Foundations of Acting
Actors at any level of experience frequently fall prey to numerous traps and basic bad habits that block their honesty and humanity: the things that truly move an audience. Worse, these habits kill their auditions and sabotage their chances of being cast in the first place.
The techniques taught and practiced in this six-week course build a foundation of rigorous tools upon which an actor can absolutely depend. The work will help you bring to life the deeply honest, human, and personal truths that are the hallmark of all powerful acting. It will increase your ability to eliminate all that is extraneous and false in your performance.
Quinn works closely with Studio founder and acting teacher Ron Weisberg to align his training with the brilliant insights and tools Ron developed into his ground-breaking Discovery Method. Through this unique combination, your acting will ground itself in truthful discoveries that are alive and fresh: discoveries that build and drive the character from unanticipated moment to unanticipated moment. This is the way to the heart of whomever is watching you, whether it be an audience member or casting director. It will make you truly memorable.
The work will include:
- Beginning exercises that teach the actor to really listen and really respond to the subtext of their scene partner – to the meaning of what they are really saying and doing. These exercises were created by Sanford Meisner, one of the greatest acting teachers of his generation, and further developed by Meisner’s protégé William Esper, with whom Quinn studied extensively.
- Exercises based in the physical technique created by Michael Chekhov that Quinn studied with Lenard Petit, one of the greatest Chekhov masters teaching today. These will free your body from the physical habits that trap you and limit your choices. They will ignite your creative imagination and allow you to truly embody a character in every way.
- Work with audition scenes and text, so that you can apply everything you’re learning to the real-world professional demands on an actor.
Quinn deeply believes in meeting each student where they are and adapting everything he teaches to the needs and skills they bring. Every training method must be relevant to the professional world we actually work in today. Slavish and strict devotion to a method because of its lineage alone is unhelpful. The most important part of any training is the student.
If you want to develop a more truthful instrument and sharpen the core skills needed to become a powerful and compelling actor, join us!
Quinn has taught both the Meisner and Chekhov techniques in New York City and for several years in New Mexico and has received numerous accolades from his students. He received his MFA in Acting from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, headed by William Esper, and completed the summer training intensive at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. At Rutgers, he studied the Meisner technique under tutelage of William Esper and the Michael Chekhov technique under master Chekhov teacher Lenard Petit. In the years since, he has incorporated Chekhov’s principles into his approach to every role and has taught and coached other actors in the use of the technique. He has appeared on The Night Shift (NBC) and has performed in theatres in New York, as well as regionally. In New Mexico, key roles have included, Prince Hal/King Henry V in The Henry Project (The Vortex Theatre), Caliban in The Tempest (The Shakespeare Guild), and Bradley in Buried Child (Ironweed Productions). Other representative roles include Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Robert in Betrayal, and The Third Man in The Baltimore Waltz.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for a teacher with the knowledge and pedigree to teach the Meisner Technique here in ABQ. Someone with an intimate, elemental understanding of the technique AND the ability to teach it. Quinn Mander is that person. If you have any desire to learn this technique, don’t walk, run to sign-up. You won’t regret it!” – Tom Schuch
“Quinn is an incredible teacher. With his encouragement and patience, I was able to access emotions I didn’t know I had in me and really connect with my scene partner. I am a more honest actor because of his class – Thank you, Quinn!” – Ashley Ward
“In my previous training I was introduced to acting techniques that I found uncomfortable or could not understand. The Meisner Technique takes a wholly different approach that takes an actor out of their head and into the scene. Quinn’s teaching was energetic, compassionate and relatable. I highly recommend this class and this teacher.” – Ethan Schwartzmann
“Really enjoyed learning from Quinn. Was not at all surprised to learn his father was a psychologist as Quinn, too, is a master of the human condition. He’s extremely observant, deft at reading his students, gifted at guiding them as needed. You can tell Quinn has been a fearless explorer in his own life, reaching both depths and heights, and he uses that whole expanse to inform his work. Searingly honest yet extraordinarily kind, Quinn is a real asset to the theatrical community. Would study with him again in a heartbeat. 10 out of 10.” – Kirste Plunkett
“I’ve taken Meisner 1&2. I can’t wait to get started on the next Meisner class. The classes with Quinn have really taught me to listen closely and react honestly to my acting partners. As a beginning actor, I feel that these skills are creating a solid foundation on which my skills will grow.” – Becca Farrell
Classes will not exceed 12 students and distancing measures and mask wearing will be enforced.
You will need to have an external microphone for your computer, and we will give you guidance on several options in several