Q: As an alumni of Maggie Flanigan Studio, what has your career been like after graduation?
I have been very fortunate. I have done mostly theatre, student films and web series. I have really been blessed in doing a lot of theatre. I did an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and then a production of Tartuffe, and right now I am working on a production of Hamlet. I then created a work that had both dance and acting in it for Lincoln Center Education. It’s weird to talk about yourself but I have felt very fortunate. I have not been not doing something, which is really cool.
Q: How do you feel that Maggie Flanigan Studio prepared you to work professionally?
In every way shape and form. I know that without the training that I received at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, I would not have done any of the things that I have done professionally. From the fact that the studio trains you for auditions, and how to prepare for auditions, and how to rehearse well, then it gives you the endurance to be able to do 14 runs of a show.
I think that the clarity that both Maggie and Charlie provide at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, just really have aided me in getting ready for everything I have needed to get ready for. If I haven’t done the work, then that is on me. That is the biggest part of the training, to have a really strong foundation in the Meisner Technique, then you know the work that you need to do to be at your best, as consistently as you can be.
Q: What is it like working professionally with trained and untrained actors?
It is a gift to work with trained actors. It is a foundation of trust, feeling so free to do whatever you have to do. It is a gift when you meet someone that has the same training as you, and knows the Meisner Technique and knows how to work really, really well and specifically. They also have the ability to self reflect. “I need to tweak that there, to do this other thing better.”
When you work with untrained actors, the hope is that they see that they need training. It get really frustrating when you work with people who do not have training because you do not speak the same language, the results are no where near as consistent or beautiful or a honest. It gets to be really, really irritating when you are working with people who do not have solid training under their feet.
Q: What were Charlie and Maggie like as teachers?
The are phenomenal teachers. I don’t care if I ever train with anyone else. Charlie turned me into a new person. When I moved to New York City, I was aimless. I had graduated with a BFA in Dance, which I did not want and I didi not know what I wanted at all. I just knew that I was scared and that I didi not have a voice. I did not know what I wanted at all. “I know I want art. What do I want with art?” I realized that the thing that I liked the most about art was honesty. So I was thinking about the films, the plays that I had seen that moved me or the dances that I had seen that moved me. All of the actors that I loved the most, I realized, had trained with Meisner himself or some version of the Meisner Training.
So I was researching New York City Meisner Technique programs and the Maggie Flanigan Studio popped up. Ii moved to New York City on a Sunday and I had an interview with Maggie on Monday. I was so scared and she just loved me all the way through in her tough love way. I had Charlie the first year and I cried every day. He kept pushing me and he did not give up on me.
It was not always fun. I would stop classify my first year, or my second year as fun because it is hard work. It is hard work every day and every night. You don’t just have good classes. The moments of breakthrough come at 2a.m. when you have been crafting for eight hours and you don’t know what you are going to do in class the next day and then something magical happens. It’s not magic because it is hard work but in that moment it feels so profound and beautiful. Charlie and Maggie are the people that are able to teach that.
If a student can come in and be open and be available and try to receive that training, it is boundless. I feel like I can learn new things about acting and about the craft and whole do the craft for the rest of my life based on what Maggie and Charlie have done for me.
Q: The are a lot of places to train in New York City, so why is the Maggie Flanigan Studio the only place for you, the only place you would recommend for other untrained actors to study?
It boils down to the fact that the studio cares about the whole actor, from movement and voice which liberate your vessel, to teaching you the Meisner Technique and how to craft your way through anything. If it is a poor script, if it’s a great script. You can do the work and do the work really, really well. They also care about your audition technique. The whole point of the Maggie Flanigan studio is that they leave no corner unturned.
If you train here it is the best choice that you can make for yourself. You get to know yourself better. I have never loved myself for my whole 25 years and then I came to the studio and now I am very play with Julia Boyes, and that is almost entirely thanks to Charlie and Maggie. I know that I can be an artist and that I can do this for as long as I must do this, and I feel like I must do this for the rest of my life.
For more information about the two year acting program, and how you can apply for admission visit the studio website or call the studio directly at (917) 789-1599.
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