“Learning the Meisner Technique over the 1st Year was an incredible and invaluable experience. I entered it THINKING I was a good actor, but boy was I in for a treat. It forces you to be an honest, truthful performer and in order for that to happen you have to stop acting from an intellectual standpoint, and start acting from your heart; which is not something you can change over night. There is no faking to be done in this class, you can learn how to do that in many other classes taught in LA, and quite frankly, it’s not that hard to do. But if you want a challenge, if you want to become a powerful and memorable performer, you take this course. Because nothing strikes an audience member (or casting director) more than an artist being truthful and open and working from their heart. Here, I was taught to strengthen and work from my real, raw feelings. Which is both much more satisfying and fun for me, as well as the audience.
This is an incredible course and Ranjiv is an excellent teacher. The technique will not change you if it’s not taught properly, and Ranjiv approaches it with seriousness and respect for the important tool that it is. I truly do feel I’m a more relaxed and confident human being because of it. It required a lot more work than I was used to in other acting classes, but you don’t became a great actor by taking an easy course. These are the steps that push you above and beyond most actors out there. I highly recommend it if you want to become a serious actor.”
“When I first started with the five weeks Level 1 Intensive I thought I would be a well trained actor afterwards. And that acting, as a “God-given” talent, wouldn’t need much of a training anyway. Just pretend something. But Ranjiv Perera obviously used the Meisner Technique against me (or my ego), so I began to understand what Sanford Meisner said about acting as “ability”. So the good news is, you can learn and practice it to eventually get better. The bad news is, you will have to practice quite a bit and the challenges you and your fellow classmates will go through will make you want to run away (no refund, so I stayed ;-).
But when I first used the Meisner Technique outside class on set, it was really rewarding to see how I could affect other people. I realized it’s not about becoming someone else, but being bravely yourself. Today, I am proud I survived the first year, because giving up would have been easy. But if you don’t, if you stay persistent, The Meisner Technique and Ranjiv Perera’s ability to notice everything, will help you become a better actor, maybe even a better person. At least after an additional 20 years of training. In the meantime, you might have fun during (or in between classes) and find wonderful new friendships.”
Sanford Meisner Center has become part of my life, the route to school has become so familiar that I no longer need Google Maps. Seeing classmates and Ranjiv have become part of my routine, they have grown to be another family. The center has become my home, I feel comfortable here, and the coolest part is: I can just be ME, a full spectrum of me, and I won’t be judged.
Prior to becoming actor, I didn’t feel apt being who I am. I always felt a sense of inadequacy of my feelings and opinions. I was told by others that I am too opinionated, judgmental, dramatic and emotional. I feel too much on everything in life. And once I did get into acting, a place to fully express my feelings and opinions, I didn’t know how to maintain those emotional states consistently. The exercises we do in class are steadily building up my acting muscles, training me to again and again believe my own instincts and stop thinking. The training is actively pulling us away from intellectual thinking and going back to the most primal state, just like how every other species behave in real life: instinctual.
Aside from strengthening my acting ability, an important gift I got out of the training is : Me learning about me. Who am I as a person? What are my redeeming qualities? Where are my dark sides? What are my fears? What makes me angry? Why am I the way I am? It’s almost like stepping outside of my own consciousness and studying myself; to be more aware of who I am. This self-discovery journey is not only beneficial to me as an actress, but also as a human being. It is important for actors to become aware of our different facets in order to fully absorb the roles we portray.
Acting is healing, it not only heals my own emotional wounds, it also has the magic power to heal others as well. There is so much nonchalance going around that’s why the world feels so cold. This is a place to feel, to be alive and be YOU.
“I was taking UCB improv and overheard a few of my fellow classmates talk about the Meisner method and how it uses improv. This piqued my interest and is how I found the center. What initially appealed to me about the Meisner Center was that it was a curriculum-based learning experience with a commitment of 18 months. I have not taken another acting class of this magnitude―8 weeks was the maximum prior. I figured if nothing else I’ll get some good acting chops at the end of all this.
The experience I had over the first nine months was life changing. This course of study has literally set me on a new life path, one that I didn’t expect but nonetheless it’s my truth and I need to follow it. One of the most gratifying takeaways from my first year has to be understanding, for the first time, just how deep and complex acting actually can be. I also learned that it is hard work, dedication and skill, which can be cultivated, nourished and strengthened. This is most certainly the place to do just that.”
“Have you ever thought about the fact that all boundaries are conventions ?
“Well to start I must say that I am very grateful for the opportunity and the experience that I have received at this school. Because it completed and answered many of the questions that I had before about certain aspects of acting. Like how to do a play on months end and keep maintaining that emotional connection fresh and accurate.
For me this class was different from others because it involves the act of doing not just sitting in class and hearing how great the golden era of theater or cinema was. It involves opening up and discovering every corner of yourself without harming your state of mind. The class has given me the tools and confidence to get going in an industry that I didn’t really know from the inside coming from another country and all. To a non actor I would describe the Meisner technique as an experience that opens and unravels your creativity and mind in a way that might make it impossible to go back to who you were before; almost like doing acid. Just kidding you can edit that Ranjiv.”
“I knew that living emotionally truthful was essential to my art as an actor, but I had no idea what that truly meant until going through and experiencing everything I have in this one very short year at The Meisner Center. I cannot say that I completely understand what it means now, but I do have a firm grasp of it, and I am holding my breath to see where the second year will take me.
Fear of my emotional self has always been a part of me. As an actor, I would tend to emote feelings rather than truly feel them. I would ‘act’, but not believe. Through this first year, my fear is slowly being chipped away, allowing my true emotional self to begin to emerge fully and completely, letting others see me for who I am, and giving me the opportunity to feel with others and them to feel with me. I am learning what it means to have the opportunity to experience anything and everything, no matter where I am physically, because through belief and emotional truth, the two essential keys to a Meisner student, I can be anywhere and everywhere at any given moment. It is truly the greatest process of growth I have ever undergone.
This is not a school where actors go to be praised for their ‘talents’ and are told what they want to hear; nor is it taught by a teacher resentful of his students and therefore is angry and abusive toward his students. This is a place students go to hone their craft as an actor and become the best they can be. It is a place where teachers are not only passionate about what they do, but have studied not only the technique itself but how to teach it as well. It is a place where we, the students, are told what we need to hear and not what we want to. It is a school of growth. Sure, it is focused on the skills necessary to become an acting master, but it also teaches us what it means to feel, to care, and to focus. These are things we can use every single day of our mundane lives.”
I’m a proud first year Meisner graduate. I was led to the program due to seeing my clueless face on camera in an audition technique class. Though, the audition technique class was great, I realized I didn’t know what I was doing. After a few hours of Google research, I was led to Meisner. I realized I needed a strong foundation. And, that I found.
“After two years training at one of the top drama colleges in London, UK; and 5 years working in the profession, Ranjiv’s class totally transformed my work, turning my process on its head. I’ve sat in Ranjiv’s classes asking myself why my previous training didn’t teach me these basic skills and techniques in acting. I’m sure my tutors in London were trying, but none had the technical exercises and clear progression Meisner’s system offers that makes the simple skill of listening and responding to the other actors, while living truthfully in the imaginary circumstances second nature.
The first year program at the Sanford Meisner Center is both thorough and insightful. It is, by all accounts, the authentic and by the book Sanford Meisner technique taught by an instructor who really cares about teaching the work correctly. Ranjiv Perera is not only knowledgeable about the industry but excellent at pushing each student to his or her full potential. The first year in particular is an embracement of the fundamentals of acting; supplemented by constant repetition and practice until it becomes so subconscious that good work becomes not only natural but effortless for all who graduate. I highly recommend both this technique and this class to people who are not only looking to learn many new things but also to those looking to cement the fundamentals of acting into their minds for many years to come.
“Halfway up the mountain, and the class has helped me to explore myself not only as an actor, but as a person.
Knowing what makes me tick, accepting it for what it is, and letting this add extra colors to my work is one of the best gifts that the technique has given me so far.
I look forward to the rest of the journey!”
“I would recommend anything from the Level 1 intensive to the full 2 Year Program to any actor who wants to pressure test their commitment to an acting career. Living in New Jersey, I came to LA looking to immerse myself in the industry, work on my craft with fellow actors who were also intensely dedicated to their work, and study under an instructor that pushed me to and past my limits. My time with The Sanford Meisner Center changed my life. This program met my expectations, and then went beyond anything I could have imagined, and it wouldn’t have happened with the technique alone. Ranjiv is the most influential instructor I’ve ever had because of how he fully invests himself in his students. This technique will change you, but it’s Ranjiv that will push you, test you, and catch you when you fall.”
“I must say, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned things about myself I never took note of. Not only myself, but also the people we deal with on a daily basis. You really can’t compare it to your normal acting workshop, where actors can’t wait to get stage time and try to impress the room. Here at The Meisner Center, it’s all about doing the work, and not about you. The Meisner Technique has changed my whole outlook on life. I care about the world and the person in front me now, more than ever before. My confidence as an actor has grown, knowing I possess the power to live truthfully on stage or in front of the camera.
“The first year Meisner Program has been inexplicably wonderful and challenging. It’s hard to express to an non-actor what the experience is like, but I can tell you some of what I’ve learned: I learned to stop overthinking, I learned to lower my defenses, shed my ego, and to truly listen more than I ever had to before. I applied each step of the learned technique to the point where the idea of ‘performing well’ stopped coming to mind. No more performance anxiety, no more over-thinking, it was all about living the circumstance you were given truthfully and with all that you had, moment to moment. You might think you know what I’m talking about, but I promise, you can’t 100% know unless you’ve lived through and experienced this class :)! You must experience it. For life both in front of the camera and behind it, this class and those involved are responsible for some of the most powerful and meaningful professional and personal growth I’ve had in my adult life.
By the end of it, it really does feel like a family and a powerful network of support from not only your classmates, but all those outside of class that have also been “Meisner’d”. I love it and my mentality about and approach to living and expressing my art will never be the same. Onward and Upward! ”
“The Meisner Technique taught me to believe everything I imagine. It’s real.”