Bringing My Soul Forward
The Maggie Flanigan Meisner Intensive trains professional actors based on the work and teaching of Sanford Meisner.
Q: Tashima, what did you think training as an actor before you started the six-week Meisner intensive?
A: Well, to be very honest, I’m just going to discuss my introduction to the studio and that which my expectation was in coming to researching here for the summer. I looked at it would be an additional class I would take. I’d learn a little something, add it to my resume, and then move forward. That’s kind of how I looked coming to, studying at the studio, that is how I looked at my expertise. I’ll study a bit, I’ll add it to my resume and boom, I’ll be good.”
Q: What do you think celebrity training is now that you’re on your final week of this six-week program?
A: It has been, for me personally, incredibly life-changing. I’ve seen it allow me to grow up to my artistry, and I feel like coming into it, I had the esteem for acting as an art. I am an artist. I say,”I’m not only an actor, I am an artist.” I have had a profound esteem for artistry, but I really don’t believe I saw how deeply flawed I was in my opinion of my artwork and how I put constraints on what I did with my artwork.
I feel like being in the class using Charlie has been mind-blowing. It has influenced my personal life. I find myself hearing Charlie’s voice in my head when I’m out and around. If something is going on that I want to do, I am thinking, What’s more important, what this person is doing or what you need and want? It has helped me to be more clear about what I wanted in my life, and there is no turning back, I feel like now. It has completely altered how I view training.
Q: Was there something specific that happened over the course of the six weeks that changed your perspective about the training?
There were numerous minutes, not just for myself, but seeing other people work, but I will say there was one moment where I had been doing an action, and I used an extremely personal experience. I wept in a manner I’ve never wept in front of anybody. No one in my entire life, my family, friends that I am close to that I know has ever seen that part of me. I was choosing to use that as my motivation. It was something I’ve done privately by myself, but not in front of people.
For me, that feeling is quite addicting. It also it showed me that is what I need to share more as an actor. I want to expose more of my private moments. When I’m by myself, when I am my thoughts, when I’m at the car, anything that is, I want to flaunt that. I feel like that opened my eyes to what I have been a wall that has been up for myself. It has been like, I can be strong, and I’ll do this small part of myself but that private moment, feelings, and emotions that I talk about, I don’t want to share this.” I feel like that was the second where it opened up it for me, and I was like, Hey, just do anything you feel what’s real.
Q: What did you find out over the course of the six months which has been a surprise or that changed you?
A: That I had training. I came into it thinking,”Well, I’m going to do this class and I’m going to place it in my resume. I do not even need to move forward in anyway.” Just how much I had to unlearn and grow as an actor and how I’d psychological blocks in areas I wasn’t even conscious of. I feel like that was a big thing for me personally, but then also to be of myself and be real and authentic.
A: I will say I did take things away that were great from several other situations or experiences that I had since it could to where I am, but I sense before, I was playing at acting. I was not tried and right coming from my soul and my soul more. I really feel like being studying at Maggie and studying with Charlie has taught me how to bring my spirit forward, and it is not a thing that I’m playing at but being real and being authentic. I feel like that’s the gap, not being– also, about Charlie, is Charlie’s not trying to sugarcoat anything. He’s keeping it all the way real.
I even tell people that the thing he’s noticed about me and about things that I will do and how it materializes in class, I am not aware. He has been so on point and accurate in a manner that no other acting coach has performed with me before. I feel as this is where it is about the artistry, it is all about the craft. It is all about respecting it, and it is not about, Let us see what jobs you’re likely to book. Where’s your heart? Where’s your soul? Where is the atmosphere?”
Q: How can you describe Charlie as a teacher?
A: Well, he is rough. There were moments at first, as I had been getting to know him that he doesn’t even know that, but I was de ***** off at him. I could think in my head like, I’m going to walk out.” I’m telling myself, calming myself down and turning, I will walk out,” but I realized I want his teaching style. It is not likely to be about making you feel good, it’s likely to be about the fact, and at times, the truth hurts. It doesn’t always feel good. I feel like Charlie has a regard for the craft, respect for the art, and he is not about making people feel good. I’ve seen myself and people cry due to that.
Q: What would you say to somebody who had been considering signing up for the Meisner intensive next summer, but is stating, I don’t require the training. So is a famed actor and they did not do some training.” Or, I’m 24, I’m too old, or that I don’t have enough time. What would you say to that person?
A: We all need to grow. I hadn’t even at all touched my highest potential. I do not even feel like that I’ve attained that in six weeks. It’s been like grazing the surface of what I’m capable of doing. It’s well worth the investment; it’s worth the time. Who cares what anybody else is doing? What do you find yourself needing to do? What do you understand that you have to bring forth? What about yourself wants to shape and change?
If somebody’s even asking about it, then there is a part of you that knows you want it. Do not sell yourself short and think, No, I’m great because I have done that before.” I did this part with this, doing the summer intensive. It’s like, No, you need it. You have to grow” If you wish to be good at anything, it requires training.
Q: There are a lot of intensives all over the nation and lots of Meisner intensives in New York, so why do you tell somebody that Maggie Flanigan Studio is the ideal location for them to train?
A: Before coming here, I looked at some other areas. From what I’ve seen, from the folks who have studied this was a tried and true like, This is where you want to be.” I came into a movement functionality, it was their closing movement functionality, and that I was moved to tears. Not just because, Oh my gosh, these are great looking folks and they are great,” but each person’s soul has been infused into what they were doing.
I feel like studying at Maggie has shown me what everybody is. It sets a standard for every person in the class, professionally as far as artistically. I just have not experienced that anywhere else. I’m tough– What can it be such as a hard egg to crack? It’s the truth for me, and it has opened up me in so many different ways. I feel like there’s no other place for me.
Acting Programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio
To find out more about the acting programs at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, such as the Meisner Intensive, take a look at the acting programs and registration pages to the studio website. Interested students should speak to the studio during business hours to schedule an admissions interview. Call (917) 789-1599
This interview with Tashima Evans, first appeared on Youtube and here on the Maggie Flanigan Studio website: