Meisner I – Living Truthfully
We wholeheartedly believe in the words of Sanford Meisner when he said, "Who you truly are is magnificent and totally unique."
Through this program of study, we will guide you in discovering your own unique perspective and assist you in becoming more present, authentic and responsive to the world around you. We will work toward becoming the full expression of everything that is happening as it is happening.
Utilizing a series of progressive exercises, you will learn to trust your instincts and live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.
- Adults Only - Must be 16 years or older to enroll
- Prerequisite: None
- Class Length: 28 classes / Twice per week
- Class Times: 10:30am-2pm OR 7pm-10:30pm - Eastern (New York) Time
- Begins: May 2021 (Exact dates and times TBD)
- COVID-19 NOTE: Classes are currently conducted live via Zoom
Meisner discovered early on that listening and responding in the present moment is the most important thing an actor can learn. However, the actor’s self-consciousness works against them and causes the actor’s focus to remain on the self, rendering the scene dead.
Through a series of exercises, the actor can learn to shift their focus to what is happening in the world around them. The actor can then begin to work-off and truthfully react to what is actually happening, creating spontaneous and authentic life.
Next, we begin the work of using imagination to create personal circumstances to work from. Meisner found that the actor’s imagination is a powerful tool, and once the actor learns how to tap into it properly, it can more powerful than any "real or actual" experience.
Continuing with exercise work, the actor will learn how to properly and safely create imaginary circumstances that will allow them to enter the life of the scene in an authentic and truthful way.
Lastly, we work on brining these tools to text. Each actor will work with a scene in a more open and truthful way. The actor will learn the difference between working from an idea (pre-determined and thought provoked) and working truthfully in the moment (outward focused and fully in the unknown).
Our goal is for the actor to have all of the tools (the foundation) for all future scene work, and to be ready for Meisner II: Emotional Life.
BREAKDOWN OF SEMESTER
Core Exercise: Build and develop the tool for outward focus; used to place the actor’s focus on the world around them, and to lessen the focus on the self. This is the core of everything we work on in this approach, since all of the other tools are layers on top of it. Therefore, we will spend a significant amount of time on building this step properly.
Creating Imaginary Circumstances: Learn to work from our imagination that is based on things that are personally meaningful.
Personal Meaning: Learn to work from things that are personally meaningful to the actor; and learn to work with personal meaning within the imagination (which is what keeps the actor safe).
Scene I: Apply all of the tools prior to a scene; learn to work with additional tools in order to truly make the scene the actor’s own life. The actor will also learn how to maintain outward focus within a scene environment.
This class will be intensive in nature and will require homework. Students will also be required to meet with fellow classmates outside of class (or online via Zoom) for skills rehearsal for a minimum of 2 hours per week. Because of the rapid progression of the work in this class, attendance is of the utmost importance.
SIX PILLARS OF ACTING
Meisner I focuses on getting the actor beyond self-consciousness. Through a series of exercises, our work focuses heavily on the mental and psychological aspects of the work, which is essential for building a solid foundation for all of your acting.