Bridging the Gap Between Meisner and Adler

I returned to teaching after a career in casting, including 15 years at the Walt Disney Company. Over the years, I have encountered a wide variety of acting styles and ways of approaching the auditioning process. I knew that what mattered, no matter the acting style, was that the actor was a believable human being living a life that we, as the audience, could emotionally follow over the course of a story.

My first real acting teacher was William Esper, whom I still admire and respect for his work with the Meisner technique. I had a dilemma with it, however. As much as it grounded the actor in the “here and now,” taught moment-to-moment reality, and got an actor out of his or her head, it stopped short. What happens when the text is introduced?

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