Acting 2: Character and Script
If the first year of Meisner training is about laying the foundation, the second year of the Meisner Technique is building the house. Now that the fundamentals are in place, we begin to look at the character and script interpretation. First-year teaches, among other things, how an actor finds their own spontaneous, personal, and emotional line of a scene. But what does an actor do when their straight response does not fit the character? The second year is about learning the tools to organically shift an actor’s impulses to fit the character and the script.
Students begin the year by learning how to craft a point of view that is not their own. This is the beginning of character work. We also spend time on impediments. Actors need to be able to craft drugs and pain. Learning how to do a flawless drunk along with various pain impediments is very important. It will come up many times in an actor’s career.
Breaking down a script is what a trained actor does. Building off of the fundamental questions from Acting 1, Acting 2 challenges our students to be able to carve out a vivid performance. This NYC acting class teaches the actor how to justify text, create impulses, implant meaning, and do actions. These are the cornerstones of an actor’s ability to break down a script. The goal is to be able to do this important homework, and then return yourself to Acting 1 fundamentals. The ability to leave yourself alone, go from unanticipated moment to unanticipated moment, on the spontaneous impulse, and trusting that your homework will surface, is mark of a really good actor. This is our goal.
Meisner also created an incredibly ingenious and essential set of exercises in the second year to continue to refine the actors ability to create impulses, justify text, and use language in a deep and powerful way in order to illuminate character. Working with Mother Goose nursery rhymes, and Edgar Lee Masters’ beautifully profound Spoon River Anthology, actors truly discover how to become transformational. This hard work prepares the actor to return back to scenes where we will spend the remaining four months dedicated to script, character, and process.
There are so many places that offer NYC acting classes, and sometimes it can be difficult to know if you have made the right choice in where to train. Acting 2 is the detailed work that will become the floorboard for your talent, and the professional work that will hopefully follow. If you want true confidence when professional opportunities finally come your way, this is the work that will instill it in you. The Meisner Technique is the core of MFS, and if you are up for hard work and have a willingness to operate outside of your comfort zone, you can come away from your time here a really well-trained actor. If you want a challenge, if you want to forge lifelong friendships, if you want to transform not just your creative work, but your life, then apply now to talk more about what is possible.
Acting 1 is a prerequisite for Acting 2. Meisner Acting 2 acceptance is by invitation, based on each student’s first-year work, and the commitment they have demonstrated to themselves as artists.
“I was placed in the intense reigns of Charlie Sandlan. I became a better artist, actor, friend, sibling and daughter because of the studio. Even now, I crave the studio every day. What I learned is present in my work every day. I truly believe in everything they stand for.”
“Maggie taught me that I could control my work, my acting, and to throw all of the bullshit out that I had in my head about ‘what I should be doing’ and to just listen and respond honestly, in the moment. She gave me a craft. She is, quite simply put, THE BEST.”
“Maggie Flanigan taught me the true meaning of artistry, passion, and professionalism. I am certain that I continue to work as an actress because of my training with Maggie. At every audition and every performance, her guiding voice is with me. It is a gift beyond measure.”
“Maggie Flanigan has been one of the most important people in my artistic life. I want to work with Maggie trained actors. As an actor myself, she is my first source. I do not say this lightly, if you are serious about acting, and willing to work very hard, then go to Maggie.”
“Maggie helped me find my sense of truth, an actors greatest asset. Maggie is an expert at instilling that vital ingredient, which allows an actor’s potential to become limitless. My work will forever be rooted in the clarity and honesty she helped me develop.”
“After working for ten years, I did the 2 year program, and now feel that I have the tools I need to become the actor I’ve always dreamed of being. Maggie Flanigan instilled in me a clear sense of truth and a standard of perfection. I am a better actor because of this studio.”
“As an actor, the core of what you have to rely on is your sense of truth and humanity. Maggie allowed me to discover and embrace mine. Trusting my sense of humanity and truth has given me the ability to take risks in my work and my career decisions.”
“Maggie Flanigan introduced me to my own spirit and my own sense of Truth. Her passion for teaching and ability to communicate are rare gifts to any actor looking for a technique to set his or her talent free. Maggie’s voice has been the one constant guide in my career.”
“Maggie is passionate and disciplined. She teaches that these are essential parts of the actor’s journey. Acting happens between people. Meisner says it, and Maggie insists upon it. To this day, it is what I find most captivating to watch and most gratifying to practice.”
“Maggie’s teaching is unmatched. She finds a great balance in having you commit to the work specifically while allowing your own essence to color the role. To this day, both in theater and in film, her voice and teaching have continued to profoundly influence my work.”
“Maggie inspired me to love the craft of acting. She challenged me to find the truth in the moment and to bring to it the most simple, authentic part of myself. She put guts into my acting. Maggie’s ability to catch anything false or contrived in an actor is a real gift.”