The 18-month acting program in NYC at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is a Meisner based acting program for serious actors who are commuted to professional actor training. In this interview with Sydney Nordan, Sydney talks about the decision to leave college and semi pro soccer to train at the studio.
Sydney Nordan Interview About the 18-Month Acting Program in NYC
Q: Sydney, tell me about your background in acting?
I actually did not study anywhere else, and I don’t really have any kind of background in acting.
Q: What did you think Meisner training was before you started the 18-month program at Maggie Flanigan Studio?
I actually knew really nothing about acting, and I actually read about it on this studio, our website online. Then I looked into a few other places and other definitions of it, but I really didn’t understand it fully until I came here.
Q: What were the specific steps that led you to Maggie Flanigan Studio?
I knew that I really wanted to be serious about acting, and I wanted to find a very serious studio. I was ready to commit myself and my time 100%. I actually researched about a lot of studios in New York, and I called and actually talked to you on the phone. I asked you a ton of questions. Then I came in and I had an interview with Karen.
I was going to interview at other studios actually, and I wasn’t completely set until I met with Karen and Charlie. I just got this incredible vibe about this studio and what they were doing and how passionate they were when they talked and how they treated me. After my interview– I actually cried with my interview with Karen. After my interview, I was like, “Let me come. Let me be here, please.” Then I joined the studio after that.
Q: Where were you living before you moved to New York? Did you move here specifically to pursue your acting career?
Absolutely. I moved here– I originally had no plans. I’m from Alabama. I’ve transferred up here to play soccer in college actually from the University of Alabama. I played in Connecticut for two years. Then when I decided and I started into this program, I was actually commuting about two and a half hours and I was playing soccer. I was going to college, I was taking eight classes because I was ready to graduate. I was working two jobs and it just– this program was absolutely worth it to me.
We were doing our scenes. Charlie came in to visit and to see our scenes, which he does in first year. He told us after our class, he was just like, “If you want to do this work, you have to fully commit. You need to be here, be on time, and everything like that.” I sat in my seat and I sobbed because I realized I was doing so many other things that I couldn’t fully commit.
I actually have played soccer my entire life. I played semi-professional and professionally overseas. I did not end up finishing out my last year of eligibility in college. I had one more year, I did not do it. I decided right then in that class when he talked to us that I was moving to New York. I actually moved in with a girl who is going to the studio right now and we’re best friends and we live together. It’s been amazing, but I did commute for the whole first– the January session.
Q: Did your family support your decision to move here?
My family doesn’t know that I’m up here acting actually. They think it’s a hobby. I made the move by myself. I did everything by myself. My cousins, they support me and my acting friends here support me and they’re my family here. That’s all that really hasn’t mattered to me. My parents just wouldn’t understand the whole turn from– I was supposed to go down this road and then completely changed my life to a career that isn’t always stable and they don’t get that, but you know, like I said, my friends here are my family and I love it. Acting has completely fulfilled my life and I have never been happier than I am right now at the studio.
Q: What advice would you give to people or prospective students watching this video who are thinking about moving to NYC to train?
Get ready. It’s going to be a great ride. Honestly, you learn so much about yourself. I didn’t even know who I was until I came here. I’m actually gay and my family doesn’t even know. I was so conflicted on the inside about that. Last year through the acting training, I came completely out because I couldn’t hide it anymore. You just learn how to look at other people and look at the world in such a new perspective. I think that you should be aware when you come to training that that’s what’s going to happen to you. You are going to open up. You are going to be emotionalized. I don’t know, the world is just a really bright place. It’s really good.
Q: Do you have any advice for people who are feeling anxious or scared or nervous?
It was a hard journey but I ultimately, I needed to do this. I needed to do it for myself. I knew my family wasn’t going to be completely behind me. I honestly believe that this is your life. You have to do what is going to make you happy, ultimately. That’s just, that’s really it. Be ready. You’re going to have your days. I had a day that I just broke down and just and cried. I was like, “What am I doing? My whole life is different.” There is such beauty in that, your life is going to change. Everyone evolves. I think, honestly, just step into it with courage and go for it. Just be happy.
Apply for Admission to the 18 Month Acting Program in NYC
Learn more about the acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio by visiting the Maggie Flanigan Studio website: http://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com/. Students who are interested and ready to train at the studio should apply online or call with questions about the programs at the studio at (917) 789-1599.
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