Terry Knickerbocker Studio

“The meaning of life is to see.”
- Hui Neng

“Love is stronger than differences. We all live on the same planet. We walk on the same earth. We breathe the same air. No matter where I was born, no matter what color skin I have or what religion I was raised to believe in, everything and everyone is connected to this one life. I no longer choose to prejudge others, to feel either superior or inferior. I choose equality – to have warm, loving, open communication with every member of my Earthly family. I am a member of the earth community.”
- Louise L. Hay

“Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of gratitude. I now allow this gratitude to fill my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being. This gratitude radiates out from me in all directions, touching everything in my world, and returns to me as more to be grateful for. The more gratitude I feel, the more I am aware that the supply is endless.”
- Louise L. Hay

“Enlightenment is always there. Small enlightenment will bring great enlightenment. If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive – that you can touch the miracle of being alive – then that is a kind of enlightenment.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh

“Many people are alive but don't touch the miracle of being alive.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh

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Terry Knickerbocker Studio in New York City

 

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art

“In everything, without doubt, truth has the advantage over imitation.”
- Cicero

 

"The healing power of the theatre consists in its bring the place where we can finally recognize and remember, often through laughter, our own dreams and desires on stage. It seems that by acknowledging the wild cut-off parts of ourselves, we remove their power to commit uncontrolled violence, we become more integrated, and somehow more compassionate."
- Jean-Claude van Itallie

“What is done in love
is done well.”
- Vincent Van Gogh

“You must not write because you think it’s going to be a hit or because it’s expedient. The only reason to write is from love.”
- Stephen Sondheim

Terry Knickerbocker Studio
in New York City

Terry Knickbocker

Located in the heart of Brooklyn, you will find the Terry Knickerbocker Studio, a Meisner acting school offering a holistic approach to actor training and development. Providing a conservatory setting, their expert faculty trains the actor in a generous, collaborative, spirited way. Led by Terry Knickerbocker, who has spent over thirty years training and teaching with William Esper, he is also a core faculty member and alumnus of the Experimental Theatre Wing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

The Terry Knickerbocker Studio’s primary aims of their actor training conservatory seek to provide students with the tools and a process necessary for creating authentic, imaginative acting while empowering their students with their own unique humanity, plus cultivating standards of craftsmanship and artistry in their students.

The basis of their work is the training created by Sanford Meisner – The Meisner Technique – training the entire instrument of the actor – while preparing the actor for their profession. Their curriculum is designed to support the holistic development of their students.

Terry Knickbocker Studio

Terry Knickerbocker, who studied at New York University, has dedicated his life to this art form. He has also taught directing at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School and Yale University, and has coached actors on over three hundred films, television and theater projects, both on and Off-Broadway, and regionally. Some of the actors he has worked with and trained include: Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Boyd Holbrook, Natasha Lyonne, Leslie Bibb, Emmy Rossum, Yul Vasquez, Jordana Spiro, Gillian Alexy, and Gretchen Mol. He is a past recipient of the Drama League of New York’s directing award/fellowship for emerging directors, and his directing includes Measure for Measure, Tartuffe, The Normal Heart, Candida, All My Sons, and In the Boom Boom Room. As an actor, he was a member of Rina Yerushalmi’s Teatron Company at La Mama E.T.C., and acted in numerous productions directed by Anne Bogart. Terry continues to direct and act.

He believes that the hallmark of quality acting is precision and clarity, fueled by the unique personality, soul and imagination of the actor. Mr. Knickerbocker has said talking about why he created his Studio: “Life in its very nature is a moving thing. Grass grows every day. Things are born, they live, and they die. It’s a dynamic process so if you’re not moving, then you’re not in life. And moving involves going to some place new. If you keep doing the same thing every day you’re going to decay through the process of entropy. It’s important to be on the edge and going towards the sound of the cannons, and asking yourself: What is the healthy risk to be taken? Not a daredevil risk; take a healthy risk but one that challenges you, whatever that might be. It might be auditioning for something. It might be opening an acting studio! No one in New York was saying: “Please open an acting studio.” It wasn’t necessary, but it was necessary for me.”

Terry Knickbocker Studio

“I firmly believe in the power of art to heal. Art makes the world a better place. Broken people attend performances, see paintings, hear music, and walk out feeling not so alone. That experience that art is holding the mirror up to nature, specifically their nature; they don’t feel so alone. Stories are so important. Art is a way to share those stories and to heal the world. Storytelling enhances our culture, and the medium of storytelling includes actors. But that also includes directors, designers, dancers, cinematographers, all the people who support whatever the medium is, which in our culture includes theatre, film, or television.”

“People need to know how to make art. It’s hard to do it well. So that was a moment of awakening that I had. Most actors who start out haven’t had lessons. I mean some kids go to performing arts camps, there are such places, but I never did. I was just doing it based on a love of story-telling and a love of pretend.”

“When I watch my son and he pretends to be Iron Man, he just loves to play and uses his imagination to tell stories. This is inherent in the human experience. But at a certain point you get that you’re not so good at it or that your work is hit or miss.”

“Leonardo Da Vinci needed to train. Picasso needed to train. Duke Ellington needed to train to learn how to compose and play the piano. There is no real great actor worth their salt who did not spend a lot of time training, whether it’s in England or Australia or the United States.”

Terry Knickbocker Studio

“I think young actors need teachers who understand the art form very well. They need to have a nurturing spirit and know when to be strong when necessary and when to be tender depending on the situation, and depending on the person. They need to see every actor as individual, so that they’re not just running through a curriculum. They need to hold their responsibility as sacred because the relationship between an actor and an acting teacher can be very intimate. The relationship requires sensitivity, and care, and a refusal to exploit that relationship.”

“I think the best teachers love teaching. I love what I do, I like to get up in the morning and do it. It keeps me young and engaged. I feel that being in touch with young people, who are the future of the art form, helps me to understand culture and how they see life. I can learn from them.”

“I did a Meisner activity when I was training. I saw my classmates coming to life in the activities and I wasn’t coming to life, and I was disturbed by that because I like to achieve. My choice was “Oh, what if I had a little brother and I made a sailboat for him?” I don’t have a little brother but I found this sailboat kit at a Boy Scout store. I was sure it would bring me to life but it did nothing for me. So this so-called “mistake” or “failure” led me to re-investigate what I thought would work that didn’t work. That’s how you grow.”

For information:  68 34th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232, (718) 801-8999, info@terryknickerbockerstudio.com, Terry Knickerbocker Studio.



"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

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