Frequently asked questions
Online Acting Coaching
Does it really work?
Yes! Amazingly well. For some actors, it is even preferred. First, you can study acting no matter where you are. Wendy works with actors who are on tour, actresses who are stay-at-home moms, actors in far away places where no acting schools exist and actors whose work schedules make it impossible for them to attend in-person classes at her studio. Second, the private one-on-one aspect of the training means both student and teacher can easily focus and get detailed about the work. And because you're working "on camera," Wendy can see aspects of your work that need to be strengthened for self tapes, etc.
While it's true that there's nothing like going through the real training in Wendy's classroom, there are lots of things she can do to make you a better actor and more impressive in an audition simply by working with you in private online sessions. Take a look at what some of her online clients say about her coaching and try it out for yourself. (read testimonials)
What happens if I have to miss a session?
Wendy does not allow any rescheduling of sessions. Actors need to be as committed to their online sessions as they would be if they were attending in-person classes at her studio. All sessions are non-refundable once paid.
I'm a beginner. How do I know what topic to select?
You'll be able to figure that out when you talk with Wendy. She's been training beginners for years and will be able to easily custom design a training program for you.
Do I need special equipment?
No, just a laptop with a decent camera. Of course you will need a strong internet connection as well. Sometime clients purchase inexpensive USB cameras and/or mics not only to make coaching easier but as an investment for better quality self tapes.
When do I switch from being a "New Client" to being a "Regular Client" for pricing purposes?
You are a regular client if you're training with Wendy in her studio, if you are currently doing a multi-session class, and if you work with Wendy on an ongoing basis (several times a month) in individual sessions. If you've been away from coaching for six months, you will go back to paying the new client fee.
Do you provide housing?
No, we don't. But for nearly 20 years actors from all over the world have made the journey to the U.S. and been able to get that done on their own, to their own preferences. Most people use airbnb.com.
What should we do to prepare before we arrive?
Get your housing set up. Arrive in time to get over jet lag before the classes begin. Take care of personal business and try to get some R&R in. If you have applied well in advance of the intensive, you could read Sandy Meisner's book On Acting if you want. It's not necessary though. The point is to arrive at your best -- not right off the boat from a whirlwind tour of Asia or a grueling 22 hour flight from New Zealand. Frequently, you will receive some simple assignments a week or so before the term that you'll need to prepare for the first day.
How many hours are we in class during the Six-Week Intensive?
Generally, you may be in class all day (10-5pm) Monday-Thursday. However, you won't get your final schedule until orientation. Sometimes we split the group into smaller sections based on their Meisner experience and past work in our program. That may mean that your acting technique class has just 6 people in it. If that's the case, it's going to take less time to get through everyone in that class than if you're in an audition class of 12.
I've already got my BA/BFA in Theater why do I need this intensive?
Well, you might want to go the testimonial page and hear what Juilliard graduate Bobbi Baker-James has to say. We have never, ever, had an Intensive student who didn't realize (usually by the end of the first week) that there was a whole lot more to acting, Meisner, auditioning and building a successful career than what they learned in their college program. It's a different marketplace out there than it was in the safety of your college environment. You need a heavy dose of reality around what your competition can do and what you're going to have to do to compete. Let us help you as we've had hundreds of other actors with degrees in theater.
What ages do you work with?
Wendy works primarily with adults. Younger actors must set up a consultation with a parent present to discuss potential one-on-one coaching.
Who teaches the classes?
Wendy Ward teaches all the acting technique, audition technique and text classes.
What is the Meisner Technique?
Sanford (Sandy) Meisner was a member of The Group Theatre, which included well-known playwrights, actors, teachers and directors including Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, Clifford Odets, and Morris Carnovsky. While Lee Strasberg could be said to be the most recognizable name on that list, all of 'The Group' had a major impact on American theater and the teaching of acting. Sandy's approach to acting is sometimes referred to as the answer to Strasberg's method and has for decades been every bit as revered and sought after. Rather than using sense memory (also known as emotional recall), we emphasize the actor's ability to use his/her imagination to take on the imaginary circumstances of the scene and live truthfully within them. How we teach the actor to do that is what our training is all about. For those of you who wish to read more, check out On Acting by Sanford Meisner and The Fervent Years by Harold Clurman.