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Tony
Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia

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Hi Tony!
Most people don’t even take the time to tell a person how to reach their goal. I want to thank you for everything and for responding to my messages. Sometimes I just test people to see if they really care about my career and you do. You can continue to send me some tips on how I can accomplish my goals, because you inspire me a lot. Thank you for caring.
Jeffrey, Dallas, TX

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Hi Tony!
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada

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Hi!
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Mischa, UK

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Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress

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Tony,
I did what you said and…I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you…how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA

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This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA

How Do You Choose
The Right Acting Classes?

Have you chosen your acting classes based on certain criteria or have you chosen it just because you know someone else who is going there? Do you know what you are looking for? Have you shopped around? If you haven’t, how do you know there isn’t another method of acting that is more conducive to your learning style?

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I, like many other actors had chosen to study with some teachers, because I knew other people who were studying with them. While I must admit that I learned a lot from their acting classes, I didn’t always feel that I was making progress as quickly as I could have or I didn’t feel comfortable with the method they used or how they were teaching me. I also believed that in some respects I wasn’t ready for their acting classes. In addition, I didn’t always feel that they really cared much whether I learned or not. While I have thick skin and can take criticism, I also wanted to feel that my teacher was interested in my learning. I didn’t always feel that way, so I changed teachers until I was satisfied.

The school where I have chosen to study has met my criteria. While doing research some three years ago to look for the right place to take acting classes, I interviewed different teachers and there was one in particular who stood out from the rest. Her name is Wendy Ward and she’s the director of the Ward Acting Studio on 28th street in NY. She specializes in the Meisner technique, which I have found personally to give me the greatest results in making me a better actor in the shortest time possible.

See my criteria for choosing acting classes and teachers.

While we’re on the subject of teachers, here’s one of my favorite questions that I ask myself: “Does my teacher really care whether I learn or not, or are they just happy that I signed up for the class so they get the cash?” Right after I had talked to Wendy for the first time, I had gotten the feeling that she did care. Now, after studying extensively with her (I need just one more class to graduate from her program), I can say that that feeling she gave me, turned out to be true. I feel fortunate.

This page isn’t about listing a whole lot of schools where you can think about taking acting classes. That’s another page. This is about sharing with you my first-hand experience about the classes I took.

What I learned

I learned more in the first 6 weeks studying at the I learned more in the first 6 weeks studying at the Ward Acting Studio in New York than I did in the entire two-year period before, taking other acting classes and workshops and going to forums. I feel like I learned what acting is really about.

The Meisner Technique is based on the premise of “the reality of doing” That concept changed my whole way of thinking, because now, after it being ingrained in me, I know what it means and I bring it with me to each and every scene. After taking the Meisner-based acting classes, I feel that my performances are much more real and I feel much more connected with my scene partner.

I also learned and still am learning about how to bring emotion into the scene. The difference for me in the approaches between sensory-based acting and Meisner is that Meisner is easier to access, simpler to apply and conceptually, less complicated. The sensory work is kind of laborious to me. Again, this is my experience and should be taken only as such. Once I went back to my old teacher to say hello and to take an improvisation class. This was after I had been taking Meisner for about a year. She told me, “I don’t know what you’ve been doing, but whatever it is, keep it up. You’ve definitely improved a lot.” That’s the way I feel too.

Six-week intensive

Some of the other acting classes we took in the Ward program during a six-week intensive were:

· Meisner Application To Text

· Vocal Production

· Movement

· Audition Technique

· Shakespeare

· Career Mentoring

A great overall experience! The teachers are competent, have experience and they care. I would recommend, that if you have time to take an intensive, definitely do it! Imagine concentrating yourself fully, one hundred percent on acting, eating, sleeping and drinking it for six full weeks! I grew so much in that period it was incredible.

Acting classes were all day, but then you had to get together with scene partners in the evenings, prepare activities for the technique class, practice the voice exercises for voice class, complete your career mentoring activities and homework, practice your Shakespeare monologue, go the book store and pick out other plays, monologues, etc. It was non-stop and it was worth it.

Click here to find out the details of this year’s intensive program at the Ward Acting Studio.

Something else I learned

When I took the next level of the Meisner technique class, I was in New York to study and work. The concentration level was completely different than during the intensive. I had other things on my mind and was working on them as well. Taking acting classes when you can concentrate on them one hundred percent is a luxury! That’s precisely why I talk about getting your finances in order first, so that you can afford yourself that experience.

The most important thing

For me, and my experience in taking acting classes in New York, I can say that I shopped around until I found the technique I feel good with. In addition, perhaps the most important thing is that I now have a method. I feel like I now have a base, a method that I can readily access when I need it.

I would suggest you do the same. On this page, I talk a lot about the Ward Acting Studio and my experience there. Don't just take my word for everything. Look around and whatever you do, find trustworthy information and other people and actors you can trust to give you valuable information. Then decide on your next steps.

Lastly, remember your criteria for choosing. If they are clear to you, your decisions regarding acting classes and schools will be a lot easier.

I hope this page was helpful!

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