Anyone that has gone up on the stage at Actorium, knows that there is more to a Meisner technique class than repeating what the person in front of you says. You are asked to not only respond fully and truthfully, but you are asked “to see” fully and truthfully. Each person that works across from you is unique. Each person has an effect on you and that effect is important. Open up to that effect and deepen your awareness of it.

Sit across from a rock and see how you feel. Then, place another rock in front of you and see how you feel. After doing that, try the same exercise with a human being. Sit across from someone and see how you feel. Now sit across from someone else and see how you feel. That’s what it means to be human. It’s very different than sitting in front of a rock.

Just like in a Meisner technique exercise, it’s important that the person who plays opposite you in a scene is a real person and not “a role” or an idea. They are very real and no matter what the script says, that real life human being is going to have an impact on you outside of everything the script says. If you ignore that truthful impact, or are unaware of it, you lose the spice of a human relationship.

A very good example is playing the role of two people in love.  If you, as the script says, are supposed to be in love with the person playing opposite you, but whenever that person walks on set, you cringe… you better use that energy! If you just try and ignore it, it will be a dead scene. But, if you are aware of how they make you feel and you work with the energy of those feelings – it will, in the end make the scene dynamic.

You can, right from the beginning of Foundations, start working with the interplay of you versus the other. Over time you discover that you always have very real, very honest reactions to people, almost instantaneously. The realization of your natural reactions in your work will serve to enliven it and make it more and more interesting, for you .. and then in turn for your audience.  At the same time, as you open up to these natural reactions that are a part of your self, and own them, you become more and more uniquely you.

– Michelle,