the william alderson acting studio offers classes for beginning and professional actors. the foundation of the program is the meisner technique. the classes are taught by mr. alderson.
the meisner process is learned by working at a number of exercises which act as steps arriving at an intuitive and instinctual comprehension of your ability as an actor.
although textbook explanation of this process is often attempted, the meisner process is a thing to be “experienced through the doing of it” and in this way we learn and only then do we “know.”
"one can use standard principals and textbooks in educating
people for law, medicine, architecture, chemistry or almost
any other profession – but not for the theater. … i decided
that a creative textbook about acting was a contradiction in
terms … how i uniquely transmit my ideas wasn’t sufficiently
apparent. i came to realize how i teach is determined by the
gradual development of each student.”
– sanford meisner
william alderson – master teacher
william alderson was trained as an actor and teacher by sanford meisner and worked as mr. meisner’s principal assistant and associated director at the neighborhood playhouse school of the theatre in new york city for over twenty years. he made his directorial debut in 1975 with william inge’s “the disposal” at the jan hus theatre in new york city. mr. alderson has been training actors for more than 30 years. the goal of any teacher is to bring the actor securely back to himself. this is the design of the meisner technique, which is based on “the reality of doing.” in addition to teaching, mr. alderson has directed a variety of theatre productions in new york, and worked closely with playwright horton foote. he directed foote’s “the traveling lady” and “lily dale” at the samuel beckett theatre in new york, and appeared in foote’s well-received “the roads to home” with jean stapleton. mr. alderson is a member of the director’s unit of the actor’s studio and has appeared on and off-broadway, as well as in film and television. in 1995, mr. alderson opened the william alderson acting studio in los angeles, and subsequently founded the studio theatre.
scott jackson – teacher
scott jackson is an honors graduate from the university of montana. while finishing his degree in psychology, he followed an impulse and visited the theatre department. a few weeks later, scott was in his first play, studying the meisner technique, and making new plans for life after graduation. scott moved to los angeles and immediately enrolled at the william alderson acting studio where he completed the 2-year program and continued studying with mr. alderson in his master class.
in 2001, scott became a company member of pacific resident theatre. his favorite stage experiences include the critically acclaimed west coast premeire of charles' l. mee's “big love” (named one of the top 10 plays of 2003 by the los angeles times) directed by mel shapiro. he also played warren potter in the west coast premeire of daisy foote's “when they speak of rita.” and most recently, he starred as lachlen mclachlen in the “the hasty heart” directed by michael rothhaar which was awarded best revival of a classic play from the los angeles drama critic's circle.
scott works in film, television, and theatre. his true love is the stage, and it began while studying the meisner technique. he is professionally trained as an actor and teacher by mr. alderson. he believes that the foundation of great acting can be realized through the technique created by sanford meisner, and that mr. alderson has fully honored and skillfully passed on those teachings for over 40 years.
sanford meisner studied as a pianist at the damrash institute of music, now the julliard school, before making his way into the theater as an actor, director and innovative teacher. disillusioned with popular acting techniques, he began teaching what he called an "american approach" at the neighborhood playhouse in new york in 1935. a year later, he became the school's director. the "meisner technique," as it became known, stemmed from his disenchantment with other popular techniques, including the "external" school of british theater, russian theater's so called "internal" technique and the "method" approach. it focused on actors becoming aware of their emotions through daydreaming and imagination. "actors are not guinea pigs to be manipulated, dissected, let alone in a purely negative way," meisner wrote. arthur miller said he could tell meisner-trained actors, because they were honest and simple and don't lay on complications that aren't necessary. "it was a freer way of working and it was very personal." mr. meisner was an original member of the group theater of the 1930's, which produced acting teachers such as lee strasberg, stella adler and robert lewis. his own students included actors gregory peck, grace kelly, robert duvall, peter falk, lee grant, diane keaton, and joanne woodward; directors sidney lumet, sydney pollack and vivian matalon and the playwright david mamet. meisner's movie credits include "the story on page one," "tender is the night," and "mikey and nicky." his last performance was as a guest on the nbc series "er," at age 90.
classes meet twice a week. students work every class and get
a lot of personal attention.
call (323) 466-0799 for more information.