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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 approach is for the actor to “get out of their head”, such that the actor is behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment and becoming honest and truthful in performance.

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 entails between 18-22 months of weekly 2–3 hour classes. The next intake is planned for February 2023.

The Drop-In Classes will be available from 16th January 2023 and are 1-3 hours per week.

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 by learning the entirety of the Meisner Technique. In this case, the Ongoing Training would suit.

Please note: the Drop-In Repetition classes focus solely on one component of the Meisner Technique, so if students are looking to study the entirety of the Meisner Technique then the Ongoing Training would be more suitable.

Where are the classes held?

All our classes are held in studios in London.

The Ongoing Training Course: Ormond St, Richmond, TW106TH | Map
Drop-In Classes:
4 Percy Street, Fitzrovia W1T1DF | Map

When are the classes held?

The Ongoing Training Classes: The classes are held Monday-Friday mornings and evenings. Please note: The next Beginner’s Meisner Technique class intake is planned for February 2023.

Drop-In Classes: The classes are currently held on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 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 Basic/Advanced: 10
Drop-In Yoga for Actors and Dancers: 8
Drop-In Acting Through Song: 8
Drop-In Two Day Acting for Screen Intensive: 10
Ongoing Training: Approx 14-20 to ensure longevity of training

How do I join the Ongoing Training?

We’re firm believers that every actor needs to find the right classroom, the right teacher, and the right methodology.

That’s why we like to chat to students who are interested in Ongoing Training. Please book an Application Interview on our Contact Page so we can have a quick chat and we can book you into the class.

How do I join the Drop-In classes?

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 £28.00 per class. Students pay for their Ongoing Training in five-week instalments. What that means is every five weeks students pay £140.00 in class fees for the next five weeks of lessons, and then after that, the next payment of £140.00 is due and so on throughout their training.
Please note this is not a five-week course, it is simply a rolling payment instalment.


Drop-In Classes: These classes are offered on as pay-as-you-go basis.
Repetition Basic/Advanced: £19
Yoga for Actors and Dancers: £18
Acting Through Song: £25

Two-Day Intensive Acting for Screen Course: £120 for the two days.
Acting for Screen single day attendance is unavailable.

How long are the classes?

Drop-In Repetition Basic/Advanced: 1.5hr
Drop-In Yoga for Actors and Dancers: 1hr
Drop-In Acting Through Song: 1.5hrs
Drop-In Two Day Acting for Screen Intensive: 3hrs/day
Ongoing Training: 2-3 hours per week

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. The technique takes between 18 - 22 months to learn in weekly 2-3 hour classes.

After the technique training all graduate students are offered to move into Masterclass which is a weekly 2-3 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.

For the two-day Two Day Acting for Screen Intensive, actors must be Spotlight registered and aged 19+.

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 do not need an Application Interview and 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?

Yoga: Amy Mauvan
Amy has worked professionally as a dancer and physical actor, throughout New Zealand, Europe and the US. She has studied and taught yoga for the past 10 years, training under Swami Atima in Rishikesh, India.
Find Amy on Instagram

Acting Through Song: Ryan Anderson
Ryan has worked professionally as a musical theatre actor on and off West End for over 10 years, training under Mark Meylan. His credits include Bat out of Hell, Pippin, We Will Rock You, The Osmonds and Fiddler on the Roof.
Learn more about Ryan

Acting for Screen: Christopher Chung
Christopher currently plays Roddy Ho on the Apple TV series Slow Horses. He is also known for the his roles on Waterloo Road, Neighbours and the West End musical Heathers and Romeo and Juliet at The Globe theatre.
Browse Christopher's IMDB page

Drop-In Repetition: 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 Repetition and Ongoing Training: Robyn Paterson
Robyn also leads these repetition 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 and The Generation of Z. She founded The London Meisner Company after studying at the Meisner school, The Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theatre in NYC, USA and studying with Meisner graduate Michael Saccente. She teaches the entirety of the Meisner Technique in the company’s Ongoing Training studio in Richmond, London.

Graduates of the 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 founded The London Meisner Company in 2016 after previously teaching the Meisner technique in London and around the world. She studied and graduated from the Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland New Zealand before working as an actress. She then studied under famed Sanford Meisner graduate, Michael Saccente, in Auckland for three years before studying at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, otherwise known as the Meisner School, in New York in 2011.

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. She then moved to London where as well as acting on the West End, she began to teach the Meisner Technique.

She has taught on-screen acting at London South Bank University, lectured at Waikato University and The Actors Programme in New Zealand and has had been approached to lecture at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Australia. In the UK she has taught at East 15 Drama School, Mountview Academy of Arts, The London Actors Guild, Italia Conti Academy, Drama Studio London and The National Film and Television School. In 2020 she started the schools first ever short Acting for Screen course in its 47 year history, which she still runs today. In 2023 she will offer a new 5 day crossover course intended for film-makers and screenwriters entitled ‘Speaking the Language of Actors'. Robyn also teaches her Acting for Screen two week intensive at the Oxbelly Institution in Athens, Greece.

In New Zealand she has previously worked with Talent Scouts NZ as a scout, Barefoot Casting Agency as a casting assistant and in London, as an assistant producer with Nomad Post Production House. 

She is the head coach of The London Meisner Company. She is also a frequent lecturer on Meisner at Roehampton university, London South bank university, the university of east London and Royal Holloway university with both the drama and film-maker departments.

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

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 twice a year.
Happy students in class at The London Meisner Company