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Two Year Acting Program Interview: Charlie Westfal

The two year acting program at Maggie Flanigan Studio provides professional actor training for serious committed actors. In this video Charlie Wesfal talks about the two year program at the studio.

What did you think acting training was before you started studying at the Maggie Flanigan Studio?

In the words of Charlie Sandlan, a lot of intellectual BS. I did not quite understand what it meant to just live truthfully and to really connect with circumstance or with a character using your most powerful tool, which is your imagination. When that clicked in it was really exciting. That is a really exciting moment for you as a person and as an actor.

Two Year Acting Program - Charlie Westfal - (917) 794-3878

What happened during the two years that changed your perspective?

A lot. You are challenged really every day at Maggie Flanigan Studio. Charlie never takes a day off. The entire time that I was at the studio, for two years, he never took a day off with us. It is such a personal teaching style that he has. Charlie is going to push you and tell you exactly what your faults are and also what you are doing well. He is very fair and you really come to appreciate that. In many ways you need it in the beginning, and you will continue to need it alter as well. Charlie taught me so much.

The most fun thing is realizing how much you just really teach yourself through the homework and the day to day work. The exciting part comes through the empathetic connection and figuring out what has meaning for you. It is very exciting to know concretely about yourself what has true meaning.

What happened during the two years? What did you learn about yourself that surpassed you or changed you?

There are so many esoteric things that it takes to be considered an actor or to approach the work, but I think the most powerful thing for me as a man, as an american, is vulnerability. Being okay with it, being comfortable in it and being comfortable functioning from that place, is difficult. It is not something that you are used to. It is not something that I was ever used to. It is something that I am constantly trying to deepen and expand in myself and to be more comfortable going deeper within my vulnerability.

When you look at some of the great actors that’s what I realized for me was the good stuff, just being completely vulnerable and open. That is just so powerful.

Now that you are done with the two year acting program, how do you feel about starting your professional career?

I am nervous, but I think that is just an honest response. I think I am infinitely more confident than I ever would have been. I would have been operating from a place of blissful ignorance if I had not come here. It really would have been a huge deterrent. I think it can be scary knowing how much work it takes but every day you get more and more of a kind of a need and a hunger within yourself to see how much more you can do, how much more work you can put into it.

Then if you are lucky enough you get to perform and live that freedom. I cant wait to continue to explore all of this in whatever capacity or opportunity that arises.

Register for the Two Year Acting Program

To learn more about the two year acting program and Meisner training at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, call the studio today at (917) 794-3878. You can also see Sofia Riba talk about her experience in the two year acting program on this page: Sofia Riba: Two Year Acting Program Interview

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