THE MEISNER APPROACH

Over the past fifteen years, Meisner acting training has become the most sought after acting technique training in the country -- probably in the world.  To those of us who have been teaching the work for decades, it's no surprise.  Meisner has stood the test of time and continues to be the most relevant and important training an actor can receive (regardless of what the "quick fix" shops may claim).  The problem is that now everyone wants in on the action and so everyone claims to teach it.  Buyer beware!  If you're not studying with a master, you could be getting training that isn't even Meisner.

Rest assured that if you study with 25-year veteran Wendy Ward, you're going to get a quality of Meisner training that simply isn't available elsewhere.  You may have taken what was billed as a Meisner class or workshop but you will be surprised at how Wendy raises the bar and how much more there is to the technique than what you originally thought.  Frankly, you'll realize you really haven't studied Meisner until you've studied with her.

This training is making me the kind of actor I admire — one that takes risks, is vulnerable, honest, a team player and unconditionally present.
— Sara Kaufman

What is Meisner Training anyway?

That takes quite some time to answer, and we're happy to discuss that in your interview.  In short, Meisner has nothing to do with sense memory or other aspects of "the Method" although it too is based on Stanislavski's theories about acting.  It has to do with taking on the imaginary circumstances in such a way that you are not pretending to be a character or trying to imitate natural life but actually living under the imaginary circumstances of the script in a truthful and emotionally honest way.  We emphasize using instinct over intellect, and, while you will learn to work within a director's concept, we simply don't spend as much time talking about the acting as we do actually doing it.

We refer you to Sanford Meisner's book On Acting or the history of The Group Theater as related by Harold Clurman in his book The Fervent Years for more.

Meisner helps you maintain your self-respect. Don’t get distracted by other actors and how they have trained. You’re always going to come across actors who are incredibly self-conscious. Meisner helps you let go of that kind of thinking. It stops you from being judgmental. You learn quickly what a leveler the Meisner Approach is. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You can be someone who has been doing professional film work for twenty years and be in class with someone who has never done acting work. You’ll go through the same course and you’ll find out very quickly how very equal we all are and never know from one class to the next who’s going to have one of those days where everything works and everything falls into place or who’s going to have one of those days that nothing is working no matter how much experience you’ve had.
— Petra Glieson