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
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
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!
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
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
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
The Meisner Technique of Acting
"Take it from a director: if you get an actor that Sandy Meisner has trained, you've been blessed." - Elia Kazan
Sanford Meisner was an American actor and later on in his career, an acting teacher who created his own system of acting while teaching at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio. He attempted to teach actors to bring sincerity and reality to their art.
Sanford Meisner grew up playing the piano and studied it at school before moving into acting in his late teens. In 1931, along with Stella Alder and Lee Strasberg, Meisner became a part of the Group Theatre Meisner had in fact studied with Strasberg prior to this and so was already working with and familiar with Stanislavski’s principles of acting. This theatre ensemble wasn’t just responsible for the groundbreaking theatrical productions of the time but for also changing the way actors performed in America. In1934, Stella Adler went to study privately with Stanislavski in Paris – upon her return she questioned Strasberg’s interpretation of ‘emotional recall’ arguing that the actor’s imagination was a far more reliable and creative tool to use. These new ideas had a large influence on Meisner and the system he eventually created. In 1940 the group disbanded and Meisner went on to teach at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.
Birth of The Meisner Technique
It was while he was here (he taught at the school for 48 years) that Meisner began to develop his own technique, a combination of the traditional Stanislavskian ideas, Strasberg’s teachings and Stella Adler’s own interpretations of Stanislavski’s system. Meisner’s technique, however, is based on the fundamental idea of an actor’s ability to live truthfully in imagined circumstances. This has a huge effect on how the actor was to live and listen spontaneously in a scene as well as the imagination to bring emotional reality to the character they were playing. To live truthfully on stage Meisner taught actors to not play the emotion of their character but to let emotion build based on the truth of their actions and most importantly on the actions of the other characters around them. Meisner created a series of exercises for his actors all based on the fundamental Meisner principles of not doing something until something happens to make you do it, listening and spontaneous repetition. Meisner’s approach was by design an attempt to “eliminate all intellectuality from the actor's instrument and to make him a spontaneous responder to where he is, what is happening to him, what is being done to him."
The Meisner technique is one that benefits not only actors but also directors and writers, some of these artists are, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, Arthur Miller, James Caan and David Mamet.
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
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