Master Class at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is a ten week advanced scene study class taught by Maggie Flanigan. In this video Lisa LaMattina discusses why she came back to the studio for the masterclass after she started to work professionally.
Why Did You decide To Take Master Class with Maggie Flanigan?
I had been out of the studio for about three years when I decided I wanted to come back and study with Maggie again. I mean, I always wanted to come back to the studio because it’s such a community and when you leave here you’re kind of thrust into everyone doing their own thing. I definitely missed the sense of community and all the people but at the same time you got to go out there and do it. So after about three years I saw she was doing a master class and the timing was right because I was really starting to doubt myself again.
You go in as a new actor you go into an office for the first time, you meet them and you don’t get a call back. But then they call you again. So then you go in and then maybe you get the call back and then you don’t hear anything for them for months. Then you’re asking yourself “What am I doing?” I was starting to doubt my process. I was worried that because I wasn’t working on these big plays anymore. I wasn’t working on this juicy text. I was getting two pages, three pages under five. All these things are what a new actor gets so I wasn’t sure if I was applying the techniques that I learned here on the work that I was being given now. So I really wanted to go back to be fixed to make sure that I haven’t forgotten anything. That was exactly what I needed because there were definitely little things I forgot but then overall I felt like it was in me it was like muscle memory. I was using it on a daily basis and not even realizing it because it became part of me very naturally.
How Important Was The Class Size?
It is tremendously important that the class size is small because when you go in there you want to work as much as possible. It’s great to watch other people work but let’s be honest, actors we want to get up there and we want to do our thing. We want to have our time working. With a small class, yes you do learn from other people and you see them do amazing things but at the same time if you are in a small class you get to work on two or three different scenes. So you can work on a scene that is so far from what you would normally be cast as or it’s such a different thing that you didn’t see yourself doing. I think if you’re a big class you don’t have that much time to work. Also in a small class you don’t get away with anything. Maggie’s eyes are on you like a microscope and you really need to bring it.
What Was It Like To Work So Closely with Maggie?
Working with Maggie it’s like (I joke) she is half Yoda and half Meryl Streep. She talks to you somehow in these nebulous kind of ways because she’ll never give you the answer. Maggie will never spoon feed you anything which she understands would be a huge disservice to you as an actor.
She does not solve the problem for you. She’s always kind of giving you an idea and a direction to go in but then you have to figure out where you go from there. So then I mean being with her is for me the most delicious thing in the world. Even after having her for two years and it being really, really hard, I know she made me a better student, a better actor and a better person. The level of specificity and her expectation that you come into that room ready to do your most honest hardest work is really important to me.
What Was Difficult About The Class?
Honestly the level of people in the class was really intimidating. I was in a classroom with very successful working actors who come back to the studio. I was still a new actor. I still am a new actor. I had to really take a moment and not let that get in my head because you know I was going up and doing these things that were really challenging and things that were different from what I would normally do and take risk. I was doing it in front of an audience not of people I went to school with now, it was with people I am watching on shows and movies and people that I have a tremendous respect for. So I had to be careful of that.
Just being patient with myself was really hard because I just want to get in there and sometimes you need to take a little more time.
How Did the Class Get You Back On Track?
When I left Maggie’s Master Class I kind of felt like I had new superpowers. I really like I was brave again. I was more capable. I felt like my technique was there. It’s almost like muscle memory from the two-year program. I felt invigorated because I was doing amazing work again and doing things that I could really dive deeply into. I was doing things that were complex and complicated. It made me excited again in a way that I was not feeling so much. I think it made a big difference. I did really well. I left the master class and then I booked four independents, like boom, boom, boom. I was walking into the room differently. I was excited about the work and people felt that.
Enroll Today in the Master Acting Class
To register for the master class with Maggie Flanigan or to learn more about the professional training that the studio provides call 917-789-1599.