Has anyone studied Meisner with Elizabeth Mestnik or at the Baron & Brown studio?? If so could you offer some feedback on how you like either or. Cheers!
Both are great programs and most of the teachers there either got to study with Sandy, himself, as well as with Bill Esper, who's one of the top Meisner disciples alive.
There are also Alderson and Ruskin who teach traditional programs as well.
Just make sure you can commit to class 2 times a week for 2 years.
William Alderson taught alongside Esper and Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse and Alderson later took over running the Playhouse when Meisner was sick. Both are great teachers. Ruskin was an apprentice to Meisner and may not have completed the full two years of training under Mesiner, rumor has it. After speaking with a respected colleague who studied with Ruskin, it seems his teaching plan leaves some holes and Ruskin does not teach every class himself. Alderson, however, teaches every class personally, and most of the Artistic Staff at The Neighborhood Playhouse are his students.
Alderson is old school, but even Jon Voight, whom I have met, credits William Alderson as the best teacher of Meisner. Yes, I am biased. I was Alderson's assistant and did the two year program. Old school, but boy what great training!
Elizabeth is a student of Esper. So from her you get Meisner 3rd generation. With Esper and Alderson you get it right from Meisner.
Any thoughts on Elizabeth's summer meisner intensive?
If you take it, does it allow you to start later in the first year?
I went to Baron Brown Studio. It was a good experience for me....I really liked it.
Cool. Thanks for the feedback folks. I'll take a deeper look into Alderson's two year program as well.
I'm not totally sure, but I think that is just intended to be an intro so you can give it a try to see if you want to continue in the two year professional program and so she can decide if she thinks you would be right for it. While I am not sure which ones do what, it looks like she teaches the two year program like Meisner and Esper in that there are two small classes that start each fall that combine into one in the second year instead of having rolling admissions like some of the others. The teacher needs to be sure she is getting committed people when it's done that way. Maybe it's just me having always been trained as part of an ensemble, but I think it would be weird to be in a class where everybody was doing different parts of the first year simultaneously.
I got curious about who the real Meisner teachers out here are, did some research and found this interview with John Ruskin where he talks about the technique and how he came to be qualified to teach it. He says he studied the second year privately with Sandy and Richard Pinter. He was later asked to apprentice with Sandy to learn how to teach it when he was in Bequia.
Another first generation teacher that never gets mentioned on here is Martin Barter at the Sanford Meisner Center. It must be because has some terrible Yelp reviews with people saying he is abusive. However, what you have to ask yourself about that is whether or not they came from people that just got their noses bent out of joint because he wouldn't tell them they were good when they weren't. I would at least interview with him if I were in the market for a Meisner teacher.
I think we should play "Whose Meisner Teacher is Bigger." I say mine rules because she got to slap Tom Cruise and tell him to not say penis in the house in an Oliver Stone film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUk8bJJg8Kg haha jk
I would pay double for that kind of teacher! If anybody has trained with him, it would be great to hear something about his classes.
I'm currently in the middle of my 1st year at Elizabeth Mestnik's studio. I also took the summer intensive before I started in the fall.
Elizabeth's class is fantastic! I would highly recommend it to just about anyone who's interested in acting professionally. She teaches it in a very authentic way, and she demands a lot more out of her students than what I've read about in other classes (even, I dare say, what I've read from Sandy's and Bill Esper's classes). To me, this is a good thing -- she's really good at getting more details, more nuances, and giving us the tools to get through more obstacles.
The other teachers at the studio are also great, especially Jordanna; so no matter who ends up teaching your class more often, you'll get quality training.
The summer intensive is a great way to see if you'd like it or not. It's not that much extra money, and although it consists of basically the first month and half of the year-long program, it's not a "waste" of your time/money. Everyone I know that took the summer intensive then went on to the year-long program loved having that extra bit of familiarity with her methods.
Another great thing that she does is pair up 1st year students with students who are in the middle of their second year, or who have already completed the program, in a sort of "big brother/big sister" guidance thing. It's not a part of the class at all, just a support network. It's very nice to have that...not to mention, pretty much all of the students that I've met from this program have been really supportive of each other. It's a great environment.
I'm definitely going to continue through to complete 2 years with her (if circumstances allow)!
Richard Pinter, who teaches at The Neighborhood Playhouse, was taught by William Alderson. It's in his bio on The Neighborhood Playhouse website.
Unfortunately, the only person in LA who was trained by Meisner, hand-picked by Meisner as a student to teach at The Playhouse (Alderson Taught at The Playhouse for 22 years) and who taught ALONGSIDE Meisner is William Alderson and also Bill Esper in NYC.
Everyone else (I don't know anything about Mr. Barter) is not as qualified as far as I am concerned.
amo37, I remember you saying who you trained with for 2 years but I apologize, I forgot. Could you remind me, was it Alderson that you stayed under for 2 years?
Scroll up several posts and there's your answer.
Oh I missed that one. Thanks.
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