Jim Jarrett, one of the most respected acting teachers in the world, established The JP Meisner Foundation to offer acting classes FREE OF CHARGE to all veterans and their families.
Jarrett spent four years with the legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner – two in his professional, private class then two more as Mr. Meisner’s assistant and teacher-in-training.
Sanford Meisner was Director of the celebrated Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York City for sixty-five years. While there, he developed what is simply known throughout the world of acting as The Meisner Technique.
This partial list of his students serves as a testimony to his teaching brilliance:
Gregory Peck | Geraldine Page | Grace Kelly | Joanne Woodward | Robert Duvall | Steve McQueen | Diane Keaton | James Woods | John Cassavettes | Eli Wallach | Anne Jackson | Peter Falk | Michelle Pfeiffer | Jeff Goldblum | Mary Steenburgen | Susan Sarandon | Sydney Pollack | David Mamet | Mark Rydell | Steven Colbert | Chrsitoph Waltzt | Sandra Bullock | Jon Voight… the list literally goes on.
After Jarrett’s four-year apprenticeship, he emerged as Sanford Meisner’s last teaching protégé and now over a quarter century later, Jarrett is considered a master teacher in his own rite.
Jarrett is Founder/Director of The Meisner Technique Studio in San Francisco with teaching centers in Sun Valley, Idaho and the Big Island of Hawaii as well. But he is much more than a teacher of actors. Here are some recent graduates of The Meisner Technique Studio talking about Jim Jarrett and his impact on their lives:(VIDEO OF ALUM TALKING ABOUT IT)
“To be an interesting actor – hell, to be an interesting human being – you must overcome your fears of what people think. In other words, you must be authentic and for you to ever be authentic you must embrace who you really are, warts and all so the real you can show up because no artist will ever be truly free and blossom into their talent until they rid themselves of all outside opinions and influences.
Do you have any idea how liberating it is to not care what people think about you? Well, that’s what we’re here to do.”
His legendary acting schools, now located in the historic Presidio in San Francisco, have been transforming lives for decades.
“This training is so much more than teaching you how to act. That’s the brilliance of Sanford Meisner and his approach to the craft of acting. Because to work “his way” you must be authentic, which means you must go to the center of who you are. And most importantly, make peace with wherever that leads you. For so many veterans, that’s no easy thing – especially after what they’ve witnessed, experienced and endured. That’s why I decided to create this opportunity for veterans and their families. They’ve sacrificed so much for us and I know this training will be a gift to them because it will challenge them to grow, transform and heal. And for those who’ve always dreamed of being an actor, we will also put the foundation to their dream into place.”
Jarrett’s smash-hit show, VINCENT, entering its 18th season, is considered one of the most successful and respected touring one-man shows in the world. Over a quarter million people have experienced at the premier performing art centers, museums and universities what the New York Times called, “A truly beautiful theatrical experience.” In 2000, The Philadelphia Museum of Art invited Jarrett to perform VINCENT while presenting the Van Gogh “Faces” exhibit from Amsterdam. From this exposure, The International Theater Festival selected VINCENT as the only representative from the United States to participate. VINCENT was also chosen “Best of the Festival” – closing the month-long event in Manila in front of an SRO crowd of over two thousand people. In 2008, VINCENT and Jarrett were the smash hit of the largest international theater extravaganza in the world – The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Competing against 3000 shows per day, Jarrett’s production played to sold-out audiences for the entire month. Jarrett was also nominated “Best Actor” and the prestigious STAGE AWARDS chose VINCENT “Best Solo Show”.
In 2006, the world premiere of Jarrett’s original full-length play, MEISNER debuted at San Francisco’s historic Magic Theatre. MEISNER was a critical and commercial success. This led to Jarrett signing with the William Morris Agency. They immediately moved MEISNER to Los Angeles where it was the smash-hit of the summer season, playing to SRO crowds for the entire six-week run. Every summer for the last six years Jarrett has brought MEISNER back to Los Angeles for 50 consecutive sold-out shows benefiting various organizations.
Jarrett has just completed adapting MEISNER into a full-length feature film that will be directed by the Playhouse West’s Jim Parrack and begin shooting in 2014. On June 10th, 2012 Jarrett launched MEISNER TRAINED – a weekly teaching series released through the internet documenting his students as they are trained in The Meisner Technique. To date over a half million people throughout the world have experienced the weekly series and the audience is growing every week. Jarrett is now producing a documentary of Veterans and their families as they experience the genius of The Meisner Technique. His partners are the eight-time Emmy-award winning producers, John Watkin and Eamon Harrington of Planet Grande Pictures.
Besides touring VINCENT and MEISNER throughout the world, Jarrett also tours three shows he created for children – a powerful “commencement speech” titled Graduation Day (“now what am I really supposed to do?”), Manners Matter (K-5), and “The worst thing about me is…” (Middle School). All three shows have embarked on a nation-wide educational tour. Jarrett is now working to adapt his kid’s shows into a television series. Jarrett is represented exclusively by Clint Mitchell, Senior Vice President at the William Morris Endeavor Agency and credits all of his success to one very simple reason – he has aggressively addressed the business of his dream from the day he started, over a quarter-century ago.