Questions for a potential Meisner Teacher

Who you work with… 

…is just as important as what technique you choose to study. Every teacher is different. But a properly trained Meisner teacher will answer the following questions without hesitation or uncertainty:

Where and with whom did you study the Meisner technique as a student?

It goes without saying, any teacher should have already been a student. But with whom and how they studied the technique is important. Did they complete the full 2-year program? Did they study part of the program with one teacher and complete it with a different teacher? How long ago did they study and complete the program as a student? Did they have the opportunity to study with Sanford Meisner himself? And if so, was it the full program? An Intensive?

Who teacher trained you in the Meisner Technique?

This is critically important. Just because someone completed the program as a student, does not qualify them to train others in the Meisner Technique.
Ask any potential teacher, who trained them to teach the technique? How were they trained and for how long did this training last? Did they observe and work under one trainer, or many different teachers during this training period? What generation are they removed from Sanford Meisner himself? Meaning, are they 1st generation, and were trained by Meisner himself? 2nd generation, which means they were trained by someone who was trained by Sandy? 3rd generation? 4th? …5th?

What have you added or changed to the technique from how you were taught? Is it different than what Sanford Meisner taught?

Here again, is a critical question. Many Meisner schools have added to or altered the program. Most 3rd or 4th generation teachers won’t be able to detail the differences. But many 2nd generation teachers should know if their training deviated from what Sanford Meisner created and taught. If you’ve already read “Sanford Meisner on Acting” you can ask for any differences compared to what you’ve read in the book. In particular, the order that the exercises are introduced and taught, and the scenes used in the book.