Education

MEISNER FOUNDATION FOR ACTING

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Teaching Artist: Grant McGowen

In this 8 week class, you will learn the foundation for powerful, organic acting. As you gradually begin to trust in your unique and creative emotional instincts, you will learn how to listen and respond "truthfully under imaginary circumstances." This class will help guide you toward a successful career as an actor.

 

ON-CAMERA ACTING

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Teaching Artist: Grant McGowen

PREREQUISITE: Must complete Meisner Foundation. This 8 week class is devoted to acting on camera. From TV to film, comedy to drama, you will learn the techniques to effectively execute any shot. You will learn how to build a character from the ground up and tell a story with powerful, believable acting. Students have the option to leave this class with a professional demo reel produced and shot on location outside of class and written by our distinctive screenwriters.


SCREENWRITING

PREREQUISITE: Must have completed Levels 1-3. 
This 8 week class is devoted to screenwriting and the development of new scripts. Includes readings, special guest speakers, and more.


Press:

"Teaching artist Grant McGowen and the hardest working man in the theatre business conducts courses into the finer points of acting, in this class he centers on the Meisner method... These actors are believable and do a good job of being vulnerable... For those of you that have a bucket list or are seeking a shift in careers, join in the fun and take a course from Pinch ‘N’ Ouch Theatre." -The Backstage Beat

 

"Grant McGowen has gotten fine, sharp performances from all his actors, in every play...Pinch ‘N’ Ouch continues to grow as perhaps Atlanta’s finest “Off Broadway” company. We’ve mentioned in these pages that Mr. McGowen has a gift for attracting talent. " -Atlanta InTown Paper

 

“McGowen’s gutsy actors give naturalistic powerhouse performances... The name, “Pinch ‘N’ Ouch, honors legendary acting coach Sanford Meisner, who taught that acting had to be absolute truth — fully from the heart and soul... That, ultimately, could prove to be the strength of this theater group." -East Atlanta Patch

Testimonials:

"I love the open, creative incubator in which Grant and his classes operate. He seemlessly intertwines teaching the artistic and business aspects of being a professional actor in a way that is not heavy handed or aggressive; something that I feel many other programs suffer from. I really feel like we are all on equal ground creatively, and that is an imperative part of true art in stage and film. I was a Meisner actor before I ever even realized it, but it took a mentor and friend to finally help me to understand how I need to bring ALL of myself to a role, even the parts I don't like. That, and it helped me come to terms with, and be more confident in, what I have to offer a director. I'm still learning. But now that I have the tools of this technique, I love every second of it."

-Max Leroy Reed, Actor

“I enjoyed this class immensely. I loved the way Grant coached us in our process to determine the given circumstances and how we (the characters) felt about those circumstances and about our relationships with our scene partners. Grant is very good at pushing us to go further without being overly aggresive. I really appreciated that. Grant respected us, but didn't coddle us. The most interesting thing I learned is that there are always new things to find within dialogue and action in a scene, and no matter how carefully you prepare, you can still surprise yourself and be surprised during a performance."

-Sarah Hodges, Actor in Proof, West Side Story, Steel Magnolias, Miracle Worker, Footloose 

"This class has pushed me and continues to push me. I came into Meisner having no real ideas about it and I never thought I would connect so well with a technique. Grant does a great ob of breaking everything down and guides you through the steps each one at a time. Whenever I leave class I feel drained, because Grant forces me to work harder every time. I am challenged every class, which I love! Grant does a great job of not sugarcoating and he gives it to you straight. He wants his students to succeed and he is going to point out if you can stretch yourself farther emotionally. Even if you are skeptical about the technique I encourage people to at least audit a class. You don't know it unless you try it!”

-Jackie Costello, Actor in No Soliciting, Let’s Be Cops, Speed-the-Plow, Some Girl(s), Wall Street Wedding

"PNO’s Meisner classes have given me the tools I needed to silence the forces of self consciousness and self sabotage that have always stood in the way of honest, emotionally grounded work.  I have learned to trust my instincts and work off the electricity that exists between myself and my scene partners, and this has completely changed the way I approach acting, writing, and and filmmaking.  What’s more- I have found at PNO a remarkable family of dedicated artists that challenge me with their willingness to take it to the edge at every opportunity."

-Nicole Kemper, Actor, Director, Screenwriter of The Mother Load and Art and Science

“Grant McGowen’s Meisner classes helped enrich and deepen my career as an actor, director, choreographer and playwright and did much more. It gave me valuable perspectives on an approach to acting that is both inspiring and practical - along with some new skills to utilize for both stage and film work. I enjoy the challenge of the work and its goal - to live truthfully in imaginary circumstances on stage and in film. Grant is a generous and gifted teacher as well as a demanding one. Each of these qualities is much appreciated. The practice sessions that are offered in addition to the classes are invaluable. I highly recommend these classes.”

-Sandra Hughes, Director, Playwright, Choreographer, Actor in Doubt

“At first, I was hesitant to sign up for the class because I felt as if I would feel out of place, already having a B.A. in Dramatic Arts. What actually happened was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I learned so much and really felt a sort of transformation in myself! The other people in the class, even some whose first acting class it was, taught me things as well. They inspired me. The environment of the entire process was incredibly beneficial to be a part of. I've developed a more visceral approach towards acting, one less focused on the intellect and more focused on instinctual spontaneity. I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to study acting, whether experienced or beginner, Meisner technique is such a transformative and informative approach.”

-Mario Avani, Actor in Water By The Spoonful, Next Fall

"The moment I heard that acting is 'the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances' I was assured I was in the right place, and will forever hold that with me. I would absolutely recommend this class, especially to those that are serious about acting. This class is awesome and I can't WAIT to start working next class."

-Lauren Coleman, Actor

“I took away a lot from Meisner Level 1, such as acting is closely tied to natural impulses and NOT thinking. Don't let it come from your head, but from your heart and perhaps even groin. And you need to listen and respond truthfully, no matter what that may be. I would recommend this class to any actor, or actor-to-be. I'm intrigued with Meisner acting, thanks to this class. I will continue to study it beyond this class.”

-Margaret Lamb, Actor

“The Meisner Technique gives you tools that you can use to become more connected to the circumstances you are given. I highly recommend taking this class! Grant is one of the best teachers ever. He rocks!”

-Kori Stokes, Actor in No Soliciting

“I have gained so much knowledge already especially about being in the moment and just responding to the person your in a scene with. I am very excited about future classes.”

-Janice Wesley, Actor

“I took away a deeper understanding of the principles and techniques of emotionally-connected acting. I found having to connect with a good variety of new people the most challenging, and rewarding. This class is lots of fun, and a great way to meet new people. I would definitely recommend this to class.”

-Sebastian Davis, Actor in Heavy Water

“It was nice to have a fresh perspective on the technique, because I had taken it before. I was familiar with a lot of the material; however, there are some things we did that were completely new to me. It was exciting to deepen my understanding of it, and put it all into practice. I really did enjoy taking classes at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch and would love to take the On-Camera class again.”

-Liz Schad, Actor in Assistance

Media:

Showguide Magazine: Meisner 101 by Grant McGowen

3 Lessons Great Actors Learned from Sanford Meisner

Sanford Meisner Biography

The Meisner Community: List of Meisner Based Actors

The Backstage Beat: Pinch 'n' Ouch Presents The Meisner Acting Class

Acting Is Not Acting…Learning The Sanford Meisner Technique In Atlanta

Why Meisner Acting is So Hard by Alana Cheshire