Why is The Impulse Company's Approach to Meisner different?

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Perhaps you’ve done some repetition in an acting class but it was out of context? Or maybe you trained in the technique elsewhere? The classes may resemble each other, but often the style and rules around the technique of repetition are different. The only true expert in the Meisner Technique was Sanford Meisner and he died over 20 years ago.

Since Meisner began teaching, many other teachers have followed. Each will teach through their own filter and in most cases, adding to the work in ways that they feel would benefit.

Our Artistic Director, Scott Williams, trained with Sanford Meisner in the 1970’s at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. He has spent the last 40 years teaching the work, during which time he has distilled the process down to 5 exercises.

Scott has gone in the opposite way of many, and distilled the work down to a series of 5 exercises that specifically train the actor to be truthful, impulsive, confident and engaging.

Repetition is the foundation of our work and we don’t come close to analysis until Module 3.

Our repetition training stays strictly away from what we call “secondary calls”, also known as the “provocative call”, where you take a guess at your partners internal emotional state, for example: “you’re angry with me” or “you’re confused”.

IN OUR WORK, WE DON’T CALL EMOTIONS. WE CALL BEHAVIOUR. WHY? BECAUSE BEHAVIOUR IS BY DEFINITION, MOMENTARY AND AN ABSOLUTE TRUTH. NO GUESS, NO JUDGEMENT, NO SPECULATION, NO OPINION.

I also believe it is this non-judgemental value in our technique that makes our classes at Impulse unique, enjoyable and free of ego. The specificity of the technique is discovered through our classes.

Our training is split into 3 Modules;

1. Living Truthfully -  Foundational Repetition

2. Given Circumstances – Independent Activity and Preparation

3. A State of Aliveness – Meisner and text

Here’s what we DO teach:

The 5 elements to the technique;

Repetition

Independent Activity

Preparation

Breaking the back of the scene

Text Analysis

Here’s what we don’t teach:

The 4th Wall

Objectives

Improvisation

Character work

Research

Substitution

Magic As if's

We blow many traditional acting truths out of the water and lovingly call them “Sacred Cows”. Keep an eye on our blog as we talk about the Sacred Cows in relation to our work and why we don’t adhere to old-paradigm acting ideas and notions.

If you’re curious about training with us, visit the calendar page or get in touch on info@impulsecompanyaustralia.com