SANFORD MEISNER TECHNIQUE
Sanford Meisner said that his approach to training “is based on bringing the actor back to his emotional impulses and to acting that is firmly rooted in the instinctive. It is based on the fact that all good acting comes from the heart, as it were, and that there’s no mentality to it.”
Learn to live in the moment as an actor, and let go of any idea of result. Learn what it means to really “do” and to respond truthfully to a given moment based on what you get from your partner. Through improvisation, emotional truth and personal response learn to resonate authenticity within a given circumstance. Only in this way will you begin to understand the definition of real acting, which is “to live truthfully under the imaginary circumstances”.
The training involves a specific series of exercises that build upon each other. The successful comprehension and execution of each exercise is essential to the success of the next and so on. Everyone begins at the beginning and moves through each step laying essential groundwork for the second semester’s focus of demonstrating a clear and full understanding of emotional preparation, relationships, and objectives.
To obtain a clear understanding of Acting based on the principles of Sanford Meisner, and to translate that understanding into practice through various classroom exercises and experiences, culminating in the successful application of the Meisner Method to assigned scene study; and ultimately creating a strong foundation by discarding protective walls and unleashing hidden talents to emerge a more honest person with an instrument ready for a future journey as actors and artists.
Method of Instruction
The Meisner technique is a progressive system of structured improvisations for developing concentration and imagination, stimulating instincts and impulses, and achieving “the reality of doing” in performance.
In Meisner’s view, great acting depends on the actor’s impulsive response to what’s happening around him. His key exercise, spontaneous repetition, is designed for the actor to develop that dormant capacity.
Meisner’s approach trains the actor to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” to discover or create personally meaningful points of view with respect to the (written or improvised) word, and to express spontaneous human reactions and authentic emotion with the utmost sense of truth.
More about the requirements of Meisner's First Year. Or read about our Summer Acting Intensive.