The heart of the two year acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio and acting conservatory lies in the training technique developed by Sandy Meisner. A member of the legendary Group Theater of the 1930’s, Meisner created a way of training actors that is rooted in truth and the artist’s imagination. The work begins with a very basic repetition exercise that starts to hone the actor’s ability to really listen, answer, and respond.
The First Year: Core Fundamentals
Over the nine months that make up the first year of training, the work evolves into a deeply rich improvisational exercise encompassing all of the fundamentals of acting. The actor then brings this work to three rounds of scenes during the first year. The goal is to bring the exercise work to text. The exercise is of no value if the actor cannot bring the fundamentals to scene work. In addition, the actor will learn how to identify the previous circumstance of a scene, how to emotionally connect to it, and how to craft an acting relationship. The ability to do truthfully under imaginary circumstances is the standard that good actors strive to achieve. How an actor accomplishes this is the goal of First Year: learning to create a truthful reality, understanding how to craft personally and specifically, as well as harnessing your ability to daydream, in order to create organic, vivid behavior.
Art is personal, and springs from the artist’s point of view. This is no different for the actor/artist. When given a script and a role, the actor’s job is to find his/her personal way into the material. If not, the work will be shallow and indicated. For this to be possible, to be an actor with true dimension, one must have an emotional temperament that is easily accessible. First year provides the actor the opportunity to lay the foundation for the character work that comes in second year.
The Second Year: The Script and the Character
If first year of the two year acting program is like putting money in the bank, Second Year is learning how to spend it. What does the actor do when her/his straight response is not the character’s? Second year gives her/him the tools to solve this problem organically. Character work is the highest form of acting; the ability to step into the shoes of another human being and illuminate the human condition in all its aspects. Script interpretation and character development is the core of second year work. Another important component is teaching the actor about the rehearsal process, and providing an understanding of what will be expected professionally.
While working on major roles from the best playwright’s, the actor puts all of his/her training together over a demanding nine months of work.
The goal of the two year acting program is to instill in the actor a craft, a way of working that will serve as the floorboard for their talent. A process that will support them for what is hopefully a long career. Martha Graham said “Technique will set you free.” This is our belief as well. Our hope is that you will emerge from this program with not only a craft, but an appreciation of acting as an art form, a solid work ethic, and an inviolate sense of truth.
The Maggie Flanigan Studio is open to all students who have a serious desire to develop their craft as professional actors. The studio has the highest professional standards and students must be able to work within a creative environment that is constantly demanding artistic excellence.
Apply Now For The Two Year Acting Program
To apply for the addmission in the two year acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, go to this page:
“Any actor who wants to take this profession seriously, should not look any further.
The studio really rebuilds an actor from head to toe.”
“It’s the only program that mimics an MFA program that I found. The hours, the commitment from the teachers, everything.”
“If you are serious about acting and want a real process in which to work, strive for truth in acting you should come. If you aren’t serious about being in this terrible business you should do something else.”
Charles talks about his experience in the two year acting program