M ichelle Danner is a world renowned acting coach, film and stage director, author, and teacher who specializes in the Meisner, Strasberg, Adler, Hagen, Chekhov and Stanislavsky techniques. She is also the founding and artistic director of the Edgemar Center for the Arts. Danner is the daughter of a former William Morris agent, and she currently works as an actor, director and acting coach. She has taught acting for the last 24 years and has worked with many A-List Actors privately and on set including: Chris Rock, Gerard Butler, Seth MacFarlane, Melanie Brown, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Penelope Cruz, Verne Troyer, Grant Bowler, Kate Del Castillo, Michael Pena, Isla Fisher, Common, Salma Hayek, Chris Martin, Brian McKnight, James Franco, Marcia Cross, Christian Slater, Catherine Bell, Zooey Deschanel, Gabrielle Union, Justin Chatwin, Jennifer Coolidge, Justine Wadell, Rob Estes, Rick Fox, Henry Cavill and Michelle Rodriguez and many others.
Voted favorite acting coach by backstage readers, teaching remains a passion. She was brought in for her expert coaching on the WB show The Starlet and was featured with Andy Richter on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. At the opening ceremony, Steven Spielberg commented, "Here we have a venue that can turn out some extremely experienced, daring and resourceful artists." She is currently serving as Artistic Director and teaches ongoing classes at the Michelle Danner Studio, housed at Edgemar.
Her seminars are taught internationally in South America, Europe, Toronto, Vancouver, Dubai, New York, Sydney and Australia. She has taught in several cities including: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Istanbul, Paris, and Moscow. Michelle has directed and acted in over thirty plays and musicals in New York and Los Angeles. Her favorite acting credits include Tennessee William's The Rose Tattoo, which garnered LA Weekly critic's pick and five Dramalogue awards including best actress; House of Yes, Bright Ideas, Ibsen's Ghosts the world premiere of One White Crow. Her highlights at Edgemar have been pioneering new works that include The Night of the Black Cat, a world premiere and winner of the 2005 Best Musical of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards.
She directed the world premiere of Mental the Musical, winner of several 17th Annual TicketHolder awards for acting and musical score. She wrote and directed the world premiere of You're on the Air, an improv based comedy which is in development to become a movie. She directed the west coast premiere of Hello Herman by John Buffalo Mailer and co-directed Jane Fonda in the Court of Public Opinion starring Anne Archer. Michelle also produced and acted in the award-winning short film Dos Corazones, which premiered at the Nashville Film Festival and went on to win Best Cinematography & Audience Favorite at the Malibu Film Festival.
In 2006, she made her feature film directing debut How to go Out on a Date in Queens which was nominated and won four L.A. Film Awards including Best Director. It starred Jason Alexander, Esai Morales, Ron Perlman, Kimberly Williams, Rob Estes and Alison Eastwood. Her production company, All in Films, has several projects in the works: You're on the Air, The Bandit Hound II, and The Will To... In April 2011, she completed Hello Herman starring Norman Reedus (AMC's The Walking Dead), Martha Higareda, and Garrett Backstrom. The film premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival to a sold out audience and had its international premiere at the Monaco Charity Film Festival where it won the award for social relevance. It opened nationwide in June 2013 and was distributed on VOD in 100 million homes across the U.S. by Warner Brothers.
THE GOLDEN BOX WITH MICHELLE DANNER
Learn how to create vivid, fleshed out, and interesting characters through an intense and emotional workshop with lectures and technique exercises. The Golden Box is a two day in depth lecture that breaks down the technical map used at The Studio.
Michelle teaches a technique that is effective for actors of all different levels. The Golden Box will show you how to get out of your head and begin to live completely in the moment. By finding your own unique emotional triggers, you will learn to access your full range of feelings and emotions at a moments notice. Actors around the world have found success studying with Michelle because she takes the emphasis off of the “method”, and helps actors rediscover their own creativity. Michelle will push you grow out of acting, and into artistry.
The class focuses on answering the following questions:
– Why are some choices more powerful than others?
– How does one deliver a raw unforgettable performance?
– What specific tools can be applied to film, television and stage work?
– How does one develop a personal story from scratch and discover material for a one woman/man show, screenplay, short or novel?
Benefit to Writers:
The Golden Box helps writers understand the in-depth process on how to create characters that are layered, multi-dimensional and that will hook audiences in every genra. The class takes them through a series of exercises, a layout of actor’s tools and script analysis that can be applied to the writing process.
The class is be supported by film clips. There are discussions and analyses of performances by Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Dean and many others.
Exercises include learning how to build provocative and complex back stories by opening your instrument up emotionally and finding triggers and psychological gestures in your work. This class has served as more than an acting seminar as past participants have discovered profound truths about themselves as artists.