Organization and Management

JP Meisner Foundation is a non-profit organization created exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Specifically, JP Meisner Foundation provides the following benefits to the community: educational community engagement programming, self-development, and workforce development to a diverse population and the underprivileged. This organization was founded in August 2012 and is still in the developmental and planning stage. The organization will seek additional funds in order to provide free, subsidized, world-class Meisner Technique acting classes and access to professional theater shows for the underserved and underprivileged, including veterans, their families, and partnering schools. The organization’s staff and volunteers will carry out all activities while being overseen by the Board of Directors. During the start-up phase of the organization, the following core members of the organization will hold these uncompensated roles: Additional members of the Board include:
Darrach Bourke, Vice President
Chartered Financial Analyst, Teatro-Phile, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center Board Member; Di Rosa Art & Nature Preserve former board member Darrach Bourke has known Jim Jarrett since 2002 when he attended Jim’s self-written/acted/directed work of live theater about Sanford Meisner in Sun Valley, ID. In addition to Darrach Bourke’s experience serving on non-profit boards in a variety of capacities, Darrach is an investment advisor to both private and professional investors and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. He endeavors to assist the Foundation with the careful stewardship of its resources, and the cultivation of support. He has been a long-time patron of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater and other live theater venues in the Bay Area and beyond, an advocate for the underserved, and a supporter of the arts for many years.
Dr. Gary Daniel, Ph.D.
Executive Coach and Performance Specialist Dr. Gary Dr. Gary Daniel is an internationally recognized motivation and performance specialist, with a national consulting practice based in northern California, where he works with a diverse clientele, including many celebrities, business people and other performanceminded people. He is co-authored with Dr. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Larry Dossey, Dean Ornish and others in their new best-selling book titled, “The Heart of Healing,” from Elite Publishing. Gary’s credentials include a Doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology, International Masters Certification as a specialist in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, as well as clinical certification in Clinical Hypnosis. His message is one of helping his audiences recognize they are not victims of circumstances in their life, or powerless to make monumental changes in their life.
Drisana Davis, Treasurer
Non-Profit Manager, Grant Writer, Former Student of Jim Jarrett During the development phase of the organization, Drisana will serve dual roles as Board Treasurer and unpaid Professional Staff (Grant-Writer; Program Director). She will resign from the board if she chooses to take a paid position with the organization at a future time. In 1994, Drisana Davis studied the Meisner Technique with Jim Jarrett. She has a profound respect for the technique and she has over 10 years of professional non-profit experience. For several years, she worked with youth in California as a “Youth Services Specialist” and has developed programs with cultural sensitivity during her years as the manager of a local hunger-relief program in Philadelphia. As a Grant Writer and Non-Profit Manager, she has a proven track record in increasing revenue and producing successful Letters of Intent, Requests for Proposals and evaluation reports. She has experience in developing new programs and proposal documents to increase visibility, assist in fundraising, and increase program efficiency and effectiveness.
Jim Jarrett, President
Meisner Technique Studio, Founder/ Director; JP Meisner Foundation, Founder/Executive Director Jim JarrettDuring the development phase of the organization, Jim is serving dual roles as Board Chair and unpaid Professional Staff (Executive Director, Teacher, Performer). He will resign from the board if he chooses to take a paid position with the organization at a future time. Jim Jarrett (Founder/Director) is one of the most respected and qualified teachers of The Meisner Technique in the world. He spent four years with Sanford Meisner – two as a student in his professional, private class then two more working with the master teacher – both as an actor and teacher-in-training. After his apprenticeship, Jarrett emerged as Sanford Meisner’s last teaching protégé and for the last twenty years he has taught throughout North America, Europe and Asia on behalf of the standards and respect for the craft of acting Sandy stood for. In 2006, Jarrett “came home” to San Francisco and opened The Meisner Technique Studio. In so doing, he made good on a promise he’d made to Sandy many years before – to establish an acting school dedicated solely to the teachings of Sanford Meisner. Read More About Jim
Melissa Thompson Esaia, Secretary
Meisner Technique Studio, Assistant Director/Head of Faculty; Actor, Teacher,Writer, Producer, Counselor and Activist MelissaDuring the development phase of the organization, Melissa will serve dual roles as Board Secretary and unpaid Professional Staff (Head of Faculty and Teacher). She will resign from the board if she chooses to take a paid position with the organization at a future time. Melissa Thompson Esaia has worked in film, television and theatre for almost twenty years. For fifteen years, Melissa also worked with veterans, domestic violence victims, individuals with disabilities and other populations in need as a Vocational Counselor and a Staff Development Training Manager in the social services field. Melissa studied The Meisner Technique with Jim Jarrett for 2 years in his professional, private class. When she completed her studies, Jim invited her to continue on as a teacher-in-training. Now, with over five years of teaching experience in this technique, Melissa serves as Assistant Director and Head of Faculty at The Meisner Technique Studio. In 2011, Melissa formed Kina’ole Productions, a production company that spotlights social and environmental issues.
John Lavette, Board Member
  John LavetteJohn Lavette met Jim Jarrett in 2009 as a student at The Meisner Technique Studio. The first meeting was at Fort Mason and there were too many people applying for the class. John remembers Jim saying that he accepted John in the class because of his handshake. John knew he had come to the right acting school with the right teacher. John is a workingman. His greatest joy in life is to find a JOB and do the work. There is no better place for someone like that than the Meisner Training. John worked many jobs during his life. This varied employment brought him to many unusual places and many different kinds of work. For the 36 years leading up to and while in training he worked a flower stand on Union Square in San Francisco. While at the stand he also did voice acting. He had a massage business on The Square during this same time period. John’s main contribution to the Board will be his life experience. He will also attest in great detail to just how much the Meisner Technique has changed his life. John is fond of saying that the thing he learned least during the training was acting, and he learned acting fairly well.