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This world needs you. No exaggeration there. This world needs your talent your voice and your stories - more than ever
- Sanford Meisner

Welcome

Welcome to the Meisner Technique Studio.

You have a dream of becoming an actor, yet you’ve been told how difficult this dream is.

Ready? It IS that difficult. In fact, most people in Hollywood call acting the most competitive profession on the planet for a reason. It is extremely competitive. So if you truly want your acting dreams to become a reality, you need to be able to compete at the highest level. And for that to happen, you need world-class training.

The Meisner Technique Studio offers world-class training.

Our sole purpose is to give you a rock-solid foundation so you’ll have the best opportunity to realize your wildest dreams.

Our Promise and Guarantee

We accept people who have never acted in their lives alongside those with extensive training. We provide a nurturing, supportive place for you to learn and grow. When you finish your studies with us, you will have the following in place:

  • A foundation of craft so solid you’ll be able to work at the highest level, opposite anyone, in any medium – film, theater, television
  • You will be able to call yourself an actor, and it will truly mean something because you’ll know how to work and how to fix it when it’s not working. And the best part is you won’t need us.

Faculty

Jim Jarrett

Publicity shot of Jim Jarrett

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 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 for the world premiere of his one-man show MEISNER at the historic Magic Theater. Created from his 2000 hours of class time spent with Sandy, Jim’s one man show was an overwhelming commercial and critical success. 

Shortly after, Jim opened The Meisner Technique Studio in San Francisco. In so doing, he made good on a promise he’d made to Sandy many years before – to establish an acting studio dedicated solely to the Meisner Technique.

Fifteen years later the The Meisner Technique Studio has become the the premiere acting training in the Bay Area.

In 2019, Jim’s daughter, Kyla began working side by side with Jim. She currently assists in specialty classes. Jim also started 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.

Jim also mentors teachers from around who want to teach the Meisner Technique the way Sandy wanted it presented: pure, legitimate, and authentic.

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.”

https://vimeo.com/59041224
https://vimeo.com/18893420

Nia Peeples

Nia Peeples Headshot
Nia Peeples Headshot

American actress, singer, dancer, host and author Nia Peeples is most known for hit TV series “Fame, “Walker Texas Ranger” and “Pretty Little Liars”, as well as the movies NORTH SHORE and RETURN TO LONESOME DOVE and her #1 record, Trouble. Peeples hosted a number of shows for MTV and E! as well as the Emmy Award Winning, “Teen Scene”. Nia was featured in People Magazine’s hugely popular 100 Most Beautiful People in the World special edition…at the age of 47. With her years and experience in the industry, Nia has cemented herself as a part of TV culture and Americana.

 

 

J Hunter Nolan

J. Hunter Nolan publicity photo
J. Hunter Nolan

J. Hunter Nolan is an American documentary film cinematographer and director. As a cinematographer, he is best known for his work on the smash hit film, The Game Changers(2019), And We Go Green(2019), The Human Element (2018), Sky Ladder (2016), Before the Flood (2016), and Racing Extinction (2015).

He has worked alongside acclaimed directors and producers such as Louie Psihoyos, Fisher Stevens, James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Balog, Malcolm Venville, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and JR.

Hunters non-narrative media work with the artist JR is displayed in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum and in print media around the world including the cover of Time MagazineGuns in America issue. This work was nominated for a 2019 News & Documentary Emmy Award. 

Hunter is currently in production directing his first documentary feature film about the effort to protect Bristol Bay and stop the Pebble Mine Project from beginning in remote Alaska. The mining proposal threatens Alaskas Wilderness, its Brown Bear Population, and one of the largest sustainable wild caught salmon fisheries on the planet. 

He founded Insight Visual Co. in 2013 to provide creative and production services for storytellers. Active in environmental conservation, endangered species legislation, and raising awareness around humanitarian issues, Hunter aims to use film as a catalyst for action and awareness. Insight Visual Co. aims to continue producing feature length documentary films, with a continued focus on impact filmmaking.

Born John Hunter Nolan, he is the eldest of four brothers and was raised in Falmouth, Maine by his parents Jennifer R. Nolan, an award-winning author and passionate environmentalist, and John P. Nolan, a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur. When not working, Hunter is often found enjoying the outdoors and the places around the world that he is focused on protecting through film and storytelling.

Jon Labrie

Jon Labrie has been writing screenplays for thirty years and has been Jim Jarretts producing partner for just as long. Their first film together was Fade Out. The controversial film about producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and their rise and fall in Hollywood, catapulted both of their careers in different directions.

Jon was immediately hired by Peter Jackson to be his Chief Technical Officer for WETA Digital in New Zealand. While there, Jon continued to write more than a dozen screenplays on his own, including semi- and quarter-finalists in the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Nicholls Fellowships in Screenwriting. Most recently he has completed a script for a low-budget genre film entering pre-production in India for a global market.

 Jon is one of the most respected script doctors and currently consults Academy Award-wining Producer of Lord Of The Rings and The Matrix, Barrie Osborne.

Andrew Juncker

Andrew Juncker Promotional Photo
Andrew Juncker

Andrew Juncker is a director, writer, and producer in the Bay Area and is co-founder and Executive Creative Director at French Press Films in Oakland, CA. He is an alumni of the Meisner Technique Studio, where he attended with the aim of becoming a better director for his actors. He firmly believes that amazing talent exists in the Bay Area. As a director creating narrative work, he believes deeply in collaboration – that the talent of people from different disciplines and craft can come together and elevate a film to be even greater than an already beautifully written script.

Andrews talent as a director is why he has won seven Best Film awards at the Sanford Meisner Film Festival and why he has been invited by Jim to be Director in Residence for the Meisner Studio Film Lab.

How We Do It

Sanford Meisner created a technique that has produced a more prodigious “Who’s Who” of alumni than all other top teachers combined

We present Sandy’s teachings exactly how he wanted them presented. This is not an acting class, workshop, intensive, or improv class. This is world-class training for those who are ready to dive into the deep end of their dream, for those who want to take their dream to an entirely new level, and for those who do not want to waste time and money.

How We’re Different

The Meisner Technique Studio is much more than a place to take acting classes. It is an artistic family.

We have built a community dedicated to helping our actors, writers, directors, and filmmakers grow in every way possible – from our Film Lab, film festivals, VIP Guest Lecture Series, Hawaii Retreats, Industry Showcases, and so much more. Learn more about our special events here.

If you’d like more than an acting class and finding an artistic home is important to you, please schedule your interview.

 

Hawaii Intensive Retreats

“Every hour of every day planes are landing at LAX from all over the world full of people beginning their dream of becoming an actor in Hollywood. And while those planes are landing, just as many are taking off, packed full of people who’ve been crushed by that very same dream… and that’s because most actors, most artists are not very good at ‘the business of their dream.’ In fact, there is nothing more common than really talented, out-of-work actors. I built these Intensive Retreats because I’m dedicated to helping anyone who cares change that.” – Jim Jarrett

The Actors Intensive Retreats in Hawaii are an incredible opportunity for current students or alumni of The Meisner Technique Studio to spend ten days in Hawaii advancing “The Business of Your Dream.” However, the most valuable component of the experience deals with what Jim believes is THE most important ingredient to being a successful actor/artist – the mental and emotional aspect of being a dreamer.

Once these seeds are planted, the “Intensive Retreats” shift to the nuts and bolts of the audition process – from cold readings to callbacks: how to book the job.

Students on the Meisner Technique Studio Actors Intensive Retreat in Hawaii

Jim has spent twenty years evolving the curriculum, so the key phrase is “intensive retreat” because every day is filled with empowering personal and professional teachings from sunrise to sunset. The first five days are spent addressing the emotional, mental aspect of being an actor with a dream. That’s because to truly go after this as a career, you must be the healthiest version of yourself you’ve ever been. This means you must have a foundation that is rock solid in order to go after what has been called the most competitive profession on the planet.

Additionally, this opportunity is so extraordinary because the Island of Hawaii is our classroom for ten days. This is where Jim Jarrett lived for four years. Through his Ohana (extended family), he has amazing access to many remarkable properties, beaches, sacred swimming holes and waterfalls, and most importantly, beautiful friends and family who all share their aloha with our groups. All of this makes for a truly unforgettable experience.

The Film Lab

In 2019, we founded The Meisner Technique Studio Film Lab with the goal of empowering students to create their own work. Film Lab members are given priority access to two complete cinema packages, allowing them to make short and feature films at the highest caliber possible. Additional Film Lab benefits include private screenings, admission to film festivals, VIP lectures, and the best part: a community of other dreamers who want to make their films.

Industry Showcases

One of our faculty’s great highlights is the opportunity to share our graduates’ talent to the Bay Area’s top film, television, and commercial professionals in the Industry Showcases. To this end, guests have included the leading casting directors, agents, writers, directors, and producers in San Francisco Bay Area. Jim produces and directs the entire showcase, with one-on-one attention given to every performer.

Specialty Classes

In addition to the formal training, we are proud to offer a variety of specialty classes to expand our students’ marketability and talents. These classes have included: Audition and Cold Reading, Scene Analysis, Character Analysis, and Stand-Up Comedy. Upcoming classes include: Film Acting and Preparation. We love when students request new subjects, so our curriculum is always changing!

Sanford Meisner Film Festival

Students on the Red Carpet at the Sanford Meisner Film Festival

The Sanford Meisner Film Festival is one of our top events of the year. This festival is open to all members of the Meisner Technique Studio family, past and present. So, this is an incredible opportunity to showcase the outstanding work of both up and coming and established filmmakers.

The Sanford Meisner Film Festival runs for two days. During that time, we host a red carpet VIP reception, a Keynote Address, and screenings of the year’s films. Notably, Keynote Speakers have included Academy Award-Winning producers, directors, and writers. In addition, we have hosted actors from Emmy and SAG-winning shows.

24 Hour Film Festival

The 24 Hour Film Festival is one of our most popular events for a myriad of reasons – mostly because it’s a ton of fun! It is also one of our most important events because it empowers our students to stop talking about making a movie and actually go make it.

The premise: At 6:00pm on Friday evening each team receives a list of required elements that their film must include – specific lines, props, characters, etc. Then they have just 24 hours to write, shoot, and edit a film AND every film must include all required elements. At 6:00pm the next day, the films are due. We throw a full viewing party, complete with an award ceremony for all of the, often sleepless, participants.

The tradition of the annual 24 Hour Film Festival has been going for more than a decade. 

VIP Lecture Series

We are thrilled to provide the VIP Lecture Series for our students to learn from top industry professionals. Here are just a few from recent years:


Photograph of Garret Dillahunt at his VIP Lecture Series
GARRET DILLAHUNT

Star of Deadwood, The Mindy Project, No Country For Old Men, & Fear the Walking Dead. By the way, he was amazing!


Photograph of Jim Parrack and Jim Jarrett on the set of MEISNER
JIM PARRACK

Star of True Blood, Fury, Suicide Squad


Photograph of Tracy Pellegrino, Mark Pellegrino, Melissa Thompson Esaia, and Jim Jarrett
MARK & TRACY PELLEGRINO

MARK: Star of LOST, The Big Lebowski, Supernatural

TRACY: Director of The Last Train, Strangers in a Strange Land, Something Else


Photograph of Barrie Osborne and Jim Jarrett with Barrie's Oscar
BARRIE OSBORNE & JON LABRIE

Barrie: Academy Award Winning Producer of The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, The Great Gatsby

Jon: Chief Technical Officer for Weta Digital


Photograph of Jim Jarrett and Quinn Redeker
QUINN REDEKER

The co-writer of The Deer Hunter – the film that forever changed Jim Jarrett’s life. It was a wonderful evening when Quinn flew in as the guest of honor for Jim’s 25-year anniversary party.


Jim Jarrett and Erik Palladino
ERIK PALLADINO

Star of ER, NCIS: Los Angles, Suits


Photograph of Jim Jarrett and Jason Scott Lee
JASON SCOTT LEE

Star of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, The Jungle Book (1994), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Mulan (2020)


Photo of Melissa Thompson Esaia, Nancy Hayes, and Jim Jarrett
NANCY HAYES

One of the most respected casting directors in the Bay Area for decades, Nancy Hayes of Nancy Hayes Casting


Photograph of Jim Jarrett, Kathy Murphy, Melissa Thompson Esaia, and James Ford Murphy
JAMES FORD MURPHY

Former Head of Animation at Pixar Studios. Writer/Director/Composer of Pixar’s LAVA

Studio Productions

We love when our students take initiative to create opportunities, so we do everything we can to support and encourage their work by providing rehearsal and performance space free of charge. This is an amazing opportunity for our graduates to advance and grow into their teachings in front of a live audience.