What is the Meisner technique?

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.

Can I just study for one year – or less? I’m not sure if I can commit to two/three years

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.

I’m looking for an artistic community to call home. Is this it?

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.

I have never taken an acting class. Can I still study at TK Studio?

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.

Will Terry Knickerbocker be my teacher for either the Summer Intensive or the Two Year Conservatory?

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!

What is TK Studio’s attendance policy?

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.

What is TK Studio’s refund policy?

All deposits and administration fees are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

  • If the Student drops a class more than 14 days prior to the class beginning, they are entitled to a full refund, excluding the administration fees and deposit.
  • If the Student drops a class 8-13 days prior to the class beginning, they are entitled to a 75% refund, excluding the administration fees and deposit.
  • If the Student drops a class within 7 days of the class beginning, they are entitled to a 50% refund, excluding the administration fees and deposit.
  • Once the Student attends the 1st class of any given workshop, elective or class, the Student is considered to be enrolled and is responsible for the Class payment in its entirety.
  • No Studio credit, refund or tuition adjustments will be given to Conservatory Essential Students who choose to drop any supplementary classes (ie. Movement, Voice & Speech).

Do you rent Studio Space? What if I’m not a student?

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.

Can I arrange a meeting with Terry Knickerbocker, directly?

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.

What is the application process?

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 ClassIntro 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.

Do I have to audition to be part of the Studio?

No audition is required for the Terry Knickerbocker Studio. For more information on the application process, please see below, or contact the Administration.

May I audit a class?

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.

Can I come visit the Studio?

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.

Does TK Studio International VISAs?

Yes! We offer M-1 visas for our Summer Intensive and Two Year Program. To begin this process, you can find more information on our International Programs page here, or you can begin the process by applying here.

Does TK Studio provide scholarships or work-study opportunities?

We 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.

We are also thrilled to announce The Excellence Scholarship which provides awards between $500 and $2,000–depending on availability of funds– toward tuition for the Two Year Acting Program for artists of color in the 1st and 2nd Year of training. 

This scholarship was established through the generosity of a recent alumni of color who believes in the richness of the work and the mission of TKS, and who wishes to remain anonymous. For more details, see ourExcellence Scholarship Information Sheet. To apply, click here.

Do I receive a degree upon completion of the program?

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.

Do you teach scene study classes?

Terry teaches a Master Class for former students and others by application and invitation. The Studio also has occasional guest master teachers teach a scene class, again, for former students and invited actors. Please contact the Administration to see if you may qualify.

I feel invisible in my current training? Would I be invisible there?

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.

I have studied Meisner technique before. Do I still need to take the first year class?

Because we don’t know where each student’s blocks are, everyone starts our training at the beginning.

I want to study acting training, but where do I begin?

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.

I feel stuck as an actor! Help!

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.

There are a lot of “Meisner” Studios – what makes Terry Knickerbocker Studio different?

“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.

Take control of your career, and your craft

How Good Do You Want To Be?

Not sure which program is for you?

Start The Conversation