’ll do it.” Also, my brother has done some background work, which inspired me to pick back up on my dream.

Q: What would you say has been your biggest challenge in these six weeks?

A: My biggest challenge has been tapping into particular emotional states that bring up trauma responses. I noticed myself wanting to just run away versus accepting those feelings and letting the expression be what it is, so that’s the hard part that it’s been for me. But, of course, I know that as I continue to train here, that will be something that I’m fueled by versus overwhelmed or scared of.

Q: Have you taken any of the additional classes here?

A: Yes, I’ve taken voice and movement. They both helped me open up to the depth of myself because, as I said, I believe in God, so I’ve always been like, “You’ve got to be kind, you have to share love,” and that kind of person. A side of me that I put off was just like anger or frustration and even sadness, and exploring those feelings has been good to me, and I’m like, “I can be all those different things in one.”

Nicole Almanzar – Summer Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio 02

Q: What would you say has surprised you the most?

A: How much anger do I have inside of me?

Q: Tell me a little about your experience going through the six-week program with classmates?

A: It’s a beautiful thing. I was honestly scared of connecting with people pre-COVID, but during COVID and post-COVID, I just got anxious about human interaction. I connected with these unique, incredible individuals through these classes, acting, voice, and movement. Being paired up with people you’ve never met, you develop this relationship that’s so honest because you’re diving into these genuine emotions that are inside of you and the other person, so that’s been excellent. I hope to continue accepting that part of acting and connecting with people.

Q: Tell me a little about your decision to enter the two-year program.

A: Yes. I could break out of my shell in just six weeks and give myself a shot. I say this in the most humble way possible; I can do this. I have something inside of me that I must share, and acting does that for me. Charlie’s incredible at what he does, as do the other teachers here, Sarah Faye and Missouri.

I told Charlie in my exit interview, “You say only a percentage make it, but I’ve seen and heard stories that you share of your past students that they plant seeds here and reap a harvest. I’d be crazy if I didn’t try to give myself that opportunity here because, with you, I believe I can be a part of that percentage to live out my dream.” He’s done it already for so many.

Nicole Almanzar Interview – Meiner Summer Intensive – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Q: Tell me a little about Charlie as a teacher and a mentor?

A: I appreciate his honesty, and I understand that he’s not going to back away from sharing his passion for the art. He studied this for so many years, so that’s something that I appreciate and I love because, growing up, I wouldn’t say I liked confrontation, and in a way, it’s not even confrontation; it’s constructive in the most loving way; so I appreciate that passion. Also, he is intuitive, so when he expresses something that you could do a little better, I’m like, “Oh, wow, actually, I can feel that, and I see that.”

Q: If you were on the street and you heard an actor talking or somebody talking about wanting to pursue some acting training, and they mentioned a Summer Intensive at Maggie Flanigan Studio, and they wanted your advice, what would you say?

A: Go for it. You’d be silly not to give yourself the opportunity. If a single part of yourself wants to give this a shot, take the Summer Intensive Program, see how that feels for you, and if it’s something you want to do, then give yourself the full opportunity to work hard for the two-year program.

Q: Well, is there anything you’re dying for people to know about your time here so far that I haven’t asked you?

A: There’s this kind of confidence that you gain from expressing yourself in this art form. The ranges of emotions that seem complex are magnificent, and you learn so much about yourself that it gives you the confidence to be who you are. That’s something that I’m grateful for in this program and what I’ve been able to do here.

Meisner Summer Intensive New York NY

How to Apply to the Meisner Summer Intensive at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Learn more about Meisner, the training and classes at the studio by visiting the Maggie Flanigan Studio website ( Actors who are interested in applying for acceptance into the studio programs should apply online and call the studio with specific questions. Call (917) 794-3878.

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