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Talya Mar and JD Achille Talk About the Meisner Summer Intensive

The Meisner Summer Intensive at the Maggie Flanigan Studio provides an introduction to training as a professional actor. In this interview two students discuss their experiences in the six week Meisner training program.

Meisner Summer Intensive - Talya Mar and JD Achille

Q: What did you think acting training meant before studying at the six week Meisner Summer Intensive?

A: JD: Before I came to the Meisner Intensive, I was 22. I was just out of college. I was studying to be a doctor and I was miserable. So I thought that because I was 22, it was just too late for me to go to any real training program, so I was just going back and forth between different studios, and I thought that would be enough. If I just took enough summer intensives and workshops and whatever I can get into, but after getting here, I realized that that wasn’t enough and there was so much more to learn and I would be able to be the actor I want to be if I didn’t commit to training.

T: For me, I have been in the theater world and acting world since I was 14 pretty seriously. So I’ve always had a real respect for well-trained actors. I did a BA in college and I found that I was sort of grappling to pull together a lot of different techniques that I had learned and it felt like it didn’t give me a strong foundation and I was really struggling to feel like I could approach work with consistency. So what the Meisner work did for me is it sort of layed out this path that I felt like I was developing myself as an artist, developing the depth I could bring to my work in a really clear structure that I felt like I could consistently rely on.

Q: What happened during the Meisner Summer Intensive that changed your perspective on acting and training?

T: For me, over the six weeks I was surprised by how much growth I saw in myself. So, like I said I’d done a lot of work in the past and I felt like I was hitting the same walls over and over, and what this work did for me in those six weeks, is it made me feel like those walls were starting to come down and the thought of stopping short of that is really what lead me to decide to do the Two year program here.

JD: I agree. I had so many bad habits I think that I started to learn about myself. I think what the six week program did for me it is it let me know how sensitive I was. I mean, I sort of knew that I was sensitive but I spent so long trying to block it because, you know, “vulnerability is bad” apparently, according to society, but you need that as an actor. Realizing how sensitive I am and how vulnerable you can be in this work, I think that’s what changed for me in the summer and I wanted more as well. After I saw what I could do in such a short amount of time and how I could grow, how I grew in six weeks. I wanted more.

T: Its hard to turn your back on something that feels like its going to make you the kind of performer and artist that you want to be.

Q: What did you learn during the Meisner Summer Intensive that surprised you?

T: I was surprised by how much I could grow. I was surprised by a depth that I could bring to my work that felt really inaccessible to me for a long time. I was surprised by how simple it was and again, just by how much support I felt in that structure to be able to really sort of grow and have freedom as an artist. It was really exciting.

JD: I learned so much. It’s hard to just summarize it. I think maybe the most important thing is, in my actual personal life, I learned how much crap I took from people. I never stood up for myself and I still don’t sometimes. I’m still working on it. I think learning to stand up for myself and accepting how sensitive I am and that it’s okay to be sensitive. It’s not a bad thing and I’m okay with it and I’m okay with saying,”Yes, this is going to make me cry and that’s okay. I don’t feel bad about that at all.”

Q: Why did you decide to train at Maggie Flanigan Studio?

T: For me, the decision came down to, I walked in the space and it felt like it could be an artistic home for me. There was something about the energy here and the seriousness of the craft and the joy in that seriousness that felt really comforting and it’s really stayed that way for me.

JD: I wasn’t planning on coming back for the Two year, if I’m going to be honest. I was planning on moving to LA, and you know, be one of those LA Actors but after doing the program and just, really how Charlie teaches. He sees through you. He sees when you’re not working. He sees how far you can go. He has really high standards for everyone and he’s not okay with letting you do your second best. He wants you to try your best every single time and he always says, “What you did last week doesn’t matter”. It’s always about, “What are you doing next?” and I love that. I love having someone who is going to push me to push myself in the best way.

Register Today for the Meisner Summer Intensive

For more information about the six week Meisner Summer Intensive at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, call the studio at (917) 794-3878 or click here to apply online

Click here to read an interview with Kyle Leibovitch about his experience with the Meisner Summer Intensive.

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