The Maggie Flanigan Studio is a Two Year Acting Program and Acting Conservatory in New York City. Rebecca Knox, an actor in the two year acting program discusses with Katie the reasons why she decided to train at this acting studio and how her acting has changed during the first year of professional actor training.
So, Rebecca, how would you describe the standards and expectations of students here at Maggie Flanigan Studio?
You are expected to work and work hard. You have to meet with your partner in between every class. You have to know what you’re coming into class with and be prepared and have an understanding for the work. Because Charlie can tell when you don’t actually do the work at home. Yes, that’s it.
Well, how does Maggie Flanigan Studio compare to other places you studied?
I’ve studied at several other studios in New York City, and I’ve studied different methods. I personally think this is my favorite so far. I love it. Because of the lack of structure in all of these other studios and the “unenthusiasm”. The teachers aren’t as passionate about the work. The work in class and the standard of perfection just wasn’t really there. It wasn’t as exciting. I didn’t really fully understand what I was learning. I always felt that there was something missing. Then I came here and because, off the bat, we were told that we have expectations for our students, then I just had this new found excitement. There’s such a structure here that doesn’t– it’s hard to come by. It’s hard to come by.
And how do you understand the definition of artistry as you close in on completing your first year of training?
It definitely means to have a standard of perfection for yourself. To really pay attention to the detail in your work. Through all the exercises we’ve done this year, we have learned. We’re starting to learn how to walk like babies. We started from these really vague exercises to these really detailed exercises now. Because we’ve learned how to be so specific, and how important artistry is, the work has evolved and it has completely changed my view on what good acting means.
How is Charlie compared to the other acting teachers?
Charlie reminds us every day, every class, he hounds it. He’s like you, if you want to be a good actor and you want to have truthful acting, they go hand in hand. You have to have a standard of perfection. You have to hold yourself to a certain standard. There has to be detail. If you don’t have those things, then there will be holes in your crafting, and crafting is the most important thing. We learn that here.
He’s the most passionate knowledgeable teacher I’ve ever met. I have never loved and respected acting more. Charlie is harsh. He’s difficult. But he’s also so incredibly caring. It comes from a good place. He’s an incredible teacher, and I’ve had so many, and he’s my favorite.
How has your approach to auditions changed?
I’ve learned how to listen. I’ve really learned how to respond from a truthful place. I look back at work I’ve done in the past before I was here and it just seems so much like my acting was vague. It wasn’t as specific as it is now. After studying with Charlie, I mean, in my first three months, I booked my first guest star role. That was so exciting. And it’s because I was responding truthfully in the audition. Yes, it’s helped my work tremendously.
What has it been like being part of such a small class at the studio?
They’re my family now. I think they’re my favorite people. Because I’ve been so dedicated to the work. A lot of my friends outside of acting don’t really understand that so I’ve kind of– we’ve distanced ourselves. Now I have this group of people. We’re all in this together, and we’re all so supportive, and we’re also different. None of us are competitive. We understand the struggle. We’ve seen it all in class. I love them. It’s wonderful to work in such a small environment with such great people.
What would you say to someone that says they don’t have time for professional training?
Make the time. Because that will completely change your acting and it will take it to a different level. I’m one that believes in studying forever. I’m probably always going to be studying at some capacity. I think it’s vital. Even if you do– Maybe miss a couple opportunities, the work that you learn here, I think will open so many more doors just because you’ll get so much more with your acting. It’s going to grow. It’s necessary, I think.
How has studying at the studio changed your life?
My integrity. I’ve also just become more aware of the people in my life, my environment. Looking at detail, taking things in, and I cry a lot more [laughs]. It’s completely opened up my eyes to so much more beauty in the world, and it’s made me so excited about life in general. I see things differently.
How do you feel ending the first year and going into second year?
Super excited. I can’t believe we’re almost done. At some points in the year, it felt like it would never end. Just the struggle and not getting it right. Like, “When are we going to do it? Why is this so hard?” And now we’re coming to an end and it finally feels like we can walk off the curb. Instead of fall on into a puddle or something. I’m very excited for next year. I hear the work is very interesting, and I want to do character work.
Why should someone pick Maggie Flanigan Studio over any other studio in Manhattan?
The passion. The people here care about the work. I’ve never seen so much love for the craft and for the technique.
Apply Today to the Two Year Acting Program and Conservatory
Students who are serious about creating a the foundation they need to have long professional acting careers that extend into the 50’s and 60’s should consider applying to this acting program. Admission to the studio begins with submitting the online application and scheduling an interview with Charlie Sandlan. TO start the application process begin here: Application for the Two Year Acting Conservatory