We’ve taken the liberty of answering some questions we frequently receive. If you have a question that we haven’t answered, please feel free to chat with us below,send a message here, or call us at 718-801-8999. We would love to hear from you!
How much or little experience a student has is less important than their sincere desire and commitment to becoming the best actors they can be.
Terry Knickerbocker Studio is a home for students to become the best artists and people they can be. In a city filled with competition and distraction, it is easy to feel frustrated, lost and alone. Terry Knickerbocker Studio is a place for you to grow, both inside and outside the classroom. We maintain a safe and nurturing environment where our students are afforded every opportunity to learn and grow. After you have completed your training, the Studio remains that home for you, and we continually welcome back former students who return to take Master Class and other training to keep their skills sharp and alive.
We are an alternative to other 3-4 year conservatory training and MFA programs. It takes, at least, two years to learn the craft of acting, and another 10-20 years to master the craft. Consider our studio training as an investment in your talent for the rest of your life as an actor. The time goes by very quickly.
“Meisner training” is very popular these days. Very few teachers are masters at it, and many mis-teach it. Terry spent over 30 years training and teaching with William Esper, one of the most respected protegés of Sanford Meisner at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse. Terry is one of only a very few active teachers who can claim to be part of a direct lineage of Sanford Meisner and his brilliant approach to actor training.
Terry Knickerbocker Studio is devoted to building a tribe of committed artists. We are selective about our admissions process. Many Studios follow the mantra, “If you have a heartbeat and a credit card, you can study here” – Terry Knickerbocker Studio does not. We would rather have one class of 8 dedicated artists, than five classes filled with non-committed students.
The Meisner technique is an approach to acting developed by the American practitioner Sanford Meisner, based on the idea that “The foundation to acting is the reality of doing.” Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to read Sanford Meisner’s book, On Acting. All applicants of the Terry Knickerbocker Studio are required to read On Acting prior to being interviewed for any and all programs.
Feeling stuck is a common feeling for a lot of actors. But feeling stuck is just that – a feeling. Inside that perception of stuckness is the chance to move through these plateaus to break through and create work that is freer, more authentic, imaginative and more alive, and to be better prepared for your next artistic challenge. At Terry Knickerbocker Studio we see all artistic problems as opportunities. Each actor’s greatest challenge becomes the foundation of their unique genius. The work we do at Terry Knickerbocker Studio equips actors to begin to expand their self-awareness and ability to be open to their impulses. This helps identify where their blocks are, and what is preventing them from being the best actor they can be. By incorporating a holistic method of training with the Meisner Technique as it’s centerpiece, students begin to discover the full depth and breadth of their potential as actors, artists and human beings.
We firmly believe the best place to start is at the beginning At Terry Knickerbocker Studio, we don’t have any advanced classes for more experienced actors. This is intentional, to make sure that every student is solidly steeped in the fundamentals – the tiny seeds that bear the richest artistic fruit. We never know where the holes are in someone with extensive experience. Starting at square one gives each student the best chance to learn their craft in the most thorough and painstaking way. Sanford Meisner said that it takes 20 years to become an actor. Terry Knickerbocker spent over 30 years training and teaching with William Esper, one of the most respected protegés of Sanford Meisner. Terry is part of a direct lineage of Mr. Meisner and his brilliant approach to actor training. Successful actors such as Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Sam Rockwell, and Boyd Holbrook (Logan) continue to work with Terry and rely on the Meisner Technique. This training is not a quick fix: quality training in any craft takes time. We will give you the solid building blocks to give you a solid foundation for your craft. There are no auditions here at TK Studio. Instead, we personally interview each potential student to see whether we’re a good fit for each other. This is an extensive conversation where you can discuss your artistic goals, receive in-depth answers to your questions, and discover true commitment to your art.
Because we don’t know where each student’s blocks are, everyone starts our training at the beginning.
Many studios can make you feel lost in the shuffle. At Terry Knickerbocker Studio, our intimate classes allow each actor to receive the individual attention they need. We don’t believe in a cookie cutter approach to training. We do affirm that everyone who yearns to act deserves a chance to realize that dream through careful nurturing and guidance. There is only one you. If you want to become the best actor you can be, we want to help you get there. We will never let ourselves become so big that our school feels more like a factory than a sanctuary dedicated to training artists. Every one of our teachers is completely devoted to helping our students learn and grow as artists, craftspeople and human beings. We hold ourselves to the highest possible standards. We are obsessively devoted to quality. We will never settle for doing anything in a casual, sloppy way. We intend to be the very best at what we we do, and we are looking to train actors who share our passionate commitment to excellence.
Like most acting studios, Terry Knickerbocker Studio is not an accredited degree-granting program. However, we do offer graduates a Certificate of Completion upon graduation.
We do not currently offer any scholarships, but do have an active work-study program, utilized by many students in order to subsidize their tuition. Work-studies are selected based on proven financial need and positions are granted to students who demonstrate a positive role in our creative community, and have consistently proven a commitment to their studies at Terry Knickerbocker Studio. Any students interested in being considered for a work-study position may contact our Administration.
While we are not yet authorized to issue student visas, we can refer you to other visa-granting programs (such as language or dance schools) that would allow you to train with us. We expect to be able to grant visas in January of 2020.
We have many international students currently studying with us and would be pleased to speak with you about your options! Contact our Administration for more information.
We are always happy to have visitors! Please contact the studio at least 24 hours in advance and we’ll be happy to arrange a tour.
Due to the deeply personal nature and sensitivity of our work, we do not allow auditors for any of our Conservatory Classes. However, we do offer Open classes a few times a year in our Master Classes, when students may partake in a free class to sample various aspects of the curriculum. Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter so you don’t miss any Open Class announcements.
No audition is required for the Terry Knickerbocker Studio. For more information on the application process, please see below, or contact the Administration.
To be considered for any courses or workshops at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio, you must submit an official application through the website. Depending on the course of interest, once your application has been received, the Administration will contact you with enrollment details or arrange an interview at the Studio.
All applicants are required to read Sanford Meisner’s book On Acting prior to their interview. All Master Class, Intro to Meisner, and Summer Intensive applicants will interview with the Studio Manager. Students will be made aware of their acceptance at the time of the interview.
All Summer and Two-Year Conservatory applicants will interview first with the Studio Manager, and if it seems like a good fit, will then interview with Terry Knickerbocker. Conservatory applicants will be made aware of their acceptance at the time of their meeting with Terry.
All Third Year applicants will interview first with the Studio Manager, and should they prove to be an eligible candidate, will then interview with Alberto Bonilla.
Once an acceptance has been granted, the student will have up to one week to make a deposit and secure their space in their program. After one week, if a deposit hasn’t been made, that spot in class will be open to other applicants and the student runs the risk of losing their spot.
Terry Knickerbocker has a very busy schedule. Meetings will only be scheduled with Terry once you have spoken with the Studio Manager, and if time permits.
We have multiple studio spaces available to rent. Studio spaces are open to both students and the public. See our Studio Rentals page for more details.
All deposits and administration fees are non-transferrable and non-refundable.
We take attendance very seriously.
Regular class attendance is the only way for the Student to achieve satisfactory progress in their artistic and academic pursuits. The Studio operates in accordance with the standards set by the professional industry and strives to treat the Students as professionals. In agreeing to attend the Studio, the Student acknowledges that consistent attendance in all enrolled classes is mandatory. The work we do at the Studio is a group effort; to not show up to class is unprofessional and unfair to your scene partners, classmates and instructors.
The Studio shall take into account each Student’s record of attendance as well as participation in classes when deliberating upon the admittance of the Student in any additional or future classes.
Consistent absences, excused or unexcused, may be cause for dismissal from the Studio.
We urge students to use this special time to dedicate themselves to training, not trying to advance their careers.
That depends. While everyone enrolling would want Terry to be their instructor, we need to allocate the proper instructor to student ratio. With that being said, the sooner you apply, the more likely you are to have Terry as your teacher! Fear not, however, as our instructors would not teach here if they were not great!