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What is the Meisner Technique?

“Act before you think”

– Sanford Meisner

The Meisner technique is regarded as theatre’s best kept secret. It is an approach to acting which was developed by the American theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner. The focus of the Meisner Technique is for the actor to “get out of their head” such that the actor is behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment honestly and truthfully under the imaginary circumstance.

Actors who have studied this technique include:

  • Jeff Goldblum
  • Alison Janney
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Tom Hardy
  • Diane Keaton
  • Kathy Bates
  • Jack Nicholson

FAQ’s

WHAT & WHEN & WHERE

What courses do you offer and when do they start?

We currently offer four courses:

The Ongoing Training Course is 18-22 months of weekly 2–3 hour classes. The next intake is planned for Autumn 2024. Class will run on a Sunday afternoon in Liverpool Street at 3pm. Start date TBC.

The Drop-In Classes are currently running weekly and are 1-1.5 hours long.

We also offer a short 4-month intensive online course of weekly 3 hour classes. Please get in contact to find out the date of the next intake.

The 10-day intensive course is offered through The National Film and Television School - please contact NFTS directly to find out the dates of the next course.

What’s the difference between the Ongoing Training and the Drop-In Classes?

It all comes down to what actors are looking for in terms of their training. Some actors are looking for more of an open gym where they can attend sporadic classes to tweak their craft and explore new approaches. In this case, the Drop-In classes would suit.

Other actors are looking to work on themselves and get out of their head and elevate their craft. In this case, the Ongoing Training would suit.

Please note: If students are looking to study the entirety of the Meisner Technique, then the Ongoing Training is more suitable.

Where are the classes held?

Our Ongoing Training studios are located in Central London, North London and Richmond. Our Drop-In Centre is located in Tottenham Court Road.

The Ongoing Training Course:
We are located at Mixing Networks E16DY | Map
and the Fourth Monkey Acting Academy, 97-101 Seven Sisters road, London N77QT | Map

Drop-In Classes:
4 Percy Street, Fitzrovia W1T1DF | Map

When are the classes held?

The Ongoing Training Classes:  Classes run once a week and are between 2-3 hours long. Classes run on weekday evenings and weekends.
Please note: The next Beginner’s Meisner Technique class intake is planned for Autumn 2024. Class will be held on a Sunday afternoons from 3.00pm. Start date TBC.

Drop-In Classes: The classes are currently held on Monday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. Please see the timetable available here or on our Instagram page under the ‘Book Now’ button.

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How big are the classes?

Drop-In Repetition Introductory/Beginner/Advanced: 10
Ongoing Training: Approx. class size starts around 20 students to ensure the longevity of training and a well rounded experience.

How do I join the Ongoing Training and why do I need to book an Application Interview?

We’re firm believers that every actor needs to find the right classroom, the right teacher and the right methodology and that’s why we like to chat to students who are interested in the Ongoing Training.
An Application Interview isn't so much of an interview but more a quick chat where we can find out a bit about you and you can find out more about us. Please book an Application Interview on our Contact Page .

How do I join the Drop-In classes?

Just visit the booking portal or go to our Instagram profile and click the 'Book Now' button.
Please note: Application Interviews are
not needed for Drop-In classes.

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Can I do both?

Sure!

DURATION & COST

How much are the classes?

We don’t believe in locking actors into anything, so if you find this isn’t the right place for you then you can leave whenever you like, and you’ll never be out of pocket.

Ongoing Training:These classes are 2-3 hours and are £29.00 per class. Students pay for their Ongoing Training in ten week instalments. What that means is every ten weeks students pay £290.00 in class fees for the next ten weeks of lessons and then after that, the next payment of £290.00 is due and so on throughout their training. Please note this is not a ten week course, it is simply a rolling payment instalment.

Drop-In Classes: These classes are offered on as pay-as-you-go basis.
Repetition Introductory/Basic/Advanced: £19.00

How long are the classes?

Drop-In Repetition introductory/ Beginner/ Advanced : 1.5hr
Ongoing Training: 2-3hr

How long does it take to learn the whole Meisner Technique?

In LA, the rule is ‘If you’re not working, you’re in class’.

Sanford Meisner designed the technique to be taught over a certain period and repetitiously. Learning the entire technique takes between 18 - 22 months of weekly 2-3 hour classes.

After the technique training all graduate students are offered to move into Masterclass which is a weekly 2-3 hour open script workshop class that covers monologues, improv. and scene work.

Can I drop in and out of the Ongoing Training?

We will never make actors choose between work and coming to class.
If you land work, take the work!
But other than that, if class is on, we expect you in class.

Do I stay in the same class as I progress through the technique?

In the Ongoing Training, the class you start with is the class you will graduate with.

Do I get anything when I finish my Ongoing Training?

You will receive a certificate of completion.

WHO & HOW

Is there an age limit on training?

For both Ongoing Training and Drop-In classes, students must be aged 19+

Do I have to be an experienced actor to join?

The ethos of The London Meisner Company is one of supportiveness.

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran or somewhere in between, we have a class for you to work with you at your skill level.

Do I need to audition?

Auditions are not required.

Students interested in the Ongoing Training will be required to attend a quick Application Interview.

Students interested in Drop-In classes can just book their class directly on either the booking portal or our Instagram page.

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How do I book an Application Interview?

Please go to our Contact Page and use the online calendar to book in a time and date that suits you.

What does the Application Interview entail?

The interview is non-pressure meet and greet where we get to find out about you and where you want to go career wise and how Meisner can help.

I’ve done Meisner before. What can you offer me?

If you’ve studied the technique thoroughly before then please get in contact with us and we can discuss what level may suit you.

Who runs the classes?

Drop-In Repetition and Advanced Technique: Craig McKenzie
Craig leads these repetition classes after completing 3 years of training with The London Meisner Company and completing his degree at Guildford School of Acting. His acting credits include Doctor Who and Ding Ding Next. He has taught the Meisner Technique at The London Meisner Company, The National Film and Television School and East15 Drama School. He also teaches The London Meisner Company’s Online 4-month Intensive.
Learn more about Craig

Drop-In Beginner Repetition: Arno van Zelst
After studying linguistics and cognitive neurosciences, Arno studied at the Meisner Toneelacademie in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. He was taught by Paul Dekker, who was the first to teach Meisner in Europe. Arno has performed in a large variety of projects, including straight theatre, opera, musical, voiceover, and film. He’s passionate about the Meisner technique and what it can bring to a performer, and has taught it both in the UK and abroad.
Learn more about Arno

Ongoing Training: Robyn Paterson
Robyn teaches the Ongoing Training studio classes. She has worked as a professional actress for over 20 years. Her credits include Shortland Street, Go Girls, The Almighty Johnson’s, ANZAC girls, Power Rangers, The Blue Roase and The Generation of Z. She founded The London Meisner Company after graduating from drama school and then studying with Sanford Meisner graduate Michael Saccente and then at The Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theatre in NYC, USA.

Graduates of the Ongoing Training studio can be seen in shows like Derry Girls, The Peripheral, Slow Horses, Bridgerton, The Crown, The Lion King, Doctors, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Peaky Blinders to name a few.
Learn more about Robyn

Robyn Paterson Founder and Sole Director of The London Meisner Company

Founder and Sole Director

Robyn Paterson Founder and Sole Director of The London Meisner Company

About

Robyn Paterson started acting professionally at 14 years old and graduated from the Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland, New Zealand in 2009. She then studied under famed Sanford Meisner graduate Michael Saccente in Auckland for three years and then continued her studies at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, otherwise known as the Meisner School, in New York, USA.

Recent Teaching

In 2013 she moved to Sydney Australia and taught classes at The Sydney Drama School and Point Break Drama School while acting professionally in film and television. In 2014 she moved to London where as well as acting on the West End, she began to teach the Meisner Technique.

In the UK she has taught the Meisner Technique at East 15 Drama School, Mountview, The London Actors Guild, Italia Conti Academy, Drama Studio London, Fourth Monkey Acting Academy and The National Film and Television School. In 2020 she started NFTS's first ever two week 'Acting for Screen' course in its 47 year history which she still runs today. Robyn also annually teaches her Acting for Screen two week intensive at the Oxbelly Institution in Athens, Greece.

In New Zealand she has lectured at Waikato University and The Actors Programme and has had been approached to lecture at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Australia. She has previously worked with Talent Scouts NZ as a scout, Barefoot Casting Agency as a casting assistant and as an assistant producer with Nomad Post Production House in London. 

She is also a frequent lecturer on Meisner at Roehampton university, Winchester university, Kingston university, East London university and Royal Holloway university in both the Acting and Directing departments as well as teaching On Screen Acting at London Southbank university.

Robyn is currently one of a handful of coaches located in London who has studied at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, as well as with teachers trained by Sanford Meisner.

New York | 2011

Robyn Paterson at The Neighborhood Playhouse, New York.
Group of students in Australia at A Meisner Class

Australia | 2018

20 young students from Townsville Grammar School in Queensland, Australia enjoyed an intensive day workshop with The London Meisner Company.
Group of students in Australia at A Meisner Class

The National Film and Television School | 2020-2024

In its nearly 50 year history, The National Film and Television School ran its first ever Acting for Screen course curated and headed up by Robyn Paterson.
The two week acting for screen intensive is now a staple of the short course curriculum and runs once a year.
Happy students in class at The London Meisner Company

Athens | 2022-2024

Oxbelly Institution in Athens, Greece ran a two week Acting for Screen Intensive intensive headed up and curated by Robyn Paterson. It will run again in 2024.