Jan 8, 2020
The craft of acting is as alluring as it is mysterious, and it takes a being of great passion, insight, and determination in order to succeed. But to teach acting – to inspire creative souls to successfully harvest those tools – requires an even greater commitment, to bring out the best in each and every actor one encounters. That passion is the hallmark of the career of filmmaker and acting coach Michelle Danner, for decades one of the industry’s most respected teachers, and now a successful director who continues to grow and expand her creative universe.
There aren’t many people who can point to a career full of success as a performer, teacher, storyteller, entrepreneur, and expert. But Michelle Danner can.
The legendary acting teacher and co-founder of the Edgemar Center for the Arts and the Los Angeles Acting Conservatory, Danner’s also now well-established as a successful feature film director. Her latest completed film, “Bad Impulse,” is a psychological thriller about family secrets and modern technology, starring Sonya Walger, Grant Bowler, and Paul Sorvino; and she’s set to begin shooting “The Runner,” an action thriller and true-life coming of age story about a troubled teenager forced to go undercover to expose a drug kingpin.
A dedicated mom (with one son who is an aspiring filmmaker), Danner still has her “day job” – overseeing the faculty of the Los Angeles Acting Conseratory, and conducting her weekly acting class. Danner’s list of students has included Christian Slater, Salma Hayak, Gerard Butler, Seth McFarlane, Penelope Cruz, Chris Rock, Gabrielle Union, and Zooey Deschanel. A longtime student of legendary acting teachers like Stella Adler and Uta Hagen, Danner’s eclectic approach (which she calls “The Golden Box”) allows actors the freedom to employ a wide variety of techniques.
Raised in a show business family and with a deep appreciation for all of the performing arts, Danner also continues to run the boutique “Cinema at the Edge” film festival (scheduled for February 2020), and is currently preparing to direct a new one-person play, Bonnie Culver’s “Norris,” starring Anne Archer, based on the memoirs of the widow of writer Norman Mailer.
Simply put, there’s almost no one in the business who knows as much about acting and success as Michelle Danner – and her continued success in multiple creative fields makes her one of the most successful women working in the industry today.