The two year acting program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio provides actors with the foundations they need to have long careers. In this interview Jes Tom reflects on the two year program and Meisner training.
Q: What were you thinking acting training was before you started studying at the Maggie Flanigan Studio?
To be totally honest, I think that before I started at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, I had no idea that acting training was real. I had been studying acting or thought myself to be studying acting for about ten years at the time that I started here. I just did not have any foundation or technique. I believed that I could memorize the lines and have an idea that at this part I am furious and at this part, I am really happy, and then just show up and do it, and then whatever happened was left to chance.
Q: What happened during the two year acting program that changed your perspective on training?
During the two years that I have been at Maggie Flanigan Studio, I have learned that acting is something that you have to take seriously if you want to be any good at it. I have learned that it is an actual craft with actual work that you need to put into it. You need to be able to go home and do this preparation and actually work on the script before you can come in and decide that you are going to do whatever you want.
Q: What happened during the two year acting program that was a surprise or that changed you? What did you learn about yourself?
I feel very surprised all the time. When I came to the studio, I was very emotionally locked up. You get really locked up just living in New York City and having to interact with all of the people every day and then through the work that I have been doing at Maggie Flanigan Studio, I kind of turned the faucet on to my sensitivity. I am more honest with myself. It is much easier for me to get in touch with how things make me feel and not the way that I think I am supposed to feel or the way that society has decided that I should feel in that situation. I have become more empathetic. I am more emotionally mature. I am trying to grow and become a better person, not just a better actor.
Q: Now that you are done with the two year acting program how do you feel about starting your professional career?
I feel nervous, of course. Especially as somebody who does not already have a foundation in a professional career, but I feel prepared. I feel like I have an excellent technique, and I know how to start to do work on a script or work on a side for an audition. I think that before I had this idea that everything was up to chance. You know you have to “hear a hundred no’s before you hear a yes”. So it was just mathematical probability thing, and I had no control over it. Now I feel like I have more control over the kind of work that people see me do and the way that I represent myself.
Q: Why did you come here? Why did you come to Maggie Flanigan studio?
There are a lot of places where you could study, there are a lot of conservatories, teachers, but why this studio and these teachers?
So, the way that I came to Maggie Flanigan Studio is kind of a funny story. I am not an actor primarily; I work as a standup comic and a writer, and also an actor now. What happened was, I had been living in New York for about a year and my friend who is also a multi-disciplinary artist was here at Maggie Flanigan Studio. One day we hung out, and we had a conversation where he said he was “studying here at this acting school it is called Maggie Flanigan, but it is not just an acting school. They teach people to become the best actors; it is actually about helping people grow and become themselves as artists, and if you go through this program you will become your most powerful self.”
There was just simply no way that I could resist something like that. I kind of spontaneously decided to apply and come in for an interview, and I started the program here. I have just become more of myself. I have started to become, the best self, the best artist that I could be. I think that it is incredible that it is an acting program like this one that is helping me do that.
Apply Today for the Two Year Acting Program
For more information about the two year acting program at the Maggie Flanigan studio, contact the studio directly by calling 917-789-1599.