The Meisner technique is an approach to acting which was developed by the American theater practitioner Sanford Meisner (1905-1997). The focus of the Meisner approach is for the actor to "get out of their head", such that the actor is behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment. Meisner developed this technique after working with an acting coach, Lee Strasberg.

The Meisner technique is often confused with "method" acting taught by Strasberg. Strasberg created a method which deals with emotional/sense memory & recall; using one's limited life experiences to connect with a character. Meisner found this way of working too often unhealthy and self-absorbed.

Both Strasberg & Meisner understood that the best acting came from authentic experience, from the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Some exercises for the Meisner technique are rooted in repetition so that the words are deemed insignificant compared to the underlying emotion. There is a greater focus on the other actor as opposed to one's internal thoughts or feelings associated to the character.

Meisner training is an interdependent series of exercises that build on one another. The more complex work supports a command of the dramatic text of improvisation. He believed that imagination was an incredibly powerful, creative tool. The ability to daydream and fantasize is part of the human experience. The imagination that springs from the unconscious is the source of creativity.

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