About the studio and the Meisner Technique

Studio Tambour offers certain training and exercises that help you find your way to honesty, truthfulness and attentiveness. These exercises train you as an actor to be more authentic in your acting but it also trains everybody apart from his job to live life more enhanced.

Sanford Meisner

Sanford Meisner, (*1905 in Brooklyn, † 1997 in L.A.) was member and founder of the legendary Group Theater (Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler), based on the theories of Stanislawski, he developed his own Acting Technique, the Meisner Technique. The focus of the Meisner approach is for the actor to “get out of their head”, such that the actor is behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment. In the Meisner technique, there is a greater focus on the other actor as opposed to one’s internal thoughts or feelings associated to the character. Students work on a series of progressively complex exercises to develop an ability to first improvise, then to access an emotional life, and finally to bring the spontaneity of improvisation and the richness of personal response to textual work.

Empathy is the ability to read and understand the emotional world of another person. It is one of the most necessary abilities that an actor needs to be trained in. An actor needs to be trained in humanity, trained to have appetite for contact. This human instinct becomes less important in a society that is more and more based on self improvement and pressure to perform. But being able to listen to someone, is a basic thing that you should be able to do on stage. Having the interest to really get in contact with someone on stage is important for every form of collaboration, especially when it comes to the arts.

As actors we mostly have two major problems. First, because of the stress that we experience in front of a camera or an audience, a strange self-awareness prevails and with it a form of self control. Second, we are either to some extent unable to listen to our partners on stage or we are unable to understand them and to react to their actions. So, as actors we are familiar with the feeling that everything feels fake.

As directors we mostly have one major problem, after we are clear and settled with the story and idea that we want to tell, we often just don’t know how to make the actors transform their performance into good acting. We don’t know what to say or do to help them with their work.

What are we doing in real life as human beings?
We listen, we talk, we act, we react. Sounds easy. But the moment we are facing a camera everything suddenly feels very complicated and strange. In real life we are able to react to another person without thinking how to react. We simply react.

So, the question for us is, what can we do, so that our normal human ability to act and react works again although we have a camera or an audience in front of us? This is the moment where the Meisner Technique comes in. The technique gives you back your ability to work from your instincts not from your brain. It trains you to act and react impulsively, trust your inner instincts as a human being, so that you are able to be truthful, real or what is often called authentic.