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Allowing the Emotion to Flow

The acting programs and acting classes at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York are intended to preserve the life work of Sanford Meisner. John Flynn, a current student in the two-year acting program, talks about what it has been like studying the first year of the Meisner Technique at the studio.

Two Year Acting Program Interview with John Flynn

two year acting program - Maggie Flanigan (917) 794-3878

two year acting program – Maggie Flanigan (917) 794-3878

Q: John, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started in the two-year acting program?

Honestly, before I started the acting program at the studio, I had no idea what acting training was supposed to be, or that there was even really a process behind it.

Banner 2 Year Acting Program Begins at the Maggie Flanigan Studio

2 Year Acting Program Registration РMaggie Flanigan Studio

Q: Now that you’re almost done with the first year, what do you think it means now to train as an actor?

So many things. I think Meisner training at its root trains you to foster your creativity and your imagination. It trains you to create a process for creating imaginary circumstances and teaches you how to allow yourself to move through emotions and to allow yourself to have real gut responses, real visceral responses that are truthful, that are your responses.


This program is rigorous. It takes commitment and a the willingness to explore yourself completely. If you're half in it's going to show. If you put yourself fully into it, amazing things can happen.

John FlynnJohn Flynn, Two-Year Acting Program

Q: What have you learned about yourself over this first year, that’s been a surprise or that changed you?

I think I’ve learned that before this training, I was blocked up. I’ve learned that moments happen naturally, and it’s okay to feel things. It’s okay to be still, it’s okay for not much to happen. That has been really, really incredible. It’s allowed me to sit with myself, to be with myself. It’s amazing.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your background in acting or what led you to decide to train?

I always had creativity flowing through me. I was always making short films with my friends in high school and college but I had never taken any step into serious training. I think that’s what this is. It’s a step into something that’s really rigorous, and it’s a step into the unknown. That’s what I was searching when I was looking at acting schools in New York and that’s what I found.

I was looking at other studios in New York City because I knew I wanted to go to New York City to train. When I had my interview with Charlie, he really just got right to the guts of why I wanted to be an actor. I think it can get misconstrued. Lots of times people give an intellectual answer, they talk about this or that, or they want to be famous, or any of that stuff.

What it really meant to me and what he got to right in the interview was, “You want to be an actor, you want to feel, you want to reveal things about humanity. You want to study people, you want to be in New York City studying people in the streets.” It’s really an amazing experience. When I had the interview I just didn’t know, two days later, this is starting, but, I’m doing it.

Q: Now that you’ve almost got one year of the Meisner technique under your belt, what do you think is the thing that resonates with you the most from the Meisner technique?

I think the biggest thing, honestly, is allowing emotion to flow through you freely and just taking away those emotional blocks. Because at its root, acting or not acting, that is what it means to be a human and that is what it means to be an artist. Yes, you’re here to study acting and you want to be an actor, but what you’re really seeking out here is to become an artist, to become a better human. The things I’ve learned here in terms of that extends far beyond just acting. If I never acted a day in my life, this would still be worth it.

Q: How was the training at the studio different than what you expected?

I didn’t have many expectations going in, but it’s rigorous. It’s really rigorous and it takes commitment. It really takes the willingness to explore yourself completely. If you’re half in, if you’re just dipping your toes in, it’s really going to show. You can’t hide. If you put yourself fully into it, it’s amazing, the things that can happen. It’s really amazing.

two year acting program - maggie flanigan studio 2017 01

two year acting program – maggie flanigan studio 2017 01

Two Year Acting Program: Studio Admissions

Students who are interested in studying the Meisner Technique can learn more about the acting programs and acting classes at the studio by visiting the studio website. Students who are interested in applying for admission to the studio can submit their applications online. Students who have questions about enrollment can call (917) 794-3878.

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