frequently asked questions
1. How old do I need to be to apply for the summer program?
We prefer all applicants be at least 18 years of age.
2. Do I need acting experience to apply for the full residence?
GS: No, we recommend that you attend the training in July and August but request resources to learn what the foundation of The Method is.
3. If I’ve worked with another acting teacher how hard will it be for me to adjust to The Method?
GS: All actors are encouraged to apply; whether seasoned professionals with years of acting experience under their belt, to brand new artists. Because The Method is a developmental process of acting designed for all levels and stages it can be shaped to fit specific experience levels. But what Gary does tell his students is once started, it is best to continue to learn The Method for several years of study pulling all the great depth of information from it’s storehouse of knowledge.
4. What will The Method really do for me?
Student to Gary: “I’ve seen actors doing all kinds of strange things like being Clyde Barrows hat, my grandmothers wedding dress, and even a Lychee fruit! That’s not really my style, but I know there is something good in The Method because all the greatest actors learned it. So what will The Method really do for me?”
GS: Learning The Method has nothing to do with pretending to be a lychee! That is a portion, one section of specific exercises from the sensory work. The Method is an entire body of work and there is much misinformation in the acting and teaching community. What The Method clearly does is help actors understand the clear difference between ACTING PROBLEMS versus ACTOR PROBLEMS. Acting problems are mechanics, these are easily spotted, defined and explained to the artist. Actor problems go deeper, they reside within the artist themselves and must be released with a well-trained acting coach or teacher.
5. I’m really struggling to get work right now and I’m afraid I’ll miss auditions and paying work to come learn. What do you recommend?
GS: One the best things I ever did as an actor was start classes before I could ruin a well-paying career. You can read about my experience in this blog post. I recommend you take the time to come and learn because understanding a few simple techniques of The Method will last a lifetime and help you be more confident and competitive in the audition process, not once, or twice, but for an entire paying career. Learning The Method, when done correctly, will bring more work. I recommend taking a weekend intensive first, so you don’t lose a whole month of auditions, but make sure you continue with the work once you see the results you need and want. You may also attend my semi-private NYC studio classes which are very affordable and scheduled for your convenience.
6. How will I be different by the end of The Montauk Group Summer Program?
GS: Many say they feel a profound change in their lives. Participants report that they had this period to luxuriate in their own lives by exploring the imaginary lives of those created by great writers. Please read past student feedback here. Sensory work has a way of making the word “awareness” into a constant exploration. By the end of the summer the actors have had the equivalent of two semesters in a graduate school. Many have gone on to work in the industry.
7. Do you have guest visitors or celebrities visit and talk to the group?
GS: Yes. Famous power players from the industry show up throughout the course of the summer. Greg Widen, Lyle Kessler, Lainie Kazan, Dave Mason, Sandra Seacat, Michael Bregman, Roscoe Lee Browne, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Pinchas Zukerman, Barry Primus, Mike Pepino, Brooke Thomas and many others have come by to speak and work with our actors. Some come to do the work.
8. Is there any filming?
The Montauk Group has accrued over 350 hours of footage over the past nine years. All actors are required to sign a release form so that the footage can be assembled and possibly used for numerous purposes. All shooting is carefully done with no “reality TV” attempt to make anyone look stupid or nasty. The shooting is related to the work and the life that exists through the work of the actors.
a day in the life on montauk
What is a typical day in the program?
7AM Those who want to exercise, run, bike, box, do yoga or martial arts usually rise by seven a.m. The exercise sessions last for about an hour. Everyone makes their own breakfast either outdoors on the grill or the inside kitchen.
10AM We meet under the old sail that protects and covers the outdoor stage from rain or sun. We usually start with relaxation exercises and then go into other forms of method exercises.
1:00 PM Break for lunch.
2:15PM We go back to the outdoor stage and do scenes, rehearse and video work. On occasion we will go off campus to the beach or an expansive vista to work on scenes or exercises.
5:00PM Break. People go swimming, bike ride, surf or nap under a tree with a book.
8:30PM Everyone is responsible for his or her own food so dinner varies but usually finished by eight thirty p.m.
Some rehearse, read or go into town. We have a vast library of great movies and a 53” inch flat screen TV or an outdoor projector to watch films on a large silver screen.
11:00PM Everyone is usually asleep no later than eleven p.m.
Are there days off?
Yes. Tuesday – Thursdays are for reading plays, rehearsals and individual exercises. Some go to the beach and read plays; some put a chair under a tree and work on sensory. Some professional actors need to go back into the city for auditions or meetings.
Has anyone ever been expelled?
In nine years of work, only one person has left the program. That person was not expelled, but had created a very uncomfortable situation with the other actors by abusing alcohol and disrupting the work of others.
Do we get meals?
The Montauk Group leadership has learned through experience that food can be nurturing or divisive. Everyone buys his or her own food and stores it in one of the three refrigerators. There are indoor and outdoor cooking facilities.
Is drinking allowed if you are of legal age?
The house is smoke and drug free including alcohol. If people go into town, they are free to do what they want, but most people are doing the program to find themselves, not diminish their senses with drugs or drink.
What kind of town is Montauk?
Some say in recent years it has become the new San Tropez or Hollywood East. In the winter, there are 3000 people living here. In the summer there are 4,000. Many famous people have already found Montauk as a destination location. Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore, Paul Simon, and Billy Joel all have houses here. Last summer Harvey Weinstein sat next to me in a local restaurant. Yes indeed, Montauk has been discovered.
How close is the house to town and beaches?
Ten minute walk to beaches, restaurants, gyms, buses and trains.