Saturday, February 16, 2019

Facing the Conflict and Taking it Personally

The New York summer acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan studio train professionals actors based on the acting technique that was created by Sanford Meisner. In this interview Angie Elliston discusses how Meisner training during the six week program was different than she expected.

Angie Elliston Interview: New York Summer Acting Programs

Q: Angie, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the six weeks summer intensive?

A: What did I think it meant to train as an actor? I suppose that I knew it had a lot to do with not just getting in tune with your emotions, but also it had things to do with movements and voice. I know it had a lot to do with a lot of other things. Sometimes I thought when I'm growing up; I would watch on TV how actors would train. It's just like looking at each other like marrying what you're doing and stuff, and you got this cliche about it.

When I first got here, I did not expect that it would be this way because I remember Charlie came in the first day and he didn't even tell us how it was going to be. He just started telling us that you're going to repeat what I'm saying, but you're going to change the plurals. He does like that first Meisner technique which is the repetition. We were all just in shock. We were all amazed at how it worked so well. We learned how to hear, how to pay attention to the other person.

We started realizing that in everyday life, these are things that we think we do, but we don't. You also learn a lot about yourself and the behavior of other people. I guess I did not know much about acting mostly because of where I come from. Then, coming here I thought it would be more about movement and expression, but it was not. It's more about internal. When you work with what's inside, you start working with the outside. It just automatically it starts showing the outside and that's the acting process. I just had to say that it was very unexpected everything I've learned.

Q: What do you think training as an actor means now?

Angela: Training as an actor now, after everything that we've learned and just these six weeks, I've determined that training has a lot to do with the relationship you have with yourself and accepting your emotions and learning how to just dive into different types of-- I don't know how I could put this. I would say like the relationship that you have with yourself and understanding how you work and accepting any emotions.

Charlie made an example like suppressing your feelings. I had that problem at the beginning with certain emotions. I learned to accept those emotions and told myself that it's okay for them to come because it's me. It's my emotions. I'm entitled to my feelings. That's something that he kept repeating along through the semester and the summer. It stayed with me.

I learned that it's just more about the relationship you have with yourself and observing other people. People watching is essential, listening and just paying attention and just trying to see and read the other person. That's like a ride. He used this metaphor. It's always going to stay with me. Acting is like a water skier. The other person is the boat that guides you around the water, and you were the water skier. You flow wherever the ship goes- it takes you.

Q: What happened during the six weeks that changed your perspective? Was there a particular moment in the exercise? Was there a moment of rehearsal, a personal discovery that changed your view of what it means to train as an actor?

Angela: I learned a lot in many different ways in rehearsals and class. In class, I would say that I learned, mostly when I would see Charlie teach the others, like my classmates. When I'm on the scene, I can't see myself. I don't know what I'm doing. I heart what he says, and his feedback and I write that down, and I consider them and then everyone else, I see what they're doing.

Well, we're all on the same level. We're all making the same mistakes. I learned mostly by looking at everyone else helped me. It worked better because we were an intimate group. We were a small group. We got to know each other better that way. Just seeing everyone grow from day one to now, the last days it's pretty amazing. We're all proud of each other as well. There's no competition or anything. We're all helping each other.

Rehearsals, well the first day, Charlie immediately gave us an active partner. It was weird because I didn't know him, but we got to know each other well through the exercises, which is the Meisner of asking each other questions, repetition, and we grew together. I learned a lot just through my partner, helping each other, watering each other like we were plants. That's how I viewed that. I learned a lot through rehearsals, and Charlie says that's where you grow, and it's genuine. You build through repetitions and through seeing other people's mistakes in class, and that's mostly how I think I've grown in this summer.

Q: What did you learn about yourself that was a surprise or that changed you?

Angela: Yes, that's what I was about to say. I was surprised on how certain types of feelings, mostly feelings of intense sadness or-- Something that shocked me, something that I did not know about myself that I learned here was because I didn't know how to stand up for myself. I didn't know that. He said it. I guess everyone noticed, but I had no idea. He speaks through the repetition and the conflict exercises that, this Meisners, I wouldn't have to stand up for myself.

Here I had my partner just fighting with me, and Charlie's told me to take things personally, take it in because as an actor, you have to take things personally and be comfortable with conflict. How is there going to be any conflict if you don't stand up for yourself? I didn't, I would just let this pass, and I noticed that I just brushed off any insult or conflict that was trying to happen. I didn't want anything to do with it.

I realized that I run away from my problems and I don't stand up for myself. Instead, I walk away from it. I finally learned to confront it, and when I did eventually stand up for myself and face my partner on the scene, I was blown away, and I almost had hysteria. I wouldn't stop crying, and it felt so real. Then after we finished, I had to review everything that had just happened because I had forgotten entirely. That's how it felt like to be in the moment and be out of your head and focus on the other person, which is what acting is all about.

Q: How would you describe Charlie as a teacher?

Angela: Charlie is-- I guess what I liked about him is that he's passionate about his students. He takes everything very seriously, and since day one, he says that you've got to want this. Almost in every class, he always finishes the course with something to take home with, some nice motivation, which was still really lovely. He's harsh. He will challenge you. He doesn't have much patience, but that's only because he has a lot of passion, and he does explain that. That's just how he is.

That's important because if you want to be an actor, it is a challenging industry, and no one is going to give you mercy; no one's that nice to you. It's very raw. It's very harsh, and Charlie teaches you that, and he says it from the beginning like this is how it is. He challenges you If you need to want this, and you're going to get so frustrated with yourself, and he will make you frustrated with yourself. That's the point, that's how you grow. Once you finally achieve that stuff, you feel so much-- You build, you feel so much better, and you realize that everything he did, he knows exactly what he's doing. I think that's how I would describe him. He challenges you, and he is super passionate about all of his students and what he teaches.

Q: There are a lot of summer intensives in Manhattan, a lot of Meisner summer intensives. Why did you decide Maggie Flanigan Studio was the place for you?

Angela: Maggie Flanagan is not trying to sell you the school and the classes or anything. It's all just very genuine and authentic. I think that's what I liked about it. When I did more research on it, and I had heard of other people who studied here, I was intrigued. When I met Charlie, I saw that he was genuine about this. He wasn't trying to sell me anything. Instead, he said, "I want to see if I want to teach you. I want to see if you are passionate about this because you have to be because this is intense. This is real life. This is acting." I guess that was my impression of it.

Q: You mentioned before how your class helped you watching the other students and the sense of community since you were a small class. How did that closeness to the other students help you through the six weeks?

Angela: I would say that because there were fewer students, there was less competition, more time for one another. More time for my partner and me, and also for the others. It's always like there's more time for one another. You feel closer to Charlie as well. We all realized that we're in this together. I think it's just you feel more intimate. You feel like more closer to them. If there were more people, it wouldn't be the same at all.

I like that it was a small group and we all got to know each other better. We all are so different from different places around the United States. The age gaps are enormous, but we're all at the same level, and we were all struggling. At the same time, I felt like we were all holding hands together and we were getting through this. That's what I liked about it. Because it was small, we were closer.

Apply for Admission to the New York Summer Acting Programs

Admission to acting programs, including the six week summer intensive at the Maggie Flanigan studio (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/) is based on an interview with Charlie Sandlan. Students who are ready to commit to a professional actor training can learn more by visiting the studio website or by calling the studio during regular business hours at (917) 789-1599.

The previous article Facing the Conflict and Taking it Personally Find more on: Acting Studio New York

Facing the Conflict and Taking it Personally

Summer Acting Program - Angie Elliston - Maggie Flanigan Studio 03

The New York summer acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan studio train professionals actors based on the acting technique that was created by Sanford Meisner. In this interview Angie Elliston discusses how Meisner training during the six week program was different than she expected.

New York Summer Acting Programs - Angie Elliston - Maggie Flanigan Studio 03

Best Summer Acting Program – Angie Elliston – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Call (917) 789-1599

Angie Elliston Interview: New York Summer Acting Programs

Q: Angie, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the six weeks summer intensive?

A: What did I think it meant to train as an actor? I suppose that I knew it had a lot to do with not just getting in tune with your emotions, but also it had things to do with movements and voice. I know it had a lot to do with a lot of other things. Sometimes I thought when I’m growing up; I would watch on TV how actors would train. It’s just like looking at each other like marrying what you’re doing and stuff, and you got this cliche about it.

author-pic

"I would say that because there were fewer students, there was less competition. I felt like we were all holding hands together and we were getting through this. That's what I liked about it. Because it was small, we were closer."

Angie EllistonSummer Acting Program

When I first got here, I did not expect that it would be this way because I remember Charlie came in the first day and he didn’t even tell us how it was going to be. He just started telling us that you’re going to repeat what I’m saying, but you’re going to change the plurals. He does like that first Meisner technique which is the repetition. We were all just in shock. We were all amazed at how it worked so well. We learned how to hear, how to pay attention to the other person.

We started realizing that in everyday life, these are things that we think we do, but we don’t. You also learn a lot about yourself and the behavior of other people. I guess I did not know much about acting mostly because of where I come from. Then, coming here I thought it would be more about movement and expression, but it was not. It’s more about internal. When you work with what’s inside, you start working with the outside. It just automatically it starts showing the outside and that’s the acting process. I just had to say that it was very unexpected everything I’ve learned.

Q: What do you think training as an actor means now?

Angela: Training as an actor now, after everything that we’ve learned and just these six weeks, I’ve determined that training has a lot to do with the relationship you have with yourself and accepting your emotions and learning how to just dive into different types of– I don’t know how I could put this. I would say like the relationship that you have with yourself and understanding how you work and accepting any emotions.

Charlie made an example like suppressing your feelings. I had that problem at the beginning with certain emotions. I learned to accept those emotions and told myself that it’s okay for them to come because it’s me. It’s my emotions. I’m entitled to my feelings. That’s something that he kept repeating along through the semester and the summer. It stayed with me.

I learned that it’s just more about the relationship you have with yourself and observing other people. People watching is essential, listening and just paying attention and just trying to see and read the other person. That’s like a ride. He used this metaphor. It’s always going to stay with me. Acting is like a water skier. The other person is the boat that guides you around the water, and you were the water skier. You flow wherever the ship goes- it takes you.

Q: What happened during the six weeks that changed your perspective? Was there a particular moment in the exercise? Was there a moment of rehearsal, a personal discovery that changed your view of what it means to train as an actor?

Angela: I learned a lot in many different ways in rehearsals and class. In class, I would say that I learned, mostly when I would see Charlie teach the others, like my classmates. When I’m on the scene, I can’t see myself. I don’t know what I’m doing. I heart what he says, and his feedback and I write that down, and I consider them and then everyone else, I see what they’re doing.

Well, we’re all on the same level. We’re all making the same mistakes. I learned mostly by looking at everyone else helped me. It worked better because we were an intimate group. We were a small group. We got to know each other better that way. Just seeing everyone grow from day one to now, the last days it’s pretty amazing. We’re all proud of each other as well. There’s no competition or anything. We’re all helping each other.

Summer Acting Program - Angie Elliston - Maggie Flanigan Studio 02

NYC Summer Acting Program – Angie Elliston – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Rehearsals, well the first day, Charlie immediately gave us an active partner. It was weird because I didn’t know him, but we got to know each other well through the exercises, which is the Meisner of asking each other questions, repetition, and we grew together. I learned a lot just through my partner, helping each other, watering each other like we were plants. That’s how I viewed that. I learned a lot through rehearsals, and Charlie says that’s where you grow, and it’s genuine. You build through repetitions and through seeing other people’s mistakes in class, and that’s mostly how I think I’ve grown in this summer.

Q: What did you learn about yourself that was a surprise or that changed you?

Angela: Yes, that’s what I was about to say. I was surprised on how certain types of feelings, mostly feelings of intense sadness or– Something that shocked me, something that I did not know about myself that I learned here was because I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I didn’t know that. He said it. I guess everyone noticed, but I had no idea. He speaks through the repetition and the conflict exercises that, this Meisners, I wouldn’t have to stand up for myself.

Here I had my partner just fighting with me, and Charlie’s told me to take things personally, take it in because as an actor, you have to take things personally and be comfortable with conflict. How is there going to be any conflict if you don’t stand up for yourself? I didn’t, I would just let this pass, and I noticed that I just brushed off any insult or conflict that was trying to happen. I didn’t want anything to do with it.

I realized that I run away from my problems and I don’t stand up for myself. Instead, I walk away from it. I finally learned to confront it, and when I did eventually stand up for myself and face my partner on the scene, I was blown away, and I almost had hysteria. I wouldn’t stop crying, and it felt so real. Then after we finished, I had to review everything that had just happened because I had forgotten entirely. That’s how it felt like to be in the moment and be out of your head and focus on the other person, which is what acting is all about.

Q: How would you describe Charlie as a teacher?

Angela: Charlie is– I guess what I liked about him is that he’s passionate about his students. He takes everything very seriously, and since day one, he says that you’ve got to want this. Almost in every class, he always finishes the course with something to take home with, some nice motivation, which was still really lovely. He’s harsh. He will challenge you. He doesn’t have much patience, but that’s only because he has a lot of passion, and he does explain that. That’s just how he is.

That’s important because if you want to be an actor, it is a challenging industry, and no one is going to give you mercy; no one’s that nice to you. It’s very raw. It’s very harsh, and Charlie teaches you that, and he says it from the beginning like this is how it is. He challenges you If you need to want this, and you’re going to get so frustrated with yourself, and he will make you frustrated with yourself. That’s the point, that’s how you grow. Once you finally achieve that stuff, you feel so much– You build, you feel so much better, and you realize that everything he did, he knows exactly what he’s doing. I think that’s how I would describe him. He challenges you, and he is super passionate about all of his students and what he teaches.

Q: There are a lot of summer intensives in Manhattan, a lot of Meisner summer intensives. Why did you decide Maggie Flanigan Studio was the place for you?

Angela: Maggie Flanagan is not trying to sell you the school and the classes or anything. It’s all just very genuine and authentic. I think that’s what I liked about it. When I did more research on it, and I had heard of other people who studied here, I was intrigued. When I met Charlie, I saw that he was genuine about this. He wasn’t trying to sell me anything. Instead, he said, “I want to see if I want to teach you. I want to see if you are passionate about this because you have to be because this is intense. This is real life. This is acting.” I guess that was my impression of it.

Q: You mentioned before how your class helped you watching the other students and the sense of community since you were a small class. How did that closeness to the other students help you through the six weeks?

Angela: I would say that because there were fewer students, there was less competition, more time for one another. More time for my partner and me, and also for the others. It’s always like there’s more time for one another. You feel closer to Charlie as well. We all realized that we’re in this together. I think it’s just you feel more intimate. You feel like more closer to them. If there were more people, it wouldn’t be the same at all.

I like that it was a small group and we all got to know each other better. We all are so different from different places around the United States. The age gaps are enormous, but we’re all at the same level, and we were all struggling. At the same time, I felt like we were all holding hands together and we were getting through this. That’s what I liked about it. Because it was small, we were closer.

New York Summer Summer Acting Programs - Maggie Flanigan Studio

Summer Acting Program in New York NY – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Apply for Admission to the New York Summer Acting Programs

Admission to acting programs, including the six week summer intensive at the Maggie Flanigan studio (https://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/) is based on an interview with Charlie Sandlan. Students who are ready to commit to a professional actor training can learn more by visiting the studio website or by calling the studio during regular business hours at (917) 789-1599.

The post Facing the Conflict and Taking it Personally appeared first on Meisner Acting - The Maggie Flanigan Studio New York NY - 917-789-1599.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Liked on YouTube: New York Acting Programs - Hailey Vest Interview - Call (917) 789-1599

New York Acting Programs - Hailey Vest Interview - Call (917) 789-1599
Actors who commit to the professional actor training at the Maggie Flanigan Studio establish the skills and tools that they need to succeed as professional actors. Hailey Vest talks to Katie about the confidence that she has gained at auditions and the actors who are inspiring her right now. Q: Hailey, you mentioned you were auditioning before you started the 18-month program. How were your auditions before you came to this studio? A: I felt pretty good with them. Like you leave the room, and it's this moment of like, "I did the best I could. Okay. Cool." Or, "That was horrendous." We've all had those auditions like it's just not great [laughs]. With the training that I have here is you walk into the audition, you are so emotionally prepared, "I know exactly what I'm doing. I know what I want to do." I do it, and it's like, "I did it. Okay. That was it. I could have-- maybe I was off maybe by 10%, but I know what I need to fix," or you leave the room, "I nailed that, that was the best I could have done." I feel it's that euphoric energy that you have. I want to leave every audition room feeling that way, and that's what this studio provides. Q: Who was one person that influenced your decision to become an actor? A: It always changes. I think the first person was Judy Garland. When I was younger, I wanted to be just like her. Because I grew up watching The Wizard of Oz and my first lead role as Dorothy, which made me love her that much more. Just like being able to see her, she goes on stage, and it's effortless. She's singing, she's dancing, and she's just having the time of her life. It just looks so simple, that's what it should be. They were talking about this in class the other day of like, our job is to make the complicated look simple, and it's just she nailed it. Someone who I love right now, I love Claire Foy. She's incredible-- Oh, my God, she kills me. I love her. I also got to see a panel with Olivia Wilde recently, about a year ago. It's just her passion and even just this like female drive of like, "I'm tired of sitting on the sidelines now. Come on, ladies, let's do this." It's just so inspiring. I'm like, "Yes, we're going to write our material, we're going, telling the truth, and I'm not just going to be here to look pretty for you." It's just like, "Let's do this." It's just I'm allowed to feel my emotions, I'm allowed to explore them thoroughly. I think that we're stepping into a time of theater and film where that's actually what people want to see, and people want to play with. These are the only roles I can play. It's a little, and I like that. Q: What artists inspire your scene work right now? A: My scene right now, it's very messy. It's taken me a good couple of weeks to wrap my head around from where I'm coming from because, in the beginning, I could not understand my character, Allison, at all. I didn't follow her. I recently saw an interview with Amy Adams because she's in Sharp Objects which is on HBO right now, which is fantastic. She's had this super long career and how her rules have changed, and she's like, "I am a mess in real life, and this is the first time I've ever been able to play someone who's a mess. It's refreshing, and also I get to capitalize on because everybody's a mess in their way. To be able to walk into a room and not apologize for it." That translated over to my scene because I was just in this situation I'm in this room, I am uncomfortable, I want so many different things. I am a mess, and I am ashamed for it and embarrassed for it. Then at the same time, it's me, and it's my truth, and I have to live it through and not know what's on the other side. That resonated with me very recently. The January New York acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is an acting program created for serious actors that lasts for 18 months. Students who are ready to commit to developing the work ethic of professional actors should apply online for acceptance into the studio programs. Actors who have questions about the January acting program should call the studio at 917-789-1599. Maggie Flanigan Studio 153 W 27th St #803 New York, New York 10001 (917) 789-1599 http://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/ https://goo.gl/maps/JTA9n7oHbNT2 acting classes NYC, acting classes in NYC, maggie flanigan studio, actors, maggie flanigan, Meisner technique training, Meisner technique, Meisner training, Meisner, Meisner work, Meisner acting, Meisner acting classes, acting conservatory, best acting studio in NYC
via YouTube https://youtu.be/AqnMvetn4tY

Monday, January 28, 2019

Bill Esper: Mentor and Artistic Father

Maggie talks about Bill Esper and her relationship with him since training with him
Bill Esper teaching students in calls remembered by Maggie Flanigan

Bill Esper Acting Teacher – Mentor and Artistic Father – Maggie Flanigan

William Esper was the preeminent acting teacher in NYC when I trained with him as an actress and then as a teacher. He was also the authentic interpreter of Sandy Meisner ‘s work.

I worked with Bill for 19 years. We co-taught the MFA Acting Program at Rutgers University. And I taught at his studio for the same amount of time.

author-pic

It was a privilege to have known him, to have worked with him and to have him as a friend and mentor.

Maggie FlaniganArtistic Director, Master Teacher

Bill had high standards and he held his student’s feet to the fire so they could be the best actors they could be. His students loved him. And they still tell their “Bill Tales” even if they worked with him 20 years ago. Bill had such a wicked sense of humor.

It was a privilege to have known him, to have worked with him and to have him as a friend and mentor.

Maggie talks about Bill Esper and her relationship with him since training with him

Maggie Flanigan – Maggie Flanigan Studio – Remembering Bill Esper

When I spoke with Bill 9 months ago he said to me that he thought in some way he had been instrumental in the success of my studio. And indeed he was. He was my mentor and artistic father.

And in my work I have tried to honor Bill and Sandy — their work, their standards and their love of actors and the art of acting.

The post Bill Esper: Mentor and Artistic Father appeared first on Meisner Acting - The Maggie Flanigan Studio New York NY - 917-789-1599.

Bill Esper: Mentor and Artistic Father

William Esper was the preeminent acting teacher in NYC when I trained with him as an actress and then as a teacher. He was also the authentic interpreter of Sandy Meisner ‘s work.

I worked with Bill for 19 years. We co-taught the MFA Acting Program at Rutgers University. And I taught at his studio for the same amount of time.

Bill had high standards and he held his student’s feet to the fire so they could be the best actors they could be. His students loved him. And they still tell their “Bill Tales” even if they worked with him 20 years ago. Bill had such a wicked sense of humor.

It was a privilege to have known him, to have worked with him and to have him as a friend and mentor.

When I spoke with Bill 9 months ago he said to me that he thought in some way he had been instrumental in the success of my studio. And indeed he was. He was my mentor and artistic father.

And in my work I have tried to honor Bill and Sandy — their work, their standards and their love of actors and the art of acting.

The preceding blog post Bill Esper: Mentor and Artistic Father was originally published on http://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com