Meisner Technique Activities
Ah, the fabled Meisner Technique. And the infamous Meisner Technique Activity. How do you come up with one? Especially one that will please your Meisner acting teacher.
You see other students in your class doing them and at first, and it seems simple. “I will glue a broken plate before my parents come home 5 minutes from now, because I don’t want them to know I broke their finest china.” And that’s a fine Meisner Technique activity, if not a little overused. But how do you come up with your own activity? And what are the guiding principles behind a Meisner Technique Activity?
Truth is, very few so called Meisner Technique teachers actually understand activities. In the first place, Meisner Technique Activities have 3 requirements. They have to be Meaningful, Urgent, and Difficult. Let’s take an example of an activity that would get shot down. “Writing an email to AT&T because they overcharged me.” Let’s see, does it pass the Meisner Technique Activities acid test?
Meaningful – Kind of, but we’re not sure how much it means to you…
Urgent – Unless there’s more to it, not much urgency here.
Difficult – Not really.
What are good Meisner Technique Activities? How about this? You have to leave for an audition in 5 minutes. The part will require you to juggle 3 balls with great expertise. You just got the call an hour ago. You’ve been trying to learn to do this because the part is perfect for you and it would be your first guest star on TV. Your agent has been getting ready to drop you and you are out of money. If you don’t get this part, you have to leave Los Angeles and maybe never come back, at least not as an actor. Do you see the difference?
Meaningful – Yes, you want to act and stay in Los Angeles.
Urgent – You have 5 minutes to learn.
Difficult – Juggling is HARD TO LEARN.
It takes a while to come up with great activities, just keep trying and keep applying the MUD test above. Meaningful, Urgent, and Difficult!!! And above all, don’t take it too seriously. After all, Steven Spielberg will never ask you to see an activity, but he will want to see your acting…