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Top Meisner Acting Studio: Maggie Flanigan Studio

Maggie Flanigan Studio has solidified itself as THE authority on the Meisner Acting Technique. As the leading Meisner Acting Studio—Maggie Flanigan Studio is a home for aspiring actors seeking craft, process, depth and authenticity in their process.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio, the gold standard in actor training, delves deep into this very approach. 

As one of the U.S.’s premier acting programs, this Meisner Technique Studio is NYC’s home for the serious actor, an acting conservatory that is not for the hobbyist or merely curious. 

This is an NYC Meisner Technique studio that expects its students to conduct themselves with work ethic, self-discipline, and a commitment to artistry. 

Key Takeaways

  • Maggie Flanigan Studio in NYC, led by Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan, is the most accurate teacher of the Meisner Technique in the United States. We are here not just to teach but to transform students with or without previous training into seasoned actors ready for a serious professional career.
  • At the heart of the studio rests the full two-year progression of the Meisner Intensive. Acting 1 and Acting 2 is the methodical and detailed development of one of the greatest acting techniques ever created.To use an analogy, Acting 1 is laying the foundation, pouring the concrete, and Acting 2 is building the house. For more than two decades, the Maggie Flanigan Studio has been producing incredibly well-trained, professional actors and artists.
  • Beyond mastering the craft, the Maggie Flanigan Studio’s comprehensive Professional Actor Training Program ensures students are professional and audition-ready. Equipped with the ability to work in both theater and film, our NYC acting conservatory prepares them for a collaborative art form that demands results.

Mastering the Craft in the Pulse of NYC

Two actors walking through the corridors of the Maggie Flanigan Studio

The Maggie Flanigan Studio stands out among the leading acting schools in the competitive artistic landscape of NYC. Nestled amidst the dynamic energy of New York, this studio is a cherished spot for any dedicated and aspiring actor with a big dream.

Every teacher in our conservatory acting program believes that teaching is an art form in and of itself. The attention to detail, the ability to give specific, constructive criticism and the importance of creating a safe and nurturing space are the priorities. 

As such, at this NYC Meisner technique studio, acting classes and workshops have been curated to allow students to stretch their limits and operate outside their comfort zone. Each acting class, workshop, scene study and coaching session resonates with the ideals set by the studio’s founder Maggie Flanigan.

Central to this approach is the Meisner Technique, one of the most successful ways to train a professional actor that has ever been created. Led by Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan, every student who applies for acceptance receives a personal one-on-one interview with him. 

You are not interviewing with an uninterested administrative assistant or studio manager. What separates MFS from the slew of acting classes in NYC is that every student who is accepted is actually trained in the Meisner Technique by Charlie himself. 

Many acting programs in NYC feel like factories, with hundreds of students who are thrown into a class with a faculty of untrained teachers and frustrated actors who have no desire to shape serious artists. If you are accepted into the Maggie Flanigan Studio, you are trained by the best there is.

Additionally, every teacher has been hand-picked by Charlie because of their dedication to teaching, their extensive experience and expertise in their chosen field, and their commitment to every single student.

More than Just an Acting Class: A Step Towards Professional Acting

A class of students learning about the Meisner technique

Finding the right NYC acting school—a studio that aligns with your vision and artistic values—is a challenge, but it’s a foundational step in an actor’s career journey. The Meisner Technique studio at Maggie Flanigan Studio understands this and has curated classes to transform dreams into reality.

The approach to acting is brimming with diverse techniques, styles, and disciplines. However, among them all, the Meisner technique stands out.

Developed by Sanford Meisner in the 1930s, the essence of the Meisner Technique in the first year focuses immediately on the core fundamentals of acting: listening, spontaneity, placement of concentration, and the truthful reality of doing. 

Acting is the ability to do truthfully under an imaginary circumstance. This actor training will allow anyone dedicated to the craft to consistently create organic, vivid, fully realized human behavior. 

The Maggie Flanigan Studio prides itself on being one of the most respected actor training programs in the United States. 

Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan has spent the last 33 years dedicated to the craft of acting. Charlie received his MFA in Acting from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he was taught by William Esper and Maggie Flanigan. 

Charlie shares a rich history with Maggie spanning over ten years and has spent the last 20 years dedicated to the art of teaching this technique to a new generation of actors. His entire professional life has revolved around this work. He is a master.  

But, it’s not just about mastering a technique. It’s about creating serious artists and actors who have the capacity to illuminate the human condition in all of its aspects.

Maggie Flanigan Studio: Nurturing the Complete Actor

An actor deep in thought

If you’re looking for classes or programs that will push you to your limits, challenge your every preconceived notion, and urge you to consistently strive for perfection, then you’re in the right place.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio is dedicated to training a complete actor. 

Actors who make the decision to commit to extensive training at the Maggie Flanigan Studio are taking a leap of faith. The two-year journey is transformational, just not as an artist, but as a human being. 

This work will make you more present, a better listener, more vulnerable and empathic, and much more capable of standing up for yourself and expressing how you feel. You’ll be more comfortable with your anger, heartbreak, joy, silliness, and courage when it comes to the intimacy of open-hearted connection.

Mastering Body, Voice and Speech

If the heart of the Maggie Flanigan Studio is the Meisner Technique, the soul lies in the rigorous Movement and Voice training. 

Level 1 and Level 2 Movement students embark on a transformative journey, addressing physical tensions and patterns of behavior using the Williamson Technique. This awareness of one’s body becomes an integral part of their working actor toolkit. 

Simultaneously, Voice 1 and Voice 2, founded on Kristin Linklater’s of freeing the natural voice, enlighten students about the deep and intimate connection between themselves and their voice and speech. 

By targeting physical alignment along with common tension zones like the jaw and throat, students learn to resonate their voice and speech more powerfully and adopt essential warm-ups for performance.

The Theater Connection

Theater history classes at Maggie Flanigan Studio are much more than reading important plays. If you want to pursue an acting career, you need to be educated and informed about the history of the art form and the work that has paved the way for generations of artists. 

We instill in every student a robust comprehension of playwrights, from ancient classics like Sophocles to modern writers like Dominic Morriseau, Stephen Adley-Guirgis, Annie Baker, and Sanaz Toossi.

Alongside play readings, students engage in spirited discussions on theater architecture and important movements in the art form, along with looking at the cultural and political issues that have shaped the last 2000 years of the art form. 

Script and Camera Craft

Students being taught how to use the camera

Script Analysis class hones the actors’ interpretation skills. An actor’s skill set must include the ability to break down a script. The second-year class supports what the students are learning in Acting 2, helping them answer important questions about character psychology and the inevitable flow of cause and effect. 

The best actors are detectives and possess the ability to read a script and deduce the behavior the playwright or screenwriter has put on the page. This is at the heart of interpretation and goes a long way towards creating something authentic and original. 

Diving Deep with Meisner and Combat for Stage and Film

At some point in an actor’s career, physical combat of some sort will be required. This could include something as simple as a grab or a push, to something substantial like a full hand-to-hand fight, or something involving weapons. 

Knowing the fundamentals and important safety measures that are involved with choreographed combat is crucial. There have been many serious accidents and tragedies revolving around sloppy and dangerous combat. The Maggie Flanigan Studio wants every future professional to be prepared for every possibility.

Film History Class for Actors

Any serious actor should have a vast working knowledge of film and television that has paved the way and inspired the very best artists in the medium. Directors, actors, and writers have always found inspiration in previous work. 

Knowing the important genres, directors, scripts and performances will not only make you a more imaginative actor but will make it far easier to collaborate with other artists who actually care about what has come before.

The Professional Actor Training Program (PATP)

Spanning two transformative years, the PATP at Maggie Flanigan Studio is the full conservatory program. It offers students an immersive experience that includes every class offered in the two-year acting program. 

Students receive the full progression of Meisner training, along with Movement, Voice, Stage & Film Combat, Theater History, Film History, Script Analysis, Cold Reading, and Breathwork & Reiki. 

The Professional Actor Business Program (PABP)

What distinguishes the Maggie Flanigan Studio from every other acting studio and University program in the United States, is the optional third year, and our Professional Actor Business Program. This is a full year dedicated to the business of acting. 

Most actors, when they finish their training, are thrown out into the business without any guidance. It can take 8-10 years of mistakes to get a handle on how to be the CEO of your company and navigate the professional expectations that await. 

In our PABP, actors get a fully designed website, professional headshots, a demo reel shot edited by REELARC, and classes and workshops in branding, marketing, money management, and social media. 

Classes also include the art of self-taping, audition technique, on-camera technique, life coaching, and auditions with top casting directors and agents in the industry. 

We want our students to not only be first-rate artists but also fully capable of navigating the business. The goal is to take a decade of struggle and reduce that to one year of intensive business training.

Expert Guidance: Crafting Tomorrow’s Actors Today

A class of students headed by Charlie Sandlan

Maggie Flanigan Studio stands as a revered institution in New York City. It is founded on the principles of the Meisner technique by Sanford Meisner and the rigorous standards set by our founder Maggie Flanigan.

Maggie Flanigan opened MFS in 2001 with one room and 20 students. Maggie was committed to offering a small, boutique studio dedicated to that actor as an artist. Over the last two decades, MFS has become the gold standard of professional actor training. 

Under the leadership of Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan, this premiere NYC Meisner Technique studio has prided itself on its commitment to teaching Sandy’s legacy and sending the most hard-working, well-trained, and passionate actors in the business.

In 2021, MFS opened its brand new space in the heart of NYC, an entire floor teeming with aspiring actors, and an artistic home for serious artists who have the passion and dedication to live a vibrant creative life.

Summary

The Maggie Flanigan Studio, nestled in the heart of New York City, is renowned for its holistic approach to actor training. 

With its curriculum deeply rooted in the principles of the Meisner Technique, our studio offers a diverse acting program that covers everything from voice and body training to Script Analysis, Cold Reading, Theater History, Film History, and Stage & Film Combat.

We want our students equipped for the diverse demands of the acting world. With a commitment to the legacy of the legendary Sanford Meisner and a blend of modern and traditional teachings, our studio prepares its actors for a serious professional career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Meisner method of acting? 

The Meisner method of acting, often referred to as the Meisner Technique, was developed by Sanford Meisner in the 1930s. This technique is a training approach that emphasizes listening, spontaneity, and truth.

The first year of the Meisner Technique teaches the actors how to get out of their heads, onto their spontaneous impulses, and be fully present in every moment. Students learn how to craft a previous circumstance, and an acting relationship, and develop the ability to emotionally prepare off-stage and off-camera.

Are Meisner and Stanislavski the same? 

Meisner and Stanislavski are not the same. Although Sanford Meisner’s technique drew inspiration from Konstantin Stanislavski’s system, the Meisner method evolved into a distinct approach. 

While Stanislavski’s system dives into an actor’s internal process and emotional memory, the Meisner technique zeroes in on spontaneity and the ability to go from unanticipated moment to unanticipated moment.

What is the difference between Strasberg and Meisner? 

The key difference between Lee Strasberg’s method and the technique created by Sanford Meisner lies in their paths to emotional accessibility.

Strasberg’s method, often associated with “Method Acting,” prompts actors to tap into their literal past experiences and emotional memories in order to manipulate themselves internally.

Conversely, the Meisner technique, as taught in the Meisner Technique Studio and other institutions, centers on developing the actor’s ability to daydream and fantasize and draw their emotions from imaginary circumstances.

Meisner believed that the imagination was a healthier and more creative place to create, and found that using literal traumas and tragedies was unhealthy and unnecessary.

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