I've attended 3 graduations at The Meisner Center in the past 3 days. I had only planned to attend one, but going to theatre, for me, is like going to church, and the work was so brilliant that I HAD to go back!!
Theatre...GOOD theatre is magical. It's really spiritual. When someone actually GIVES of themselves in their work (as opposed to just saying lines and using actors' "tricks") the human element (as opposed to the INTELLECTUAL element) within each of us can't help but to respond in some way.
It was interesting--as I watched each student's work (with a critical, but supportive eye) I could see them dividing themselves, by virtue of their work, into categories. They were all impeccably trained (as, honestly, Martin Barter is the greatest teacher with whom I have had the pleasure [and pain, sometimes] of studying) but I could see who had brought their ego onstage with them, I could see who just needed some time to (as Sanford Meisner put it, and Jimmy Carville reiterated at the 2 second-year graduations) "catch up with themselves." I could see who was absolutely, unequivocally magnetic,... and I could see who would PROBABLY get a lot of work in Hollywood (not necessarily the people who were magnetic).
My hopes for them (as for myself and any other artist) is that they go forward and create their own work. I'm not saying "don't audition for Hollywood" stuff, but occupy until it comes. Now I'm going to go take my own advice. (That's the other great thing about theatre...it holds up a mirror to one's own existence!)
BTW, Yesterday, my mother asked me if any "real" actors ever studied Meisner. Ouch.