Meisner Acting I class meets twice per week for 3 – 3 1/2 hours, and also requires at least 2 hours per week of outside work for rehearsals and homework. There are 64 classes in the first year.
The beginning of the first year acting Conservatory Program follows Sanford Meisner’s traditional sequence of improvisational exercises and basic scene work, starting with the repetition exercise. Students gradually start to work with imaginary circumstances of their own devising, and then deepen and expand the work over the course of the school year, interspersing the exercise work with basic scene work. All of the first year work is about each individual actor – working as themselves under imaginary circumstances.
There is no emphasis on character. Rather, the work invites each actor to develop and explore themselves and their acting instruments. Students expand their self-awareness, sensitivities, and empathy and expand their imaginations. They cultivate certain core acting skills, including deep listening, the ability to truthfully respond, and opening themselves up to be able to express themselves fully under any conceivable imaginary circumstance. They learn invaluable tools, including emotional preparation and how to work on basic scenes to keep them fresh and improvisational each time. The actor learns how to “craft” – that is – how to do actor’s homework in order to be able to reliably produce authentic, personal, imaginative and meaningful behavior in alignment with the given circumstances.
Through constant practice – both in class and outside of class – the students develop solid, positive artistic habits. The work becomes part of their muscle memory. It becomes inevitable. That is, they can’t help but do solid good basic acting as themselves under imaginary circumstances, because they’ve learned a set of tools and a process, and they have made those a habit. Then the student is ready to begin character work in Meisner Acting II , the second year of the Two Year Professional Acting Conservatory.
Receive the latest news about our studio and upcoming events