Jim Jarrett (Founder/Director) is one of the most respected and qualified teachers of The Meisner Technique in the world.
He spent four years with the legendary acting teacher – two in Mr. Meisner’s professional private class then two more working exclusively with Sandy, both as an actor and teacher-in-training. After that time, Jim was lucky enough to have two more years working as a teacher with Sandy as his mentor and emerged as Sanford Meisner’s last teaching protégé.
A quarter century later, Sandy’s alumni and teaching colleagues consider Jim to be one the most respected teachers of the Meisner Technique in the world.
Over the years, Jim established schools in Los Angeles, the Island of Hawaii, and Sun Valley, Idaho. He also travels the world annually as a guest teacher at universities, performing art schools, and theater companies throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
In 2005, Jim came home to San Francisco and opened The Meisner Technique Studio. In so doing, he made good on a promise he’d made to Sandy many years before – to establish an acting school dedicated solely to The Meisner Technique.
In 2007, Jim made the best move of his teaching career when he asked his former student, Melissa Thompson Esaia to train to become a teacher. After her apprenticeship, Melissa taught side by side with Jim and soon they became partners in growing The Meisner Technique Studio.
For the next twelve years, Melissa served as Assistant Director of The Meisner Technique Studio. During this time, Melissa’s enormous talent as a teacher and school administrator helped build The Meisner Technique Studio into the premiere acting training in the Bay Area.
In August of 2019, Melissa left The Meisner Technique Studio. Soon after, Jim created the Meisner Teaching Mentorship with the goal to continue to expand and grow The Meisner Technique Studio by training former students to become teachers as well.
In a feature article celebrating Jim’s return to the Bay Area with Theatre Bay Area Magazine, Jim was asked about his vision and motivation for creating the best acting training in San Francisco.
“Ever since Sandy passed, there has been a proliferation of people teaching the Meisner Technique. Most are students of former students who may have studied with Sandy for a brief period of time. In fact, the Neighborhood Playhouse – the very place that pushed Sandy out in 1987 – started a program where anyone can enroll in a six week course and then receive a “teaching certificate” declaring you’re now qualified to teach the Meisner Technique.
Crazy. But true.
But there truly are only a handful of people who were personally trained by Sanford Meisner to teach “his way.”
Being a part of this select group is an honor I do not take lightly. And for Sandy, having his teachings carried on accurately, as purely and authentically as possible, was extremely important to him.”
“Every time the rent’s due there’s a thousand actors who run around and call themselves acting teachers, and I can’t tell you how many claimed to have studied with me and just because you did study with me doesn’t mean you’re qualified to teach! If someone tells you they teach The Meisner Technique ask them if they have my blessing then watch their reaction. Trust your gut, you’ll know.”The Late, Great Sanford Meisner
A message from Jim:
“I opened The Meisner Technique Studio in San Francisco to pass along Sandy’s teaching brilliance, as well as the standards, integrity, and respect for the craft of acting he instilled into every single one of his students by presenting Sandy’s teachings exactly how he wanted them presented.
My goal is to have our students emerge as the finest, best trained actors in the Meisner Technique – not just in the Bay Area, but in the world.”