Acting Classes Austin TX
When it comes to Acting Classes the Maggie Flanigan Studio is highly respected and considered by many to be the studio where serious actors receive the best professional training. The studio was created to provide a unique conservatory based acting program for talented young artists to receive the highest quality Meisner technique instruction and Meisner training. As an acting studio, we are committed to the belief that acting, at its best, is a creative art. However, excellence can only be achieved through mastery of the actor’s craft.
Since 2001, the Studio has grown into a community of dedicated and talented teachers along with serious actors working together in a challenging and supportive professional environment. More generally the Studio has also become a magnet for talented theater artists, playwrights, cinematographers, working actors, graduates and directors interested in Meisner work, Meisner acting and Meisner acting classes.
Professional Acting Classes Austin for Committed Actors
Maggie Flanigan is considered, by many professional artists in the film and theater community, to have a brilliant eye for an actor’s process and to be the clearest teacher of the Meisner technique. In fact, Maggie and the entire staff at the studio are considered to be the top acting teachers and acting coaches in the country.
During the past ten years, Maggie has chosen and nurtured a highly professional faculty that understands the Meisner work deeply and can teach it with clarity and inspiration. Each faculty member possesses the clarity in teaching that the Meisner work demands and that Maggie inspires. All the teachers have a solid sense of truth and a passion for training actors. Because acting is hard enough as it is; we believe it is vital to provide students with faculty who can clarify all the fundamental issues of acting. Led by Maggie’s insight and commitment to hands-on, integrated training, all our teachers speak the same language and confer frequently about the progress of each student.
Acting Classes Austin: The Core Classes
Our studio is rooted in the belief that a rigorous and inspiring conservatory-based training program should remain small, intimate, and nurturing while challenging students to meet the highest professional expectations. the Maggie Flanigan Studio has assembled an exceptional faculty with the experience and integrity to carry Maggie’s vision and high standards to a new generation of aspiring artists. Our conservatory program has one goal: to produce a complete artist; actors who possess the skill, craft, and education necessary to work well into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. We accomplish this with a curriculum that goes beyond the acting class. Movement, Voice & Speech, Theater History, Film History, Anatomy For Actors, Script Analysis, Film & TV, Monologue, Shakespeare, and Cold Reading develop actors who can compete with those graduating from the top MFA programs in the country.
Meisner Acting Classes
The core acting classes at the studio are comprised of two years of professional training based on the work of Sanford Meisner and the Meisner technique. The goal of the first year of the Meisner training is to develop a truthful acting instrument, where all fundamentals of the art form are second nature to the actor. Beginning with a simple repetition exercise, Meisner’s brilliant technique, when taught properly, evolves over nine months into a very deep, rich, and sophisticated, improvisational exercise. Untrained actors are bad and not respected professionally for a number of reasons: their attention is on themselves, they wait for their cues, cannot respond spontaneously from moment to moment, think squeezing out emotion is a good thing, are riddled with physical and vocal tension, indicate behavior, don’t listen, and can’t craft. Meisner’s first year solves these problems along with many others.
If the first year is laying the foundation, the second year is building the house. Now that the fundamentals are in place, we begin to look at the character and script interpretation. The first-year teaches, among other things, how an actor finds their own spontaneous, personal, and emotional line of a scene. But what does an actor do when their straight response does not fit the character? The second year is about learning the tools to organically shift an actor’s impulses to fit the character and the script.
Students begin the year learning how to craft a point of view that is not their own. This is the beginning of character work. We also spend time on impediments. Actors need to be able to craft drugs and pain. Learning how to do a flawless drunk along with various pain impediments is very important. It will come up many times in an actor’s career.
Movement Classes for Actors
Movement training at the studio focuses on releasing the constrictions of the actor’s body and freeing the actor’s emotional life. In order to process the particularly emotional demands placed upon actors, it is imperative that their bodies be released, responsive, and free. Though helpful at any stage of training, the correlation between what happens in Level 1 of movement and the work of the first year actor is significant. Using the fundamentals of the Williamson Technique, this class functions as a physical guide to help begin to identify your own unique habits of tension and to begin to let go of extraneous physical behavior. In doing so, the actor will become less physically cluttered and more capable of creating expansive, unapologetic behavior with ease.
Special care is given to creating a safe and nurturing environment where actors can begin to give themselves permission to move away from pedestrian, socialized behavior and to embody a more authentic and unbridled state of expression. Acting is a collaborative art, and a lot of an actor’s deals with human contact, and Level 1 students are consistently challenged to be physically released during simple, truthful exchanges with their ensemble. Students will learn the foundation of the Williamson Technique, the open choreography. They will also gain basic alignment and release vocabulary and learn exercises that will be immediately applicable in their acting work and training. Students will begin to understand themselves and their bodies in a vivid, authentic way.
Voice and Speech Classes for Actors
Voice and Speech classes at the studio are dedicated to the voice and speech development necessary for any serious actor, and is based on the brilliant vocal training created by the world’s foremost voice teacher Kristin Linklater.
Work in this class follows the Linklater approach to voice, wherein the actor nurtures an ongoing curiosity about their vocal instrument, which is inseparable from the person behind it. The work begins with identifying and releasing physical tension that can inhibit a spontaneous connection to the voice. Through a physical release, the breath moves deeper into the body. When this happens, the voice follows, and with it a deeper personal connection.
Special attention in Voice I is paid to common areas of tension that can act as sensors to authentic communication: the tongue, the jaw, the soft palate, and the throat. This allows the student to isolate resonating chambers in the body, which strengthens the corresponding parts of the speaking voice. By the end of the course, students will have a full physical/vocal warm-up to use in preparation for rehearsals, auditions, and performance, invaluable for working actors who know how important it is to keep their instrument in excellent shape.
Meisner Summer Intensive
For most students, professional training at the studio begins with the six-week Meisner Summer Intensive. Actors who are seriously interested in becoming exceptional actors, and are trying to discover what true professional actor training is, then this six-week Meisner summer intensive will answer many questions. Understand that acting cannot be learned in any six-week program, in Austin or any other city. It takes two to three years of immersive training. An excellent summer intensive will leave you with a true understanding of acting as an art form, the importance of artistry and hard work, a real understanding of what professional training and a serious studio is, and a deeper appreciation for the fundamentals of listening, crafting, and spontaneity with text.
Most students have misconceptions about acting based on the film, TV, and theater they have consumed. Bad habits form: line readings, adjusting to the text, waiting for your cues, not going from unanticipated moment to unanticipated moment, or subverting your inner life to fit a line. These are marks of a hack actor. You will discover how to use your instincts and your spontaneous organic impulses to truly improvise with freedom and authenticity. It is the beginning of becoming an actor who works in a truly original and vivid way; an artist dedicated to the craft.
The summer program was created to provide currently enrolled, or those who have completed their undergraduate degree with an understanding about the real professional training necessary to be a serious actor and artist. In our Meisner Summer Intensive, the student-actor will come away knowing what professional actor training is, why the Meisner Technique is the healthiest, most creative way to train organic actors.
How To Apply for Admission to the Studio
Admission to the studio is based on an interview with the Executive Director and Head of Acting, Charlie Sandlan. To learn more about the professional trying and acting classes we prove for students and actors from the Austin area, contact the studio directly by calling 512-960-1620.
Our Meisner Studio provides professional acting classes Austin for students and actors from all areas of Austin including: Austin, Del Valle, Manor, Pflugerville, Manchaca, Mc Neil, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Buda, Leander, Cedar Creek, Hutto, Spicewood, Kyle, Dripping Springs, Driftwood, Elgin, Coupland, Georgetown, Weir, Taylor, Dale, Bastrop, Walburg, Maxwell, Liberty Hill, Lockhart, Wimberley, Mc Dade, Red Rock, San Marcos, Martindale, Granger, Thrall, Schwertner, Bertram, Jarrell, Staples, Fischer, Florence, Marble Falls, Bartlett, Thorndale, Rosanky, Smithville, Canyon Lake, Davilla, Burnet
Learn more about the acting classes and programs at the studio.