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Out of the Comfort Zone

Professional training for actors at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is centered around the Meisner Technique. Roani Whent, a student in the 18 month acting program, discusses Meisner training at the studio.

Roani Whent in the lounge at Maggie Flanigan Studio discusses the 18 month acting program

18-month acting program roani whent 01 – maggie flanigan studio – (917) 794-3878

Roani Whent Interview – 18 Month Acting Program

Katie: What did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the 18-month Acting Program at Maggie Flanigan Studio?

Roani: Before pretty general, just like taking a singing study class or one of those commercial classes. It wasn’t very specific but just a general– Nothing very specific as the Meisner technique.


I have taken classes at other studios but here it is a whole different game. This is the definitely the best training that I've had. The training has been very specific and it has grounded me in the Meisner Technique.

Roani Whent18-Month Acting Program, Actor

Q: Now that you are about three months into the second year, what do you think it means to train as an actor now?

It’s a whole different game. There’s definitely a discipline that it entails so it requires of you and it kicks your a–. It requires you to definitely get out of your comfort zone because that’s a life metaphor. You have to get out of your comfort zone in order to have growth and I feel like the training definitely does that.

Q: Is this your first time taking or committing to acting classes in general? Have you studied previously?

I did a two-year acting program in Portland Oregon but it was good training however it wasn’t specifically Meisner. I feel like this particular technique or studio really and obviously, it’s a Meisner-based studio so it’s more specific. I know what I’m going to work yet. I know that it’s going to ground me and I feel like that’s definitely the best training that I’ve had this far.

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Q: Why about the Meisner technique resonates with you most as an actor?

That’s a good one. I just like how in touch you get with your own humanity and how scary that can be but then there’s so much beauty in that. I feel like it was not until I was introduced to the Meisner technique could I have realized that acting’s about not just yourself but there’s a whole spectrum of humanity to be explored and then there’s obviously the scary things that you don’t want to go into but I feel that Meisner gives you that freedom to explore.

Q: What has that experience been like for you starting online versus now in person?

It’s been surreal actually. Online was a bit draining at times. Obviously the computer and just having the acting studio in your own bedroom or in your kitchen or wherever we were having class or where I was having tests at that time. There’s definitely a much better experience in person. I feel like I had better concentration. There’s more that I’m able to absorb the information better, the instruction but it’s been all right. It’s been a crazy ride.

Q: How has it been training in person? Do you still feel that sense of community and camaraderie?

Yes, definitely. I feel if anything it’s gotten stronger. I know there was other second years over the first years that are now part of the whole class but there’s definitely stronger now I feel. Obviously, we get to grab a coffee or grab a bite after class and a debrief or just process what we just experience in class but it’s definitely the sense of community is still there and anything stronger.

Q: How do you feel changed as an actor and as a person from doing this work?

Can you really distinguish both. I feel like the art in itself it changes you at a molecular level for sure. I know it’s that fine line between– Life imitates art where you grow with your art and that you let your art do you.

Q: How would you describe working with Charlie as a teacher?

Charlie as a teacher it’s definitely an experience, to say the least. There’s this passion, it’s tangible. There’s a whole experience about Charlie but he knows how to not just necessarily push the student but he knows how to read the actor well and what that student needs in order for him or her to grow. He has that intuitive power you can say.

Q: What would you say to someone who’s maybe thinking about joining our upcoming January class but they are on the fence?

I say to jump. If there’s a lot of fear or you have to do your checklist before you do something. I feel like when it comes to acting or art you have to take risk and I feel like you’ll be in a safe community, in a safe place in order for you to take risk and you definitely won’t regret it. You’ll definitely have that experience once in a lifetime experience for sure.

roani whent discuses the 18 month acting program at maggie flanigan studio

18-month acting program roani whent 02 – maggie flanigan studio – (917) 794-3878

Q: Is there anything I didn’t ask that you want to mention?

Any advice I would give, just got to commit and you have to go all in and you’ll get– You’ll grow for sure.

Q: What are you most excited about for the rest of second year?

There’s an element of almost like danger that really attracts me. Not like danger in a dark danger or–

Q: Uncertainties probably maybe.

There’s unknown and I think that’s what’s so appealing about the training. We’re like, “What’s next?” You don’t know what’s next and then whenever the next comes around you’re like, “Okay I got this.” Then another thing is thrown at you.

Schedule an Interview Today for the 18-Month Acting Program

Learn more about the professional actor training programs at the studio, including the 18-month acting program by visiting the acting classes and acting programs page on the studio website. Actors who are interested in applying for acceptance into the studio programs can ally online and call the studio with questions at (917) 794-3878.

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