November 08, 2013
This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Acting Studio – New York and to celebrate, the studio is pleased to start it's 30th season with the inaugeration of its new, 1-year Acting For Film & Theatre Conservatory full time program.
The conservatory program started on October 7th, 2013. Students attend classes from 9:10 am till 4:40 pm with four classes Monday through Friday. For the first eight weeks, students are studying a wide range of subjects from basic stage combat to the Alexander technique and even taking lessons in singing. Of course, Meisner technique is the main focus and students have acting eight times through the five day week, studying with both studio director, James Price, and Angelo Berkowitz.
The program brings together students from all over the United States and a few foreign countries to study acting in the renowned Meisner technique in an intense full-time curriculum. Current conservatory student Collin Morris, 22, from Issaquah, WA says, “Learning the technique gives you easier access to your muse. Acting is so intuitive and Meisner has demonstrated that with some innate talent and a lot of dedication, you can develop that intuition into a vibrant craft.” In the class room, students are learning to trust their instincts and living truthfully in their work. What John-Ivan Moquete, 24, from Harlem, NY likes most about the classes is “The importance to work on your impulses, reinforcing that acting is doing and being truthful moment to moment.”
And while several of the students have prior performance experience in theatre, some have never acted before in their lives, but driven by a passion have committed themselves to learning the craft. Askhat Akylbayev, 24, from Kazkhstan, always wanted to be an actor, but didn’t know if it was possible in his home country, “When I came to New York I started seeing, the schools of acting, people in the street, and the Broadway shows, I thought to my self that dreams can become true.” Others got their start in the world of theatre in much different ways. “When I was in the army, I made a play about my experience. It was my epiphany,” says Jongman Kim, 36, from Seoul, South Korea.
Though we’re only a few weeks in, so far my fellow students and I are absolutely loving what the program has to offer. “Before studying Meisner, I never realized how much people use the technique in their everyday life without realizing it. Not only do I feel it has improved my acting skills, but also my interpersonal and conversational skills as well,” said Courtney White, 20, from Phoenix, AZ. Being in a smaller, manageable group and private setting, taking classes together full time has given many students a sense of comfort and safety. “I love studying the Meisner technique at The Acting Studio, Inc. – New York because it gives us an intimate environment where we can express ourselves freely and then get honest constructive criticism to add to our next exercise,” Adolpho Alvarado, 22, from Guayaquil, Ecuador said.
As a student in the conservatory myself, I find myself excited for everyday. Seeing the growth and changes in my peers in such a short time is inspiring. It makes it exciting to work knowing that anything can happen and that we are safe to make mistakes and challenge each other. Though at times it can be frustrating, already those frustrations have paid off. I feel more confident in my impulses and more grounded and present even outside of the classroom. If these are all signs of what’s to come, I say bring on the rest of the year! I’m ready for it!
by Sarah Sandorff (2013 conservatory student)
PS Tony Danza stopped by this week to say hello and said he will be back to "hangout" with us! ))