Sanford Meisner on Acting

Topics: Meisner technique, Want, Method acting Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: March 9, 2012
Name: Doris Wei Lin Tan
Class: Beginner, Mon, Wed 3-6pm
Book : Sanford Meisner On Acting
Author: Sanford Meisner
Pages read : 1-85

Note: I have read this book once before I started this acting class but now I am reading it again.

One of the mottos in Meisner acting technique is to be specific. I suppose one has to be specific so that the behaviour that comes out of him is true and not wishy washy. This will be a difficult habit for me to break as in life I am not often specific. This is because I want to give myself some leeway or I do not want to offend someone. Or simply I do not want to make take a specific stand on something in order to make life easier for myself or for others.

When Meisner first started his career in acting, his father actually wanted him to have a career in clothing manufacturing. But he persisted in pursuing his dream. I wished I have done that too. But I did the “right” thing which is to pursue a degree, then an MBA, career in banking and finance. However, it is never too late to start pursuing your dream. I am glad I am giving acting a shot now. Who knows where it will take me? But I definitely do not want to wake up one day when I am sixty years old, wished that I had tried acting and regretted that I never gave myself the chance to try acting. That is the main driving force for me to try acting because I want to live without regrets.

Meisner’s definition of good acting is to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. He stressed the importance of stretching our imagination. I have been conditioned by society and school to be sensible and not be frivolous. So, I need to really allow myself to fantasize like a child again.

Meisner also said that acting is an art not a science. That acting should come from our instincts and impulses and not from our heads. After so many years of academic study, it is not easy for me not to think with my head. We have so often been conditioned to think before we speak or think...
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