Experience the Meisner Technique as taught by Meisner himself in the Sanford Meisner Master Acting Class.
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“The only way to deal with yourself as an actor is to follow the emotional truth of what you have to do under the imaginary circumstances. And as you develop you become confident. You come to believe in what you’re doing and trust it because it’s out of you.”
– Sanford Meisner
Sanford Meisner, also known as Sandy, was an American actor and acting teacher who developed an approach to acting instruction that is now known as the Meisner technique. This approach has been documented in detail in the Sanford Meisner Acting Class DVD.
How does Meisner’s approach differ from other acting techniques?
Meisner’s contemporary, Lee Strasberg developed the well-known method acting at the Group Theatre based on the use of affective memory recall to inform roles and scene dynamics. Meisner found Method acting to be unhealthy for a long-term career in acting because it often required a person to relive painful past experiences and focused on memories rather than the present moment. The Meisner approach differs greatly from Strasberg’s method in that Sandy, like Konstantin Stanislavski, completely abandoned the use of affective memory which is the basis of Method acting. Instead, Sandy’s teaching emphasizes placing attention on the reality of doing something real in each moment on stage.
“You can’t learn to act unless you’re criticized. If you tie that criticism to your childhood insecurities you’ll have a terrible time. Instead, you must take criticism objectively, pertaining it only to the work being done.”
– Sanford Meisner
Sandy also strongly urges all actors to learn their lines by rote- that is- without any inflection or emotion as if the lines were a phone number. Learning lines in a neutral manner prevents set tonal patterns in speech as well as setting emotional patterns in the play. This enables actors to be surprised by a scene even after weeks or years of performance. When we are able to avoid setting patterns in speech we are able to access a wider range of possible reactions and emotions which allows acting to forever be an adventurous discovery process.
“Transfer the point of concentration to some object outside of yourself – another person, a puzzle, a broken plate that you are gluing.”
– Sanford Meisner
The Meisner approach to acting creates a stronger connection between the actor and their partner. It also allows for each performance to be creatively different from one day to the next based on the chemistry of each moment. This “reality of doing,” is the foundation of the Meisner approach to acting and it not only teaches people how to act creatively and spontaneously on stage or in film, but also how to carry those skills in to daily life and deepen relationships with themselves and others.
Learn the craft of acting from one of the worlds most influential teachers. Shot by Sydney Pollock in 1970, the Sanford Meisner Master Acting Class DVD is essential viewing for film, TV and theatre actors and directors. Sanford Meisner teaches actors techniques for listening, placing full attention on their partner and releasing self consciousness. This Master Class also offers artists of all disciplines the opportunity to learn directly from one of the most important acting theorists and teachers of the 20th century.