Jim Jarrett is as rare a man as you will find in our profession and our art form. As a teacher he is pure authenticity. His fidelity and reverence to Sanford Meisner is unparalleled by anyone teaching Mr. Meisner's approach to acting. Period. Without exception.
“Jim Jarrett represents everything Sanford Meisner stood for. He is a dear friend and colleague and I couldn’t recommend him as a teacher or his school more whole-heartedly”.
“Jim is a wonderful friend, actor, acting teacher, and a wonderful human being as well. We need more like him. And his show on Sanford Meisner is simply incredible! I literally thought I was watching Sandy. That’s how incredible he is!”
“Jim is an extraordinary actor and teacher and his talent is enormous.”
I can honestly say that this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far. Both as an actor and as a person.
Both Jim and Melissa are crystal clear as to what their standards, expectations and curriculum are. This isn’t “just some acting class,” but rather a commitment where you are truly taught a craft and way of working. It is not for everyone, which you are also told, and you most certainly get what you put in, plain and simple. On the other hand, if you want to receive world class training and are willing to leave your pride and ego at the door, then I can’t recommend The Meisner Technique Studio enough.
Those of you about to embark on this journey, I envy you; celebrate, too. Know that you are in the hands of two people that with all their heart and soul, care! They may, and will be hard on you if they see you slacking but know that everything they do is for your benefit. Don’t take it personally.
My advice? Work hard, work harder, play hard, play harder, work some more and whatever you do, stick with it!
I’ve had a dozen or so acting teachers over the years, and compared notes with my acting friends in New York and LA, but none compare to Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia at the Meisner Technique Studio.
The program is an incredibly rigorous world-class training program based on how Sanford Meisner taught it, pure and simple. Anyone who researches the great acting teachers that changed American acting will quickly find Sanford Meisner somewhere at the top of that list. For those serious about learning the craft of acting, I can’t think of a better place to study. Not everyone who joins the class is able to handle the commitment required.
For those that are committed to learning and the training, you get the opportunity to learn and grow with like minded studies who share your commitment, which makes this class environment unique and the learning and personal experience all the more rich and rewarding.
The key to success in this program is openness and dedication. Jim and Melissa have an unwavering commitment to each student and their dedication and gentle guidance of the students in this program sets an incredibly high standard in the world of teaching.
In short, anyone who really wants to learn acting would be lucky to study at this school.
If you’re looking for an amazing acting program and life-changing experience in the Bay Area you have found your match at the Meisner Technique Studio. Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia create an environment at their school that promotes growth, creativity, freedom and accountability. From them I learned how to be a truthful, instinctive and sensitive person and how to translate that to my work as an actor. I learned to build a character truthfully and honestly. And one the biggest things I took away from this program is the power of my imagination and how it can transform the roles I go out for. They showed and empowered me to never give up and to know that there is no limit to my creativity. I gained an artistic family for life and I know I am ready to go out and conquer my dream!!
Julio Amando Lopez
I am so grateful that I found the Meisner Technique Studio.
Jim and Melissa are so dedicated and committed to sharing the knowledge and teachings of Sanford Meisner. They have taught me how to become a better actor, better person and a better human being. The Technique has helped me be more present, grounded and truthful than I ever thought I could be in my acting and in real life as well.
If you are really serious about becoming an actor and that’s your dream and goal then I recommend you take the gift of training with Jim and Melissa.
Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia are without a doubt the most talented, authentic, passionate and generous acting teachers I have ever encountered.
I have been studying the craft of acting on and off, taking various classes and workshops, since I was a child. By the time I completed my Master’s degree in Performance Studies at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, I was tired of partaking in a smorgasbord of trainings and acting techniques, all of which left me wanting something more. After seeing Jim perform his one man show, “Vincent,” and subsequently learning that he had an acting studio in San Francisco, I knew that “something more,” which I had always been hoping for as an actor was still within my grasp.
Jim’s personal talent, integrity and craft speak for themselves. Before I knew Jim as my teacher, I admired him as a one of the greatest actors I have seen perform on a stage. The old adage, “Those who can’t do, teach,” holds zero truth at The Meisner Technique Studio. Jim and Melissa both teach from years of solid experience, and they possess a remarkable, deeply rooted and developed craft, which they are able to pass on to their students with the utmost amount of clarity, consistency, professionalism and compassion.
Jim and Melissa care about their students on a deeply personal level knowing full well how intertwined one’s personal and creative life can be, especially with regard to the craft of acting. In acting, the actor is the instrument, and Jim and Melissa take great strides to encourage and challenge their students to be the best version of themselves both inside and outside of the studio. This allows them to consistently create a classroom full of passionate and hard-working individuals who foster each other’s creativity, sensitivity, authenticity and professionalism.
Studying at The Meisner Technique Studio proved to be a truly empowering experience for me personally, creatively, and professionally. Completing the training was no easy feat, but nothing worth having comes easy, and I have already reaped the benefits of my time and training at The Meisner Technique Studio tenfold!
Soon after completing my training at The Meisner Technique Studio, I relocated to Chicago where I have been auditioning nonstop and taking control of my dream by writing and creating my own work. There is no question in my mind that this training has made me a stronger and more well rounded actor. I am confident, free, and able to tackle any curveball that comes my way in auditions because of the incredible work ethic and craft that I honed while at The Meisner Technique Studio.
The challenge of pursuing work as a professional actor has only just begun, but I know I can move ahead with great confidence thanks to the incredible foundation, craft and support provided to me by Jim, Melissa and The Meisner Technique Studio community as a whole. I am forever grateful for my training and I hope this account of my experience will encourage anyone who has a serious passion to pursue acting to do so at The Meisner Technique Studio. You owe it to yourself, your creativity, and your career aspirations.
The Meisner Technique Studio has been an absolutely priceless tool in my development as an actor. Truly priceless. The lessons Jim shared in class are still to this day, now almost ten years later, beautiful little landmines that hit at just the right moment teaching and guiding me again and again. The work that is created and shared amongst everyone in class has always and will always fuel me greatly. It is what keeps me going and in those times when I’ve wanted to give up and find an easier career with a straight path. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this family and I couldn’t ask for a more courageous, thought provoking, dedicated group of people to look to for inspiration.
This school is not for everyone. The students at the Meisner Technique studio are held to a very high standard – the same standard that Jim and Melissa hold themselves to. That is what makes Meisner actors so great. We expect more from ourselves and the people around us.
Yes, we’re expected to be on time – would you show up late to a film set? Yes, we’re expected to be ready to WORK – would you show up unprepared on opening night? Jim and Melissa are nothing short of passionate, caring and sometimes tough loving teachers who truly want their students to be THRIVING artists in every sense of the word. Yes it can be tough at times – really tough, but that’s growth baby! If you want to be an actor, a talented competitive actor, then the Meisner Technique Studio is the first step on the Yellow Brick Road…
Thank you Jim and Melissa ~ my dreams are no longer just dreams because of you. I am forever indebted ~
As a graduate of The Meisner Technique Studio, my advice is to take this training if you are serious about being a professional actor and you’re ready to dedicate 2 years to growth within your craft and yourself in a tremendous way! Be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked and leave your ego’s outside because it won’t do you any good in there. Have respect for the craft, your teachers, your classmates and especially yourself. Don’t be late, don’t take any of it personally and be kind to yourself when it doesn’t go well. Find the lesson in it all. Don’t give up because you will come out of this training a more powerful, instinctive, sensitive, free and truthful actor and human.
Jim leads by example and is a master of acting and of teaching and that’s clear after your very first class with him. His guidance and wisdom and Sanford Meisner’s genius joined together will teach you what it takes to be an actor with truth and depth and how to manage and transcend fears and insecurities. How to work from your gut – with the focus on your partner and off yourself- How to not worry about the text and be in the moment as the character with absolute freedom. I highly recommend this training with 5 stars!
You don’t need prior experience and you don’t have to be certain that acting is right for you. Maybe you just have this nagging feeling that won’t go away, a creative spark in you that refuses to be ignored. This is a safe place to uncover, explore, and expand what your creativity and imagination are capable of. This program is a commitment, but it takes time and dedication to peel the onion that is YOU.
So now that I’ve graduated, do I know for sure that acting is my calling in life? No, but within two months of completing the business class, I’ve booked 3 speaking roles; 2 TV pilots (one for NBC) and an independent film. Lucky? Yes, partially. But I pursued this on my own for 5+ years when I was younger and more “marketable,” and never booked this much.
Are you hoping to experience just one or two creative breakthroughs? Or do you want to methodically learn and practice how to achieve them consistently? At this school, you will sharpen your instincts, become more brave, confident, and free. And who knows, you might decide to do a couple of acting gigs afterwards.
I have studied acting for over 20 years and seen my share of schools and teachers (Mainly in Los Angeles) and I can honestly say nothing even comes close to the Meisner Technique Studio. Jim Jarrett’s inspiring, dedicated and professional teaching has made me a better, stronger, more imaginative actor and more confident in my work. It has opened numerous doors to acting and filmmaking opportunities and brought an amazing community of artists to my life. If you are serious about your craft this place will guide you to your voice as an actor and as a person. Jim’s teaching will challenge you while being extremely supportive. Jim is one of those rare teachers who truly cares about the craft of acting and his students’ success.
****One very important fact; Jim is one of very few who was trained by Sanford Meisner to teach the Meisner Technique which was really important to me. The school also has an ongoing Studio after graduation and offer so many opportunities for alumni. I’m forever grateful I studied here and have had the mentorship of Jim Jarrett.
If you are a passionate actor, committed to the craft and with a strong desire to grow, then this is the school for you. This 2-year course teaches the Meisner technique in its purest form, following the same framework put in place by Sanford Meisner with building blocks and new tools introduced throughout the program. Scene work is a great opportunity to get to work with other acting partners and gain experience with live theater. You will practice many effective techniques that will get you in touch with your inner self, unchain your imagination and help you in the journey to become truthfully the character yourself. This class will give you a lot of freedom to express yourself on stage and follow your gut, it will help you be present, listen and react to your acting partner, overcome fears and be comfortable with public solitude.
Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia are very passionate and experienced coaches, they have worked with hundreds of actors over the years, they are extremely dedicated to the craft of acting, and very sensitive human beings. They take this class very seriously and truly care about your growth as an actor, sacrificing much of their time, and they expect the same level of commitment from you. They make the class a safe environment to express yourself freely and have fun playing. They offer honest and insightful feedback to your work that will help you grow as an actor. By the end of the program you will have all the tools for you to look back at your own work as you advance in your career and be able to tell what went well and what needs to be advanced. If you have the time, commitment and passion to dedicate to this journey, you will experience incredible growth as an actor and build resilience as a human being.
As a bonus point, you will become part of an large artistic family of talented actors, directors, writers and producers (all students or alumni from the same school) who collaborate on projects of live theater and films for the numerous showcases and festivals hosted by the school or outside.
Absolutely incredible training with incredible teachers and classmates! I feel so blessed to have been a student here.
The classroom is filled with people who have integrity, passion, strong work ethics and an intense love for the craft of acting. Jim and Melissa have given me so much, they teach with passion, kindness and unwavering standards. Jim and Melissa are not only amazing actors but they are amazing teachers of acting.
They understand the craft with such depth and really have insight into each student’s needs. Words can’t express. If you train here, you will learn how to act – guaranteed. It will be hard and draining sometimes but also incredibly rewarding. Everyday I got to come to class and see some REALLY good acting. Stuff that blows you away. And yes, like everyone says, don’t be late and don’t miss class.
But guess what? You won’t ever want to miss class! The gifts you get from coming every class and working are priceless.
Thanks to Jim, Melissa and my classmates for the amazing journey.
I recently graduated from The Meisner Technique Studio’s (MTS) two year training program and it has been transformative. I initially sought/researched acting schools in the area because I had always wanted to try out Acting, something that felt both terrifying and terrific, a personal challenge if you will. I specifically was looking to learn the Meisner technique because of what little I knew of his approach centering authenticity under pretend circumstances and the power of imagination. Once I got into the training session, I was hooked.
If you are someone who wants to take being an actor and the craft of acting seriously, look no further. If you’re accepted into their training program, come ready to work as this is some next level masterclass quality training. At MTS you will learn the foundational skills needed to be a solid professional actor but also be prepared to work in the industry with some serious grit under your belt if you complete the two year training program.
This is a no B.S. acting school that holds the craft of acting with the highest integrity and will demand that of you as well. As you go through the training you are also learning to build your artist family/ community, with your cohort and the larger MTS alumni network. Besides feeling solid with the training I received, I am filled with such humbling gratitude for all the ways I’ve been inspired in learning from Jim, my classmates, and the genius of Sanford Meisner’s teachings.
MTS is not for everyone, so if you have a fragile ego, can’t commit to the amount of time and effort required – this may not be for you at this time. BUT if you are looking for an immersive, intense, and pro level training – Meisner Technique Studio is the place to be. Are you ready to commit to learning an incredibly complex craft, show up for yourself in this high quality of training and be supported by an amazing teacher in the process? If you’ve been hungry to learn the depths involved with the craft of Acting – do yourself a solid this year and get thee to the Meisner Technique Studio, it will change your life!!!
Jim and Melissa have created and are constantly evolving a Safe, Nurturing and Encouraging environment so that the Child inside each of us can reach out and begin to be the actor we want to be….and more importantly…to be the human being we are supposed to be…
Both of these actors have given everything they have so that people like me can feel the joy of personal discovery and self revelation…
They push and cajole and constantly remind us that acting is listening….that we are all responsible for our actions…that you can count on a Meisner Trained actor to do what they say they will do…and that dreams do come true…it ain’t easy…I would not have it any other way…
Thank you Jim and Melissa, from the bottom of my heart…
The Meisner Technique Studio is way beyond world-class and very an intensive acting training. This is a life changing, incredibly thought provoking, school of life, art, relationships, limitless growth, surrounded by people who eventually become family.
Jim Jarrett, Sanford Meisner’s last teaching protégée who teaches the closest in the world to how Sanford Meisner taught, has 25+ years of teaching experience, and Melissa Thompson Esaia, the other world-class Meisner teacher, trained by Jim with 10 years teaching experience with this technique, are both phenomenal teachers and consummate professionals in all realms. The opportunities that become available to the students are priceless. With this school, what you put in you get back.
I am honored to have completed the formal Meisner Technique training and the Business of Your Dream training. I’m currently a Studio Member which is a gym/laboratory for professional Meisner trained actors and it becomes available after the training, there is a wait list. I recommend this school to anyone who is passionate, committed, hard working, seeks major growth, wants to continuously take themselves to the next level again and again, has something to say. It’s great for actors, writers, directors, comedians, dancers, musicians, people that have dealt with trauma, even someone who has a deep-seeded insatiable desire to take everything to the next level, this school is for you.
Jim and Melissa are excellent teachers who care deeply about the craft of acting and the well being of their students.
They expect students to commit to doing the work and to showing up on time. If you are willing to make that dual commitment, you will grow as an actor and a person. You will be part of a carefully nurtured, supportive class.
You will see some truly memorable work from your classmates and you will probably surprise yourself with what you are capable of. Pursuing the class takes patience, time and commitment, but I have found it thoroughly worthwhile.
What a blessing! This place is truly one of a kind.
If you really want to learn a craft for acting, I recommend this place in a heartbeat. Jim and Melissa are so kind, and are serious about creating a safe environment for you to grow. It’s insane how much I’ve grown as an actor and as a person. So many of the lessons can apply to real life.
It isn’t all just kindness and humility; prepare to work your ass off. It is SOOO worth it when you see what real estate you can gain!
If I had a list of words that come to mind when describing Jim and Melissa, I would say: committed, supportive, caring, and consistent. They really know what they’re doing.
I graduated in March, 2014 but I will be a student of this studio for the rest of my life.
This studio is my home. Here, I discovered I am an artist. I discovered I have a voice that deserves to be heard. I discovered my dream. This studio has empowered me to live my life fearlessly and rid myself of limits and “I can’t’s”. Jim and Melissa are generous, caring, humble, passionate teachers who live what they teach.
As a student, you’re held to a high standard of professionalism, which is what makes every class special. You’ve gotta bring it, you will be exposed if you don’t work hard, because you’re surrounded by people who care immensely about what it means to call yourself an actor. You can’t “cruise” through this training.
If you’re interested in and committed to growing as a human being and an actor/artist, then this is the place for you. Be prepared for the highest caliber of professionalism, which means showing up on time with your work done. This expectation is incredibly inspiring and motivating if you embrace it and step up to the plate, it’s incredible to have teachers who care enough to hold you accountable for your behavior and work ethic.
You won’t believe what you can accomplish.
I want to clearly state that this studio teaches the Meisner Technique in its PUREST FORM!
Jim Jarrett was trained and authorized to teach this technique by Sanford Meisner himself. I say this because there are many schools out there who teach this technique under this claim, yet let me set the record straight, if you want to learn the Meisner Technique, this studio teaches the technique in the MOST AUTHENTIC way.
When I look back at my greatest accomplishment, I don’t really look at it as an accomplishment at all, but rather a beautiful gift. This rigorous program has helped me figure out what I want to do with my life, how I will get there, and most importantly, why I am here on this planet. While I did study the techniques of good acting and how to break down a scene, I can confidently say that the lessons I’ve learned are far greater than just a scene. Before my training, I had a great deal of fear in my heart; fear for the future, fear for the unknown, and ultimately fear of failure. This training has released every fearful bone in my body, and I can proudly say that mentally I am ready for whatever obstacle or challenge my future holds. This training has played a pivotal role in the transformation of the powerful woman I am becoming, because after all I am a becoming woman and still have much to learn. Thank you Jim and Melissa, you changed my life.
Jim Jarrett is the best teacher I have ever had and the passion he has for teaching comes from his heart. Having trained with the best, he is the best teacher of the Meisner Technique. He makes the class a safe place to be real, to go where we as artists must go to work to be truthful. Once you complete the course the confidence you feel is priceless. The confidence I’ve gotten from Jim Jarrett has given me a new beginning in life and as an actor. Never would I have thought I would have come this far with my craft.
Studying with Jim and Melissa will change you life. For the better. Forever. If you believe in the craft of acting, in its purity, in its ability to reach and communicate with others and the possibility to create positive change in the world, this is where you belong.
You will learn not only to be a better actor, but a better, more open, honest, present, sensitive person. Not a day goes by that I do not recall the teachings and benefit from all I learned. You will grow as an actor, you will grow as a human being.
Yes, there will be much demanded of you, your time, your effort, your honesty. Only take this class if you are passionate about acting. Take this class if you are serious. If you are willing to give it everything you have and gain more than you can imagine in return. Studying the Meisner technique was one of the most challenging and most rewarding ventures of my life.
I have the utmost respect for both Jim and Melissa. They are highly professional, caring and compassionate. They will care about your dreams as much as you do and they will help make those dreams a reality.
Absolutely, hands down one of the finest acting programs in the country if not the world. That may sound like an exaggeration but for anyone who’s tasted true Meisner Technique training they know what I am talking about. Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia have extremely high standards and expectations for the students they take in. However, once they know you are a humble, caring, responsible, hardworking and honest person, they will do everything they can to support you and create the best possible learning environment for you. I can’t recommend The Meisner Technique Studio enough.
If you want to delve deeper into the profound interior world of this fascinating, exhilarating, life-changing and life-affirming art called acting, go to The Meisner Technique Studio’s website and arrange for an interview. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll learn and you’ll grow because of it.
Having just recently graduated from the 2-year program at The Meisner Technique Studio, I can without a doubt say that this was the best investment for my dreams as an actor and as a human being in general. I remember from the beginning as early as the interview with Jim, that something about this man, this place, this energy, I was picking up, simply felt right. My intuition served me very accurately.
From the beginning, Jim and Melissa displayed a certain level of respect, integrity, and appreciation that begins with the craft of acting. That standard then carried into how hard we worked and how serious we took every class because we realized it deserved that much. I started the training having a lot of things I wanted to bring out of myself but didn’t quite have the confidence or the level of freedom I needed to do so. I’ll just say that by the end of it, there wasn’t a whole lot I couldn’t bring out of me. I learned from the inside out to give myself permission to express myself without holding back.
I would HIGHLY recommend this class to anyone who is looking to build themselves a SOLID foundation and to improve themselves simply, as human beings.
The Meisner Studio prepares you for the life of an actor. If/when you complete this training, you can honestly call yourself an actor.
If you’re late, if you don’t do your homework, if you’re not prepared, then you will be called out on it. If you are passionate, caring and dedicated to the craft of acting, and treat yours and other’s dreams with respect, you will be celebrated. Jim & Melissa set a standard in their work as actors (I have acted with both of them), and that standard translates into their teaching. This is NOT, I repeat NOT, just another acting class.
I came to it a bit later in life, and thank goodness I did. I now own my dream and support it with a solid acting technique as a foundation. I know what it did for me, and what it can do for you, IF, you are prepared to commit and want to be an actor, not just famous. Jim & Melissa are a packaged gift, and frankly, if your commitment is one drop less than theirs, then you don’t deserve their wisdom and care.
I am a graduate of Meisner Technique Studio. All I can say is that it’s been a life changing experience. Not only I did I meet so many wonderful dreamer, I learned so much about acting and filming.
As I am writing this comment, I am having hard time to find the right words to describe because this place is more than just an acting school. It became home to me. I owe so much to this school. When I first started Meisner Studio not knowing what to expect, I was a shy little boy with full of insecurities. Then, I met Jim and Melissa, two amazing human beings who taught me what it means to be free and dream bigger than I could imagine. Today, I am signed with one of the top talent agencies in San Francisco and all thanks to this beautiful place.
Meisner Technique Studio is strictly for serious dreamers. You have to put all in if you want to get full benefit. Please do not waste your time if you are looking for a quick one-month-long so called acting training. If you are looking for the real craft, this is the place to be but it doesn’t come easy.
Meisner Technique Studio is beyond acting, it is life. It is the place where you meet your future best friends.
This training, under Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia’s leadership transforms people into students and then into actors, and they’re incredibly serious about it. Which also branches off into them being the most passionate, nurturing, knowledgeable and investing teachers I have ever studied with. Hands down! Jim and Melissa run an incredibly thorough curriculum.
The Meisner Technique Studio holds the exact same authentic principles Sanford Meisner founded his school on. And not only with the learning material but with what it takes as a person and as an actor to handle the learning material. Jim and Melissa hold their students to the highest standard and it is understood with great respect. Anyone who finishes the training, like I have, will leave empowered, incredibly prepared and have the professional skills to work in any medium opposite anyone or anything. I promise you!
Jim and Melissa are by far THE BEST teachers of the Meisner Technique. They are the biggest dreamers I know and they have so much passion for what they do and it’s incredibly contagious. They are there for their students 1000% of the way. While you’re in school, on days you don’t have school, and even like me, being finished with the training, they’ll be there for you, and they have been. I’m living proof of the experience! I left The Meisner Technique Studio a way better actor than I ever imagined and, as equally important, a better person. I am ready to audition, knock on doors, handle scripted material, take direction, develop and earn characters and show up with them. I am ready to work along side anybody and anything.
Without any exaggeration, with what I’ve gained artistically and personally, this school will be the only reason I propel anywhere in this profession!
Larry Dorsey Jr
Jarrettology changed my life. The Meisner Technique Studio taught me how to be a better human being, how to feel deeper, how to love with intensity. I learned how to channel my passion. It transformed my life, and for that, I am forever grateful…
I come from a different world than most that attend the school…Due to historical/systemic and socio-economic reasons I was involved in criminal activity that you only see in movies…I’ve witnessed the destruction of many people close to me: incarceration, addiction, insanity, ptsd, traumatic disability and more death than the average person can imagine. As I transitioned out of that lifestyle, I was trying to recreate my identity without turning my back on my people. I knew that I was talented at producing laughter from those who were in negative emotional states- so in some way I loved humanity at a spiritual level. The Meisner training helped me discover my authentic self and cultivate my comedic dreams.
Jim Jarrett took a chance with me. I struggled with the discipline. I am known to break rules, I didn’t really fit in, I had a lot of personal issues, etc. He saw something in me and gave me a shot (He scouted me from another college class). I feel like Jim understood me because we both competed at high levels in sports, so I respected him like a coach, and he treated me like that one player who was always missing from the team- but came in clutch when they needed him. What I gained the most, besides an affinity for Caribbean culture, is that I discovered the beauty of loving other human beings. I literally became an activist shortly after leaving the studio.
Before coming into the training at The Meisner Technique Studio, I studied acting in college at UC Davis as my major, took classes at UCLA, other prominent schools and workshops. However, I never truly felt like I was ready to be an actor when I lived in LA. I knew something was off and I wasn’t confident in my craft at all. I moved back to the Bay Area and I made myself a promise to really truly invest in craft to build a strong foundation and after 2.5 years with Jim and Melissa, I can now truly be honest with myself that I am ready to go back to LA to pursue my dreams. I feel so grateful and privileged that I got to study with the genius Sanford Meisner’s last teaching protégé, my teacher for life Jim Jarrett.
Here is just a tip of the iceberg of what I have gotten out of this training: active listening, authentic, being human, creativity, work from the gut, be in the moment, integrity, professionalism, work ethic, FREEDOM, sensitivity, imagination, how to be grounded, etc. I used to be afraid of getting a script or not knowing what to do but through the training, I am now excited to work and audition! Jim and Melissa have helped me with building my CONFIDENCE by giving me these tools and challenging characters /scenes and because of that, I’ve learned to love the work, trust the process, be free and creative with my imagination and go very deep with any character. One of the most important things that I take away from my training is that I’ve learned how to have fun and be mentally healthy about my work and the business of acting. This industry is TOUGH but I am tougher. I know 2 years might be intimidating but imagine that each class and lesson is a layer of concrete blocks, if you keep putting in the work and always put in a 110%, imagine how strong your instruments and foundation will be and the indescribable JOY of your fruitful work at the end!
There are times where I’d cry during my 1 hour drive from school to home because I was so ecstatic and happy that I get to learn from my amazing teachers and classmates. Through the training, I have became stronger as a human being, I learned how to love and understand myself, face my fears and became FEARLESS, understand that I AM enough and embrace my uniqueness. Coming to this training, I thought that I was going to be transform as an actor but little did I know, I have transformed as a human being as well. I learned how to take care of myself, be a better person and all of that have actually helped me becoming a better and authentic actor.
What I also love about my training at the school is the standards that Jim and Melissa have for their students because TALK IS CHEAP. They make sure that every student is on top of their game and that makes me appreciative because having high standards mean my investment is being protected and I am training with people who are as serious as I am. When I say investment, I mean both my money and my time. Beyond the training, I have also gained an artistic family that I trust and will always be there for me for life and that is priceless!
So there you have it. This IS world class training. Ask yourself.. How serious are you about your dreams? What kind of actor and human do you want to be? If you feel like there’s something missing like I did, then I recommend apply, train and DEVOTE yourself with my teachers at The Meisner Technique Studio and be ready for a life changing experience!
P.S. To Jim and Melissa, thank you for your nurture and all you have done for me and the school! I don’t know how to express my gratitude and appreciation for your passion and love. Thank you for motivating and empowering me!
Why are you doing this? From day one Jim will stress that this is the single most important question any actor can ask themselves. Having gone through the formal two year training program and the business class, I now fully understand the importance of being able to answer this question and because of that am crystal clear on who I am and where I want to go with this dream. If you truly believe in your heart of hearts that the one thing you were put on this earth to do was to be an actor, then the Meisner Technique Studio is the only place you should consider attending. There you’ll be surrounded by other like minded individuals and receive the tools and teachings necessary to help you take on the most competitive industry in the world with confidence and humility. It will be tough at times and you will struggle and more than likely fall down a time or two. But in doing so you’ll learn the importance of resiliency and develop the mental fortitude necessary to thrive in this profession.
There are not enough stars to represent how INCREDIBLE this studio is. If you are looking to become a better actor, writer, director, film making and person―look no further.
I tip-toed into acting after pursuing writing for many years. I graduated from an MFA program in Southern California and left my writing community the moment I moved to the Bay Area. I was trying to find other creatives. I enrolled in some sketch comedy writing classes and improv, but between the teachers and the lack of effort or care from the students, I wasted time and money.
I was interested in finding a group of creatives in the bay area. No dilettantes, but passionate artists who were going to push me and make me better. I had looked up “the best acting schools in San Francisco” and landed on the The Meisner Technique studio. After reading numerous reviews, each one praising the integrity of the instructors as well as the life changing experiences the students had, I knew that I had found the perfect place to grow into my dream.
From the moment I had my interview with Jim I knew right away that I had found my teacher. When I enrolled at the studio, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I had no idea what I was doing, if I had any business looking into acting and where it all would lead. My how that changed. I was bit by the acting bug and every single class I’d drive home feeling so passionate about what I was doing. I worked hard. I poured everything I had into the training and I regret nothing. Those that knew me during this training would always ask about “my acting” because they could feel the passion inside of me. To be honest, this training was more intense than my Masters program (and that was tough as hell!) You get what you give and my class put in the work. It was beautiful to watch my classmates blossom into these sensitive, powerful, moment to moment, working from gut machines. My class became my second family. We were all there to support each other and lift each other up. The studio supports a healthy environment for learning and growing. It was such a safe place for artistic expression.
I feel incredibly blessed and honored that I was able to study with Jim Jarrett and grow as an actor. When I first started studying, I didn’t think I could ever have the audacity to pursue acting as a career path. After two years, I can confidently say that I feel like I have a rock solid foundation to go after my dream. If you study here, you will leave with craft. You will hone in on your skills and discover what makes you so unique. You will realize that being an actor is a noble profession and to express humanity is sacred.
Sanford Meisner was a genius. His technique evolves and grows into this unbelievable ride. Each session you learn a new skill. Brick by brick you build a foundation in the craft and by the end of the journey you will not BELIEVE how far you came. Jim Jarrett was the last teaching protege of Sandy. He stays 1000% true to Sandy’s teachings and withholds the same standards. This is not a place to be casual. You study here to become an acting warrior!
Two years later, my love for the school and the technique has only grown. I am in the business class which is taught by Jim and his incredibly talented daughter Kyla Jarrett. Through this class you are exposed to how to practically go after this dream because knowing how to get work is the idea here! The price of the studio is so worth every freaking cent. The amount of knowledge, time and help you receive on your journey is immeasurable.
& one more thing….there are so many FUN events like the 24 HR Film Festival, The Sanford Meisner Film Festival, The Oscar Party (costume content), Talent Shows, Studio showcase, guest speakers and MORE.
The Meisner Technique studio has helped me become a fuller version of myself in “real life.” I cannot express enough gratitude for my teacher Jim, Melissa and Kyla and of course Sandy. I could go on and on. From the bottom of my heart, thank you thank you thank you!
If, in fact, you love and respect good acting and consider it worthy of being a true calling, this is for you. Yep, it can be very challenging and sometimes uncomfortably revealing about one’s own nature at times, but the rewards are more than worth it. If you can leave your ego and your need to be right all the time at the door and allow yourself to be still and be taught by a passionate and committed actor personally trained as a teacher by Sanford Meisner himself (now there’s a qualification), you’ll do just fine.
While you are here you will find in your colleagues many of the people who will become part you artistic family. It is no exaggeration to say that I have been blessed by friends and achievements that I scarcely dreamed possible when I walked into my first day of class. Furthermore I can honestly say that I owe everything I am as an actor to this man and this school. So if you are truly serious about studying acting, either as a beginning student or as a more experienced actor looking to break bad habits and create more honest and believable work, then there is no better place.
The Most LIFE CHANGING thing I’ve done as an adult!
It feels like it has to be the best acting school in the world, and that feeling I get… could very well be right. This school is one of the very few that teaches the Meisner Technique the same way that Sanford Meisner taught it, the way it was intended to be taught because Jim Jarrett was the final teaching protégé of Sanford Meisner, learning directly from him not only the technique, but HOW to teach the technique!
Jim would never say this, but I feel I got even better instruction than any one did from Meisner himself, because Jim’s giving us everything Sanford Meisner gave him, plus the amazing life experiences and lessons of Jim’s life as well. Melissa is the other instructor and she’s been called the best instructor of the Meisner Technique by anyone that wasn’t trained by Meisner… and it’s not a contest, but she’s that good as well.
WARNING: as amazing as this school is, it’s not for everyone! I’ve taken acting classes for years prior to this and never felt near the growth and life changing transformation this school has brought me and just about every other graduate. However, you have to be willing to completely commit, sacrifice, and not let your ego get in the way of anything. It’s not an exaggeration when people call this school Life Changing.
As a working graduate of the 2009 class, I can tell you that this school is absolutely legit.
1. You will learn to love who you are.
2. You will be the most authentic version of yourself after you graduate.
3. You will be surprised how well you can work as an actor. It should be hard and challenging, but it should also be a place where you can fall down, make mistakes and learn. And they care so much about each student, Advice? Don’t beat yourself up. You are enough.
Bring everything you’ve got to each class and rehearsal, and you’ll grow. And don’t be late. Ever. If you are, you don’t have the integrity to stay with the school. I always was at class 1.5 hours early because I commuted across the Bay Area.
The gifted teachers at the Meisner Technique Studio meet you where you are, and then lift you up to the highest standards of integrity, discipline and truthful being through acting.
Their transparent & solid way of getting the brilliance of this technique to you, brings you closer to yourself as learning how to act gets you in touch with your most authentic self.
This discovery of yourself is a by-product that you can count on finding in your journey through this powerful school and its community of healthy artists.
Be prepared to be unprepared and totally surprised as you experience an explosion of creativity during the Studio nights!
If you’re serious about giving yourself the best shot at becoming the best actor you can be and have respect for acting this is the place for you. I have graduated from the 2yr program, business class, and also taken the new Stand Up Comedy class with Bay Area Comedy legend Michael Meehan. Before coming to this school, I was a self taught actor and thought I had a good understanding of how to act, I struggled a lot in the beginning and wanted to quit because I felt like the Meisner Technique was not right for me, given that I already studied Strasberg, but something was telling me to just keep pushing and about 6 months into the training things finally started to click, Jim is a wonderful teacher and is so accurate and spot on with his teachings to each individual student everyone is allowed to grow at their own pace.
I am highly competitive and come from an athletics background, and appreciate coaches who tell it like it is at the expense of my ego or hurting my feelings, I have audited several Bay Area and LA acting studios and was seeking a place with no sugar coating in feedback, Actors/artists in general can have a reputation for being sensitive which is a good thing but when it comes to growing and developing your craft, you need truthful authentic feedback in order to grow, and for the past two years that is what Jim provided for me.
A bonus I was not expecting to get out of this training was several lifelong friendships and a place to call my artistic home.
This training has changed my life. No exaggeration, the foundation I received for the craft of acting serves as a whole new light in how I view humanity. There is no room for ego in the classroom. Once I opened my heart and stayed open to the teachings, I noticed I was developing a skill. Now, I know exactly which tools to pull out of my tool bag to get to work on my craft.
The founder and director of the studio Jim Jarrett and assistant director Melissa Thompson Esaia promised me on the first day that if I hung in there, I would graduate with an understanding for the craft of acting and I’d be ready to fly for the professional world. They were right! I’m so empowered to get to work!
They both have taught me it’s ok to dream! And, they’ve taught me the structure, the foundation building, the step-by-step process of how to make that dream a reality. I’m so empowered and thankful. Thank you Jim & Melissa. I’ll go fly now!
The best experience of my life. The most caring and loving instructors you will ever meet. I was taught by Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia and they have forever changed my life and made my dreams come true. I’ve been dreaming of being an actor since I was 8 years old and suppressed those dreams due to fear. My confidence has grown immensely since doing this 2 year intensive training. My classmates became my artistic family. And they’ve done the most beautiful work that I’ve ever seen. The inspiration I have to become an artist is all due to the work that my class put in, my teachers, and the amazing training developed by Sandy Meisner. ALSO, Jim Jarrett is the last teaching protege of Sandy Meisner himself! Jim has set up the training to be as authentic as if Sandy would have taught it himself. I am forever grateful that I went with my gut and chose this school.
This is definitely the school for you if you are serious about becoming an actor. This training will push you to become a better, healthier, and professional actor AND person. It’s night and day how I have transitioned as a person through this journey. I have learned more life lessons in this 2 year training than my 5 year University experience. They teach you to be the best human being possible through The Meisner Technique Studio.
I have also participated and attended in a lot of their events like the 24 hour film festival, Hawaii Intensive Retreat, Talent show, and more! Also, If you ever hear about Jim’s one man show ‘Meisner’. You have to watch. Amazing show and performance from my teacher. Be on the look out.
Have trust in this school because it’s that legitimate. I have recommended this training to every single person I know.
Jim Jarrett is an incredible acting teacher and if you’re serious about this craft then look no further. Jim Jarret is a master teacher and there is a reason why Sanford Meisner chose him to carry on the Meisner legacy. I studied with Jim for 2 years. What a rewarding experience!
Jim will bring you to places you didn’t think you could reach as an actor in a very caring and safe environment. But he’ll demand that you work hard because he has so much respect for the craft of acting, ‘THE WORK’!!
Jim tells it how it is, no BS, a straight shooter, but a sincere passionate teacher who cares.Again he’ll know if you’re working at your craft when you come to class or if you’re bluffing and not putting in the time and effort that is needed.
I can’t recommend Jim highly enough and ten years on since having completed the course I can still call on him with questions and he has never let me down!
As I was planning to move to the bay area from San Diego, for a moment I wondered if moving farther from LA would lead me farther from my dream of being an actor and artist. I remember thinking take a leap and the right teacher and path would unfold. Thankfully I listened to my gut on this because it led me to finding this school and I started class here the very next day after arriving!
The words that come to mind to describe this school are integrity, commitment, and heart. There aren’t really words though to describe all that I have come to learn and experience through the two year program here. To study here is a gift. This program offers you the unique opportunity to learn the Meisner Technique as it was intended and in the same structure that Sanford Meisner led the training back in his time of teaching. The commitment Jim Jarrett has to this school and Sanford Meisner’s teachings is at the heart of The Meisner Technique Studio, not to mention his commitment to each individual student in nurturing them as artists and creative voices in the world. This program is for anyone who has that whisper in their heart to step onto the path of becoming an actor, filmmaker, storyteller or who simply want to live with a new level of confidence and freedom in their day to life. What you will learn at this school will empower you and grow your voice and your spirit in new and unexpected ways! Thank you to Jim, the other members of faculty and alumni that make up this school and artistic family! This school is a treasure and gift. It is also a beautiful representation of what it is to truly learn the Meisner Technique, which I assure you goes well beyond being “an acting class”.
As an actor and writer I have no hesitation in recommending this school to those who are interested in become artist and professionals in the true sense of the word. Jim and Melissa are two of the most passionate and gifted teachers I have encountered.
Yes. They will push to go beyond what many school would view as the minimum but that is because they believe in bringing to the surface the true totality of who you are as an artist, human being and emissary for the human condition. They are fiercely compassionate and deeply devoted to the goal of ensuring that your purest impulses and authentic gifts rise to the surface.
I have no hesitation in saying that both Jim and Melissa have made me a far better artist, and more importantly a far better human being. There is no doubt they set the bar higher than many schools, but I have been reminded time and time again that the true artist is the one who is accepts that to truly honor our profession we must demand nothing less than the best of who we are. I encourage those students who are PASSIONATE and COMMITTED to the process of acting to take the time to visit the school and see what they have to offer.
You will never work harder but by the same token you will never grow as much as you will during your course of study with these two remarkable individuals.
Studying with Jim Jarrett has been a defining point in my life, as much as in my work as an actor. What the Meisner Technique Studio offers is far beyond an education in the craft of acting, but an all encompassing discovery of the self. Through this work, each student is given the tools necessary to create authentically. A gift that translates to the essence of great acting, life on stage permeated with vulnerability, courage, and truth.
Your time at the Meisner Technique Studio will be intense, demanding, and require your full dedication, but the experience and knowledge gained at this studio is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Jim’s commitment and ability to cultivate genuine growth is a gift. He is pure in his approach to the Meisner Technique, and unrivaled in his ability to inspire greatness from his students. The world needs fearless artists willing to dig deep, listen to their instincts, and stand firmly in the truth of their imagination, this is what Jim Jarrett teaches at the Meisner Technique Studio. For all his tough love and wisdom, I am eternally grateful.”
I am forever grateful to Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia because they gave me the tools to be a more courageous, free, open, motivated, and empowered human being. Completing the training marks one of my finest accomplishments to date. I put more effort into the training than I have put into anything in my life because Jim and Melissa are incredibly nurturing and inspiring. Talk is cheap – and they back it up 100%. If you want to learn the craft of acting and truly have it mean something, look no further. Give yourself the gift of this training. It’s truly the best around.
Undergoing and completing the two hard earned years of training at The Meisner Technique Studio was the most satisfying thing I’ve done in my entire life. It’s anything but easy to complete this training, but if you’re committed and passionate about the craft of truthful acting then this is the place for you.
My work in acting before coming to this school was false, phony, and extremely acted. I had no idea what the hell I was doing, and on top of that I was constantly playing the character instead of simply being the character.
I now understand that truthful acting takes a lot of work, and thanks to Jim and Melissa I now have the tools necessary to take my work to a higher level of truth. Jim and Melissa are two of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to come across. I’ve never met two people with such passion, dedication, and love towards the craft of acting and humanity as a whole than these two.
You’re going to work harder than you ever have before, but nothing great ever comes easy. When I walked out the end of that tunnel when my two years was up I felt like a more cleansed and free individual. I understand who I am and why I am the way I am. For that I am forever grateful to this training as well as Jim and Melissa.
I don’t know where to start and where to end with this review. I feel as though I’ve learned so much as an actor and grown so much spiritually as a human being that I can write forever, so I’ll leave you with one more thing. If you’re looking to instill true craft in yourself, and willing to work harder than you ever have before while putting your ego aside in order to fully obtain the teachings; then this is the school for you.
If you are looking for a solid acting foundation, a set of tools and skills under your belt that you can take with you for the rest of your career(and even use outside of your career as an actor). The Meisner Technique studio is the place for you. A technique built on getting you out of your head, and not focusing on your self. To be instinctive, and work from your gut. And to embrace yourself, warts and all. A technique taught to you by wonderful instructors with real craft and true passion for acting. Instructors who whole heartedly believe, and know, that the profession of acting is important.
Over the course of the program, I have found my artistic family. Spending two years with people who were strangers at first but easily and quickly became people that I can never forget. I have learned to embrace my self, and what makes me, me. In a space that was so safe to allow that to happen. I’ve learned how to really listen, to read people and pay attention, how to be free, what makes me tick, how to work on a character, what to look for in a scene, how to be truthful, and what it takes to call yourself an actor. I got exactly what I hoped for and much more when I signed up. One of the best decisions I have made to date.
You want to be an actor? Do you really want to be an actor? Going through the training at The Meisner Technique Studio will have you face to face with this question and for your sake you will get an answer one way or another. By far, the best investment in myself I have made. I had no idea what acting truly was until I attended this school and finished the program. I would do it all over again only the point of this training is to set you free and go after your dream and I mean REALLY go after it with the passion and commitment that is absolutely needed. And you will always have Jim’s continuous support which in of itself is a BIG DEAL in an industry that is a dog eat dog world. Not only did I come out a well-trained actor, I came out a better human being and for this I will be forever grateful to Jim Jarrett of The Meisner Technique Studio.
I came to The Meisner Technique Studio looking for a school that is genuine in its claim of teaching The Mesiner Technique.
I had taken many previous acting courses, yet after some research learned that for me the Meisner Technique is the most effective and liberating approach to the craft of acting. What ensued was a life changing experience both personal and in the craft. Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia are passionate, honest, loving teachers who deeply care about their students and human beings.
In addition to teaching me the technique the way it was intended to be taught by Sandy Meisner, Jim and Melissa taught me how to have the work ethic to pursue my dream and overcome my fears of failure. They deeply care for me and my dreams and are always available to me. I also learned how to navigate through the business part of an acting career, create professional marketing material and have strong auditions.
Today, as an Actor I’m capable of high quality work, equipped with all the necessary marketing tools and most importantly the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. If you’re serious about the craft of acting and are committed to your dreams, rest assured that your search has brought you to the right place to realize all of your dreams.
This school is amazing.
Not only will you be able to feel confident as an actor when you finish this training, you will change immensely as a human being.
Melissa and Jim are the best acting teachers I’ve ever had. They are kind and compassionate human beings, but at the same time, they are going to be completely honest in your strengths and weaknesses as an actor, so that you can grow to be the best actor you can be.
If you’re looking to be sugarcoated, then this is not the place for you. If you are looking for a place to grow immensely and learn to be fearless, come here!! If you are serious about acting, come here and your life will change. This is a beautiful, passionate family to be apart of, and I am grateful for every minute I have spent in this place.
Tessa Rae Evelyn
This school is so much more than an acting school.
Not only are Jim and Melissa my teachers, my mentors, but they have also become my friends and family. This is a place where you learn to find your light and let it shine! Of course there are days when you fall flat on your face, but as long as you get yourself up and dust yourself off Jim and Melissa are there to support you and lift you up.
They genuinely want everyone in their classes to succeed. They love what they do, they take it seriously, and they put everything they have into this school… and that is probably an understatement. This school and its rigorous schedule taught me passion, patience, and to pursue my dreams.
I could not have asked for a better experience. If you choose to go to this school stay open and stay humble and choose to love every minute of this life changing experience.
Well all the other reviews should give you your obvious answer!
The Meisner Technique Studio is the best acting training out there! Yes I haven’t gone and participated in all of them but my experience here was out of this world. One of the first reasons why I fell in love with this studio was because of the bar they raise for the students! You’re expected to be on time, show up prepared, and truly give yourself over to it and when you have a classroom of people all doing exactly that … its pure magic.
This isn’t another rip off acting studio… if you’re looking for a quick 6 week workshop this isn’t the place for you. But if you’re looking for somewhere transformational, personal and real then you should attend here. You will be a different person, a better person by the time you graduate and you will be able to call yourself an actor and have it mean something to you. The time I spent at the Meisner Technique Studio was the best of my life and I will be forever grateful!!
I literally knew nothing about acting before I found Jim and the Meisner Technique Studio 10 years ago. Trained as a singer, I was 4 months away from performing in my 2nd musical comedy and could not bear to “wing” my acting again. I was looking for a program that got to the meat and potatoes and I found that with Jim in spades. While this is a 2-year program, you do your first scene in your first session. Each session builds upon the last.
I was riveted from day 1 and have never worked so hard in my life. The Meisner Technique was a perfect match for me. This technique got me out of my head and had me reacting from my gut. Not only did this teach me how to be an authentic actor it taught me how to be a more authentic self. If you want to learn how to act, have the courage to make mistakes, and are willing to work your tail off, enroll in this program. I give the Meisner Technique Studio my highest recommendation!
This class isn’t for everyone. It is for people with enough integrity and self respect to listen to the teachings and use them as means to grow from, not become defensive of.
If you’re interested in learning the craft of acting the way Sandy Meisner intended, it doesn’t get much better than Jim’s school. It truly is pure and authentic and not watered down.
Jim and his teachers demand the most from their students and and holds you to a high standard. Anyone who is serious about this class should hold themselves to the same standard.
If you have enough personal integrity to take this class seriously and give it your all, you won’t be late. The universe conspires with you and you will never be late. No one person in my graduating class of 2009 was ever late, not once, and SEVERAL of them had to take BART, buses, cars, etc from the East Bay. Coincidentally I was lucky enough to be in a class with a very HIGH level of personal integrity and every single person wanted to be there and learn from Jim.
Jim is a wonderful teacher and has great passion for what he does. This class was absolutely life changing for me and has helped me in so many more areas than just acting. I’m so grateful.
I am eternally grateful for Jim, Kyla and the Meisner Technique Studio. They’ve worked hard together to create a safe environment for me in order to allow myself to be vulnerable and free which is essential in acting.
I’ve never taken an acting class in my life but that never slowed me down or hindered me during training. The only thing that held me back was myself and my insecurities. With time and with Jim and Kyla’s help, I was able to let go of my doubts, fears and insecurities in order to really break free and immerse myself in the world of acting.
This school has changed my life not just for acting but for my personal life as well. I am so much more confident in myself and am less afraid of going out and doing what I want to do. I can call myself an actor with confidence but most importantly I have confidence in myself to pursue whatever I wish to accomplish in life because of this school and the lessons I’ve learned here. My classmates and these teachers have become my FAMILY and I am forever grateful for this school.
The Meisner Technique Studio is a hidden gem of an acting school in the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco. I can say that because I have actually had the privilege to have studied under Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia. In the training, not only do you learn about the craft of acting, but you learn about to beauty of being a human. You learn about the beauty of you, and I have learned to see the world through different lenses.
For any dreamer out there that has been contemplating where to study to further their dream, I encourage you to look into the Meisner Technique Studio. Look at their website, talk to the teachers (they will actually reach out to you), and the graduates of the training.There really aren’t enough stars to rate this school.
If you want to study the brilliant methodical technique devised by renowned acting teacher Sanford Meisner, this is, in my opinion, is the best place in the country to do it. Meisner wanted actors to behave truthfully, spontaneously, creatively under imaginary circumstances. Robert Duvall, Susan Sarandon, Gregory Peck are just a few of the greats who benefited from his training.
Jim Jarrett, who studied intensively under Meisner, and fellow teacher Melissa Thompson Esaia are determined to deliver the training as closely as possible to the way Meisner himself taught it. At the same time, they beautifully and sensitively address the emotional, spiritual and practical challenges faced by working actors.
This is a professional school that places professional demands on its students. Yes, you are expected to show up on time. Yes, you are expected to work hard. Jim and Melissa insist on creating a work atmosphere filled with respect, appreciation, a positive attitude. They are dedicated, hard-working and amazingly accessible to their students.
Jim and Melissa are intelligent and insightful teachers. They are honest and demanding but also nurturing. They deal sensitively with actors, realizing we all place tender, difficult human feelings on the line as we work. My time at the Meisner Technique Studio has fostered great friendships, and great opportunities to practice the craft of acting with other serious actors and directors.
Long before I started this training I worked professionally in New York City and in regional repertory theaters. I studied with Uta Hagen, and with teachers who came out of the Actors Studio, the Atlantic Theatre Company and Meisner training. But the best, most comprehensive acting schooling I’ve experienced came from Jim and Melissa. If you want to inject truth and spontaneity into your acting work, this is the place to be.
The Meisner Technique Studio has changed my life in every way possible. It took finding this school and it’s incredible teachers for me to learn to believe in myself and in my dreams. Because of my experience as a student, I’ve grown into an entirely better version of myself both as a person and an artist. Whether you’re looking to become an actor, director, writer, etc., you’ll find all of that and more at this school!
I’d always wanted to become an actor, but as many do, I suppressed that dream and went to college for a “real” profession. It didn’t take long after I graduated to realize that my life was going to get pretty unfulfilling if I didn’t somehow find a place to express the creativity, voice and passion for life that I’ve always had living in me. From there, I found the Meisner Technique Studio. I truly believe that wasn’t an accident… all I had to do was take a chance and follow my gut.
In my time as a student, I’ve grown incredibly bonded to my class and the entire rest of my artistic family, including other students, alumni, and special guests that come to see us at the studio. I never thought I’d be the director and lead actor of a film that I wrote with my classmate… and now that dream is about to come to life!
Words can’t express the gratitude I have for my teachers and for myself for taking the chance to commit to all they have to offer me!
So my advice would be to take the chance. It will serve you INCREDIBLY well and will do nothing but great things for your life.
A few years ago I looked in the mirror and asked myself “What are you waiting for? How long will you keep dreaming but be too scared to go after that dream?” Fast forward a few years and I am googling “The Meisner Technique” and “Meisner schools” from my computer in Vancouver, Canada, I came across a few schools in my area but they just didn’t resonate with me.
Then I came across The Meisner Technique Studio in San Francisco. I clicked on the link and saw videos of Jim Jarrett teaching some of his classes. I was immediately drawn to what I was seeing. I had never met the man, but his passion, humility and warmth was more than apparent.
Everything he was expressing about the craft of acting immediately resonated with me. I thought “I really need to train with this person”.
After being accepted into the training program I needed to try to figure out how I could move to San Francisco. Jim and Melissa went above and beyond in trying to help make my move as smooth as possible.
They connected with a former student who was Canadian who completed the training and she told me her experiences of traveling back and forth between The US and Canada during her 2 years of training.
They reached out to current and former students to try to help me find a place to live.
They are always available for a chat when things are going sideways for me and I need someone to talk to or if I am having trouble understanding a new exercise in class. I have been given so much support from the school and I haven’t even talked about the training yet…lol.
If you are new to acting or want to take your craft to a whole new level of truth and authenticity, I highly recommend training at The Meisner Technique Studio. The training is intense and so worth it. It means a lot to me that the training is delivered EXACTLY as Sanford Meisner wanted it to be taught. It also means a lot to me that my teacher Jim Jarrett was not only taught by Sanford Meisner but he was also taught how to teach “The Meisner Technique” by Sanford Meisner. Somedays in class, I can feel Sanford Meisner in the room watching all of us students try to figure out these amazing teachings he created. I hope he is proud, sometimes I hope he gets a good laugh as I fumble my way through a new exercise.
I am in my last 6 moths of the 2 year program and I have never been as free as an actor or as a human being. I feel completely safe when I work with Jim and Melissa. I trust them and the process. I see how hard they work and how dedicated they are to the school and to each student. They really do want the best for everyone who trains with them.
I am inspired by them and my classmates on a daily basis.
Training with The Meisner Technique Studio is so much more than an acting class. I’ve been given a supportive community who understands what it means to have a dream and go after it. I can’t tell you how precious that is, to have someone look at you and say “I believe in you and I believe in your dream…and I will do everything I can to help you.” I get that on a daily basis from my teachers Jim Jarrett and Melissa Thompson Esaia.
So, what are you waiting for?
And please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need clarification on anything I said or have any questions. My email address is email@example.com
When I say that this training changed my life, I am not exaggerating in the slightest. I went into this training expecting to learn how to act, but I left it transformed as both and actor and a human being. I found a family that I will have in my life forever, I have no doubt about it.
I learned the power of truthful acting (of which the only drawback is that now I can’t watch a badly acted movie or show without cringing), and I embraced emotions that I’d never allowed myself to feel, let alone express in any way. I improved my work ethic, empathy, and fueled a passion that I’d only ever dreamed of pursuing.
Growing up, I’d always wanted to perform in some way, being a musical and creative person. But my shyness and stage fright made that nearly impossible. By the time I arrived at the Meisner Technique Studio, I’d overcome the majority of my shyness, but my stage fright was still very much present. By the end of the first class, my stage fright was practically decimated.
That’s not to say that everything comes that easily. Jim has done an incredible job to honor the format of his mentor, Sanford Meisner. In honoring that, he expects a lot from his students. He pushes us and makes us better, but in my experience it was ALWAYS for the best. There were times that feedback hurt, but you HAVE to take your ego out of the equation the second you enter the studio. This training is about turning you into a truthful actor, and everything that Jim does goes towards that goal.
After the formal training, Jim also offers an optional business class that teaches students how to enter the business world of acting. Everything from auditioning to landing an agent, and from building a resume to creating a pitch deck. I was lucky enough to take this class from both Jim and his incredible daughter, Kyla. She knows SO much about this industry, having worked on the other side of it for some time, and she is an amazing teacher.
If you’re interested in learning to be an actor, this is the place to go. It’ll be tough, but every second is worth it.
If you’ve always wanted to be an actor, if you believe the craft of acting is an artform that deserves a brick-by-brick intensive instruction, and if you’re willing and able to commit to hard work, sacrifice, and overcoming vulnerability, you do not need to look any further. The Meisner Technique Studio is unquestionably one of the best investments I’ve ever made toward not just my dream but also my ability to live more presently and authentically with my family, friends, and others. I had skepticism at first based on the reviews written that were similar to what I’ve just written. How could an acting program be that good? Not long into my experiment, though, it was clear: To be a better actor, one needs to be a more authentic human being and that requires forceful confrontation of fears, hopes, and vulnerabilities. The Meisner Technique achieves this, and Jim Jarrett’s commitment to teaching the Meisner Technique as true to Sandy Meisner’s genius as possible preserves this legacy. Show up, work hard, commit, and be free – you will not regret it.
This is an Acting School to help you become an Actor in the truest meaning of the word. Jim and Melissa are the most dedicated teachers I have ever known and love what they do.
They push you to new levels and challenge you to do better in the best way a teacher can. Jim and Melissa ARE Actors. It is very rare in this day and age to see True Actors today and it is a wonderful thing to be taught by both of them. Jim has always been so passionate about the Meisner Technique and he is always there to help you when you are having trouble understanding. I understand it is not for everyone, and Jim and Melissa even say that because they understand, which makes them even better teachers because they say it’s not for everyone.
I have tried other ways of working but none have had such an effect on me like this one has. Jim and Melissa teach with all their hearts EVERY class and push and challenge us all because they know what we all can do and if you want to be a true Actor then you should be excited to be pushed this hard. Jim and Melissa are True Actors and teachers and if you are dead serious about being an Actor in its truest sense then I would highly recommend joining this school.
You will lean so much about you and your craft but be warned, you will be pushed like every real actor should be but once you get to these points then your eyes will open to a whole new world of possibilities, creativity and commitment. All things an Actor needs to have to be an Actor. I am proud to have this way of working as my foundation as an Actor because it will just keep getting stronger and stronger.
I am proud to have Jim and Melissa as my teachers as I know you will be too.
There aren’t enough stars to rate this school !!!
I wouldn’t trade this training for anything. It’s way more than an ”acting class” , not only do you get to learn a craft that will stay with you forever, but most importantly you go through an unforgettable, life changing, empowering experience in the safest environment possible. Jim and Melissa are both incredible teachers and ohhhhh !! so inspiring and generous. I consider this training to be a WORLD CLASS with no exaggeration.
I would advise anyone who is truly passionate AND committed to attend this school because I can say without a doubt that there is no other place like it – truly a magical place where you will build a craft that will allow you to make your dreams come true. I have an immense respect, love and gratitude for Jim and Melissa who are the most passionated dedicated and honest teachers you’ll ever have.
What an amazing life-changing opportunity to have been given a chance to study at The Meisner Technique Studio! This was a place, a school, where I was supported and given a chance to chase my dream and grow as an actor! During my 2 ½ years, I was given tools to help me grow into my craft as well as build a solid foundation, which has made more even more confident to pursue my dream.
And I am insanely fortunate and grateful to have studied under Jim Jarret during my years there. He truly embodied Sanford Meisner and his teachings. To see him so enthusiastic about each teaching he taught made me that more driven and excited to work. In pursuing such a competitive field, one has to be mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy. And there may be people who do not understand or support this dream. But Jim helps guide you through these obstacles. He genuinely cares and wants you to succeed.
I am not going to say the last 2 ½ years were easy. Each class and teaching pushes you. There were a lot of days that were hard. But I put his school, Jim, my dream as my priority. I was willing to put in that effort and work. I was willing to be vulnerable, to let loose and to have fun. And what I was given in return is more than I could have ever asked for.
Jim’s inspiration and creativity are endless. His passion for teaching is unmatched. He is sensitive and understanding of the fact that each student learns differently. As Sanford Meisner would say, each actor has their own unique “instrument.” And Jim would be able to cater his teachings uniquely to each student’s needs.
To find a teacher like Jim is very few and far between. He is one of the best! Jim, thank you for being such an incredible teacher and mentor. Thank you for believing in me!