Best Two Year Acting Program – Maggie Flanigan Studio
he Two Year Acting Program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is based on the Meisner Technique, which was the life work of Sanford Meisner. In this interview Ezra Bynum discusses the two year program at the end of his first year of professional actor training at the studio.
Ezra, how would you describe the type of actors that graduate from Maggie Flanigan Studio?
Actors that know how to work, and I mean that really in two different ways. One way is that you have a foundation and a set technique that you can apply for the rest of your career, and it can be for film, television, theater. It can be on different types of different genres, comedy, whatever it is, you have a way of approaching it and you have an understanding of how to bring that to life inside of yourself. Something we really train ourselves to do.
The other way that I mean they know how to work, is a work ethic. That’s something that I really learned and really resonated with me this first year is, learning in yourself what it takes to get where you need to for a script or a scene, whatever that is. I used to be the type of person who I’d work on a script and I’d sit back with my clock and three hours and bye. I just worked really hard. I just put three hours into my work. What I learned slowly over this year was, it’s not about the time you put in. It’s about the effort.
You can spend three hours on something, but I’ve learned you have to be honest with yourself and if you sat down with a goal or a problem that you needed to fix, something you needed to address, and if it’s not done at those three hours and you look up, you have that work ethic instilled in you that says, "Hey, I need to keep going until I figure this out." You have those two and you can put them together. It’s invaluable.
Well, after almost completing your first year of training, when you meet someone now who says they want to be an actor, what would you tell them?
The biggest thing was– sticks out to me the most about Maggie Flanigan is, here we train to be actors. The difference between that is that I’ve been to other studios and other studios you will learn to be an actor. The difference is, learning is up here. You understand it, but acting doesn’t come from up here, acting comes from inside and from your heart and your impulses. You need to train that in order to really have it come to life in you and to be embedded in you.
At Maggie Flanigan we train to be actors and we figure out what scares us and what makes us laugh, what makes us cry, what breaks our heart. The only way that you can really find those things and use them in your career is if you train and you work on them, and you really get those fundamentals down. I would say to anyone, really, just, you need to find a place where you can train to be an actor and not learn what it means to be an actor.
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