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Summer Acting Program: Courtney Ferguson

The summer acting program at the Maggie Flanigan studio includes the Meisner Summer Intensive. In this interview, Courtney Ferguson discusses how the six-week acting program changed her perspective about being on stage.

Image of Courtney Ferguson at the Maggie Flanigan Studio talking about the summer acting program and Meisner Intensive

Summer Acting Program Interview with Courtney Ferguson – Maggie Flanigan Studio (917) 794-3878

Summer Acting Program Interview with Courtney Ferguson

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

Well, I definitely knew that training as an actor was intense and that required a lot of dedication. I knew that there was an intensity behind it. I just didn’t realize how much freedom could be in it. I think that really wasn’t in my perception of what it meant to train as an actor. There’s just always this intensity that I’ve associated with training, but there wasn’t that aspect of freedom that I knew, that perception.


After having graduated from college and working on a few productions, acting was starting to feel like a burden. During the summer intensive, I found a lot of fun in what I'm doing. Getting on stage isn't such a labor anymore.

Courtney FergusonSummer Acting Program, Student

What happened during the six week summer intensive that changed your perspective on actor training?

Well, that it could be free and that it could be fun. I think in my experiences so far, just having graduated from college and worked on a few productions, there’s always just been this sense of acting’s almost been a task. Like it’s almost been a burden. I love doing it, but there’s a sense that it’s a burden. Going through the six-week intensive, I found a lot of freedom and I found a lot of fun in what I’m doing. Getting on stage isn’t such a labor anymore, it’s more we’re going up there to play and have a good time. I’ve started to discover that in the six weeks here.

What did you learn during the six weeks that was a surprise to you?

Just certain abilities and traits that I’ve admired in other actors. Their ability to be free and be in the moment. I just realized that I could do that too. I keep going back to thinking that things have had to be a task or they had to be so hard or had to be full of this angst when really there’s just that freedom that I started to embrace and started to be able to express myself that I didn’t have before.

This is an image form the summer acting program and the meisner intensive at the maggie flanigan studio. Karen chamberlain is talking to students while they are reading a script

Summer Acting Program – Karen Chamberlain in Class Teaching – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Was there a specific time in the summer intensive where you really felt that shift from working hard and actually enjoying it?

I think when we really started to get into the meat of doing our activities, and when I found an activity that really meant something to me. I was really tuned into it emotionally, but I was also tuned into what my scene partner was doing. Even though it turned out to be a very dramatic scene, there was still a freedom to it that I just haven’t experienced on stage before, that was a bit of a revelation to be sure.

How would you describe Charlie Sandlan as an acting teacher?

Charlie is a great acting teacher. He’s so clear and he’s so specific with everything that he says. It just makes it easy as a student to take in what he’s saying and to apply it on stage. He really cares about what he’s doing. He genuinely, truly, truly cares. He creates such a safe space. Some acting classes, there can be an air of competition to them and it makes it hard to be open, and it makes it hard to be safe, but Charlie creates such a safe space. The fact that he’s passionate about what he does, it just rubs off on everybody else.

What would you say to someone who thought they had taken enough classes and concerned about the time money for professional training?

I think that you should definitely do your research. There’s plenty of videos and information about the studio that got me hooked. Once I felt I was in tune with the principles of this studio, I would just say just take that leap and go for it because it’s just a completely different experience than what I thought it would be. I would definitely just say go for it. It never hurts to just put behind whatever it is that you know and move forward to something else.

Again, this is just nothing like I’ve ever done before. I would highly, highly recommend it.

students in the summer acting program at the maggie flanigan studio. in this picture students are in the movement class

Summer Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Movement Class

Learn More About the Summer Acting Program and Meisner Intensive

The Summer Acting Program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio includes the Meisner Summer Intensive, as well as other summer acting classes. Visit the acting programs page on the studio website or call (917) 794-3878 for more information.

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