The true essence of acting? Unraveling oneself to weave into a character. Start your transformation at Terry Knickerbocker Studio. Class begins October 6!
At TK Studio, we wholeheartedly believe in the conservatory approach to acting, the same pedagogical approach to training actors that you find at the best universities and conservatories across the globe. Conservatory training has proven itself to be the surest way to give talented actors a reliable craft to do their very best work and launch them into the industry confident that they are well equipped.
Our Conservatory Program is a comprehensive training program equally centered around the Meisner Technique, the study of the Linklater approach to voice training, and the Williamson and Laban techniques of physical training for the actor. The students in this comprehensive program dedicate themselves to a rich exploration of craft, self-discovery, community, and connection—to your classmates, your instructors, the material, and most importantly, yourself.
All classes take place in our modern, well equipped studio spaces located in the heart of Brooklyn’s Industry City, a burgeoning campus of creatives and makers that is accessible to, and yet separate from, the hyperstimulation of Manhattan.
If you are serious about a meaningful acting career, believe that a commitment to craft and excellence is what will make you stand out as an artist, and are seeking an inclusive and accessible home in which to learn the foundations of the art and craft of acting, then TK Studio might just be the perfect artistic home for you.
Who is this program for?
Two years is a commitment, which is why we want to be sure to accept candidates for whom the program is the right fit—and please note that we say the program should fit you, the individual, rather than the reverse. Our students are at the heart of everything we do, and all of our acting programs are a space where your identity and your imagination meet craft.
With that said, here are the kinds of things we look for in prospective students who are in the right frame of mind and phase of life to fully benefit from our program.
- Excellence and quality matter to you. We hope your North Star is that you aspire to being the very best actor you can be, and you are unapologetically committed to achieving that excellence. In short: you’re all in.
- You understand that anything worth doing doesn’t come easy. This program is not designed to be a quick and dirty get-successful-quick program, but rather a comprehensive journey to mastering a craft. There are no shortcuts. We seek artists who are aspirational high-achievers, who come to their practice with grit, determination, a love of learning, and a hunger for growth, and who are ready to commit to themselves and to their careers.
- Everything included in our program is intentional—we will never waste your time or money with unnecessary classes. We therefore expect your commitment to attendance, to giving your best, and to bringing an open mind and generous heart to every class and rehearsal.
- You share our passionate love for storytelling and art-making, and the belief that art and stories are important.
- You’ve developed an interest in the Meisner technique specifically. This may not mean that you’ve taken a Meisner class, but rather that you’ve done some research and see the value and benefit that training in Meisner can do for your development as an actor of impeccable craft and skill.
- You are here to learn, not to get it right. Perfectionism is not going to help you.
You enjoy being a part of a community and are looking to join a brave and diverse group of people.
- In short, we seek students who enrich the diversity of the Studio and who are generous, curious, collaborative, passionate and committed to excellence.
What are the specifics of the program?
As one of the best performing arts conservatories in New York, we honor and follow the classic Meisner guiding principles and curriculum. However, we also honor and support an inclusive pedagogy that creates space for discourse and each unique student’s voice and particular style of learning.
In each classroom at TK Studio, the work is about craft, curiosity, learning, the profound gift of failure, dialogue and relationship. We have centered our training around the Meisner technique because we find it incredibly practical and effective for most actors. Quite simply: it works. Sanford Meisner created a brilliant approach to actor training which is thorough and cumulative, where each lesson and individual class builds on the material taught before it, so that gradually, you build up the capacity to engage with different material intentionally and with ever increasing skill. It also offers a way to consistently access your skills and deliver reliably excellent performances.
At TK Studio, we offer multiple tracks of our Conservatory training so you can customize your training journey to meet your specific needs:
The Fundamentals program provides the groundwork of the Meisner Training which is at the heart of TKStudio’s approach to acting training, while also inviting the actor to experience how Theatre History, Script Analysis, and Movement and Voice training expand the actor’s toolkit in order to meet the demands of the industry.
Over the two years of training, Conservatory Essentials consists of the Meisner Curriculum, Script Analysis, Theatre History and four Movement and four Voice classes – one every semester.
Conservatory Essentials provides the additional Voice and Movement training that more fully supports each actor’s talent and the richest expression of their acting. The movement, voice, and acting classes work synergistically, each approaching different edges and opportunities for expansion and deepening in the actor. You develop mastery over your total instrument. You learn how to more richly embody imaginary circumstances and to truly know what a rich resource your body can be for you as an actor. The final semester of both Voice and Movement culminates with a Capstone Project, where work is developed and shared with an invited audience.
Over the two years of training, Conservatory Complete consists of everything in the Essentials program, plus classes in Clown, Alexander Technique, and additional selections from our array of Special Topic classes.
Conservatory Complete is a full time program for the student ready to commit to holistic and thorough training of their instrument. This training resembles the comprehensive training offered at top university conservatory programs. Clown work invites the actor into a judgment free space of creativity and play. Alexander Technique brings an even deeper understanding of the body and its optimal use with no extra effort or tension in order to create richly embodied characters. All the classes in the Conservatory Complete program work together to elevate each actor to be the very best they can be, armed with a full set of tools and processes which will sustain them throughout their careers.
We always say that the first two semesters of the program are about the actor as themselves living through different imaginary circumstances, both created by each student, and in scripted scenes. You get to explore all kinds of stories: what if you were an only child, or had six months to live, or won the lottery, or made a terrible mistake. The other main skills we build in the first year are the ability to freely improvise from moment to moment, emotional preparation, and how to craft intimate, imaginary relationships with any actor. At the end of the first two semesters, each student should have access to the full range of their emotional life, and be able to live out any imaginary circumstance that could happen to them.
Building on the foundational scaffolding of the first year, Semesters Three and Four are all about character work, using all the aspects of your personality you discovered in the First Year to tell stories about other people. Each character you create is a different version of you, honoring the circumstances of the story. The great Robert Duvall (who studied with Meisner) said: “Character acting is you, bent.” You will learn to connect with the character and how they react to different situations, while still retaining your unique perspective and infusing your work with your imagination. If the first year is about conceptualizing, mixing and refining a palette of colors unique to you, your emotions, and your experiences until you have an array of stunning options to pull from, then the second year is about learning to paint portraits of people, and putting those techniques into practice.
7 – 12.5 hrs per week
First year total: $11,231
10 – 14 hrs per week
Second year total: $11,231
Total Tuition: $22,462
15 – 16.5 hrs per week
First year total: $14,471
15 – 18 hrs per week
Second year total: $14,471
Total Tuition: $28,942
23 hrs per week
First year total: $17,138*
23 – 24 hrs per week
Second year total: $17,138*
Total Tuition: $34,276*
*$17,238 for SEVIS, $34,476 Total
What Our Alumni Say
TK Studio is an extraordinary place to train and grow as an actor. Terry’s personal and thorough...
Awesome training. Terry and his select staff of awesome teachers are committed to the excellence...
"I finally feel like I’m being equipped with what I need to pursue acting on a bigger level...." I...
"....there's still not a day that goes by where I don’t think about this studio..." Years later,...
"It was the most alive I’d ever felt in my life...." I would take the Two-Year Program all over...
"I’ve never felt so connected to who I am, and who I am becoming...." I’ve never felt so connected...
"All of the teachers here are top notch, professional and immensely passionate and caring...." All...
"This is life-changing training...." This is life-changing training — both as an artist and human...
What are the benefits of the program?
When you join the Conservatory program, we make you a promise: we promise that at the end of our acting program, if you do the work and put in your best effort, you will have a skillset, a toolkit, and an artistic way of working that lets you take a script—any script, whether it be a play, a movie, a film, old or new—and turn it into compelling behavior.
You will have the ability to create high quality work: the behavior you will know how to create will be truthful; believable; authentic; interesting to you; and will honor both the writer and you as the unique artist that you have always been. Not only will you be able to call upon these skills in your work for the rest of your career, but you will be able to deliver consistently strong performances that you will be proud to call your art.
We provide no “acting degree” as such, but rather a holistic and comprehensive training experience that is designed to teach you how to act. No one ever said “I love that actor’s work— too bad they don’t have a degree.” What matters is your talent and ability.
Ready To Pursue Excellence With Us?
All potential students for the TK Studio Conservatory program must submit an application on our website, for which there is no application fee. We want to learn more about you, who you are, and what you care about.
Upon receiving your application, we’ll reach out within 48 hours to schedule a time to talk with Christopher Booth, our Director of Admissions, to continue the conversation. That conversation may lead to another conversation with one of our acting teachers. After those meetings, you should receive an email with your admissions decision within 48 hours.