Why I Chose the Summer Acting Program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio
The Summer Acting Program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio introduces actors to the Meisner technique during the six-week intensive program. Faith Cochran talks about the summer program and why she decided to leave Boston University after the six-week acting program.
Q: Faith, what did you think it meant to train as an actor before you started the six-week summer program?
A: That’s a hard question. To train as an actor for me, was a lot about pretending. At least, that’s what I thought. I thought that a good actor was someone who is really good at pretending. Before the summer program, I didn’t really know too much about what being an actor meant.
Q: What happened during the six weeks that changed your perspective on acting and training?
A: The six weeks actually really surprised me. It was so much more about feeling and finding more about who you are as an individual and as a person which makes you become a great actor because you can trigger feelings and trigger different emotions. Being an actor it’s not as much about pretending versus pulling from different experiences within yourself if that makes sense. The six weeks I definitely learned that which was so cool.
Q: What did you learn about yourself that was a surprise?
A: Over the summer it was so hard for me to get angry because I realized in life I never allow myself to get angry because of society and blocking out emotions. That was a struggle for me. Once I overcame that, so much let loose and it was so cool to actually feel that. That was probably the biggest thing that the acting class in the summer allowed me to feel something different.
Q: Why did you decide to come to Maggie Flanigan Studio instead of any of the other Meisner summer programs in New York?
A: To be honest, I just started by looking online. I’m a big review person. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I read the reviews and all the reviews were really good. Then, my aunt, she writes movies. She’s worked with a lot of good directors and stuff and one of them actually recommended Maggie Flanigan to me. According to the reviews and the recommendation, it worked out.
Q: During the summer intensive you studied with Charlie. How would you describe Charlie as a teacher?
A: Charlie is very intense and a little bit intimidating, but it’s in a good way. The whole program is actually a little intimidating, but I think that that’s so important to be able to get out of your comfort zone. To have someone who you know really wants the best for you. That’s what’s good about Charlie is you know that he fully wants you to be the best you can be. He’s willing to give you that extra push to get there. He has a good sense of humor and stuff too. That like lightens it up a little when you feel like you’re either, I don’t know, in your head too much or about to get yelled at. You know that he does want the best for you and that he does have a good sense of humor. That helps too.
Q: Why did you decide to leave Boston University to come here an train in the two-year acting program?
A: I was studying business at Boston University, very different than studying acting here. I guess for me, I wanted to be doing something creative, and so studying business wasn’t really allowing too much of that first of all. Then after coming to the six weeks, being in an environment where everyone wants to be in class was so different for me. It was so refreshing to be with– there were like 12, maybe more, students in my acting class and everyone would come to class every day so ready and so willing to be vulnerable and to challenge themselves.
Whereas sitting in a lecture with 300 people and people falling asleep or texting, it’s like such a different feeling. I felt thankful for the first time for me– to be able to go to class every day and I felt like I was learning way more than I was at grad college. I think there was something about, in college I don’t think anyone really truly knows who they are. Here, I think everyone is trying to more allow themselves to figure that out if that makes sense.
Everyone is searching versus trying to force it. I know that sounds weird, but yes, that was really great. Then I just couldn’t picture myself going back, after six weeks of being so happy and learning and finding myself, going back and sitting in those 200 people lectures and just trying to get through it for a degree.
Q: How has being part of a community of students in the six-week summer intensive, now that you’re back for the two-year program, how has that contributed to your experience?
A: Yes. Because it’s something that everyone is so vulnerable, everyone is looking out for each other which is really nice. I remember when I came for the summer program I was sitting in the lounge and kids who were just finishing their first year were like, “Oh, I remember doing the activity,” and, “Oh, you’ll be fine. You’ll get through it. You’ll feel so good once you figure it out.” Now I’ll see them and they’re in their second year. Everyone is just so friendly.
Getting to work with different partners, I think that brings out different parts of you, like different emotions and different releases. So that’s also really nice. You become like a family. Even just after the six weeks, I still miss so many– the people who don’t live in New York. So yes, that’s really great.
Best Summer Acting Programs in the U.S.
Learn more about the Meisner Summer Intensive Program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio and why many students consider this program to be the best summer acting program in the United States, by visiting the studio website [ http://www.maggieflaniganstudio.com ]. Interested students with questions can call the studio directly at 917-789-1599 during business hours.
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