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Michelle Danner is considered one of the top acting coaches in Los Angeles as well as film and stage director and author.
It was her father, who opened the very first William Morris Agency in Paris, France, that instilled a strong passion and work ethic in her that has stayed with her throughout her life.
Michelle has taught acting for the last 24 years and has worked with many A-List Actors privately and on set including: James Franco, Seth MacFarlane, Salma Hayek, Henry Cavill, Zooey Deschanel, Gerard Butler, Chris Rock, Chris Martin, Penelope Cruz, Isla Fisher, Michael Pena, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Jennifer Coolidge, Christian Slater, Catherine Bell, Michelle Rodriguez, Grant Bowler, Melanie Brown, Verne Troyer, Gabrielle Union, Common, Rob Estes, Marcia Cross, Kate Del Castillo, Brian McKnight, and many others.
Voted favorite acting coach by Backstage readers. 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.
Michelle trained extensively in Paris and New York with Stella Adler and Uta Hagen. She was the Managing Director of the Larry Moss Studio since it’s inception in Los Angeles for 20 years.
She is the Founding Director of Edgemar Center for the Arts and raised $1.3 million to construct the two theaters and the art gallery at the Center. 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 acting classes in LA at the Michelle Danner Studio, housed at Edgemar.
She teaches acting seminars 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 in June 2013 and was distributed on VOD in 100 million homes across the U.S. by Warner Brothers.
She is putting the finishing touches on her acting book, The Golden Box, which will be released in early 2017. Her latest film, The Bandit Hound, a family comedy starring Catherine Bell, Lou Ferigno, Judd Nelson, Paul Sorvino, and Verne Troyer, released was in 2016 by Alchemy and is available in stores and the following digital platforms. Check Film Director & Los Angeles acting coach Michelle Danner’s future producing & directing projects. *Visit her film production company “All In Films,”
CLICK HERE to see the THE TRAILER “The Bandit Hound” a funny, heartwarming story about a lovable dog, Bandit, who is trained to pull off bank heists by a pair of robbers. The Movie Stars Catherine Bell, Lou Ferrigno, Joe Flanigan,Paul Sorvino, and introducing Nicholas Alexander, with Judd Nelson and Verne Troyer.
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Norman Reedus was born in Florida, where he lived only a few months before moving to Los Angeles, California. He also lived in several cities in several different countries including Japan, Britain, and Spain. In Los Angeles, he worked at a Harley Davidson shop in Venice and at the same time contributed artwork to various shows as a painter, photographer, sculptor, and video artist. He got his first taste of acting in the play “Maps for Drowners” at the Tiffany Theater on Sunset Boulevard. Days later, he was cast inMimic (1997), then in Six Ways to Sunday (1997), and Floating (1997). He then on to do many other films including The Boondock Saints (1999), Deuces Wild (2002), Blade II (2002), Let the Devil Wear Black (1999), Gossip (2000/I),Moroz po kozhe (2007), The Notorious Bettie Page (2005), Hero Wanted, and many others. Norman currently lives in New York with his son, Mingus Lucien Reedus.
Higareda was born in Villahermosa, Tabasco, the daughter of actress Martha Cervantes and artist Jose Luis Higareda, and sister of the actress Miriam Higareda. She is a Mexican actress. She appeared in diverse advertising campaigns and video clips. In 2002, Higareda finally appeared in her first movie as a protagonist in Amarte Duele. In 2008, she appeared in the film Street Kings, sharing credits with Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie, and Forest Whitaker. In 2010, she appeared in the prequel to the crime/action film Smokin Aces, Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball, as a deadly female assassin with poisonous lips.
Garrett Backstrom was born and raised in Colorado. He was an an 11 year gymnast, 2 time state champion He came to California 2 years ago to pursue acting. He landed roles in features films Hello Herman and The Perfect Hurl and 2 television shows, as well as numerous commercials. He loves outdoor sports, including snowboarding and mixed martial arts. Garrett looks forward to a future in directing and producing.
Rob Estes was born in Virginia. He attended Santa Monica High School and is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He is an actor with a big successfull for his role as Harry Wilson on the 90210 and as Kyle McBride on the prime time soap Melrose Place. Following Melrose Place he had guest starring roles on Providence and Gilmore Girls. He also performed in theatre, and had roles in Same Time, Next Year (2004), The Lake (2005) and One White Crow(2013). Rob Estes continues to reside in Seattle. He has two children, Mason and Maya.
ALEXANDRA GUARNIERI Born in Paris, Alexandra moved to the US at age 11. She speaks 4 languages fluently (French, Spanish, Italian, and English). She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, Alexandra spent several years working in television, first at CNN then MSNBC. After spending 3 years as the Managing Director of the New York Theater Company she moved to Los Angeles. Currently, Alexandra is co-founder and managing director of Edgemar Center for the Arts. Alexandra co-produced the movie “How To Go On A Date In Queens” (Best Picture, Director, Actor many productions, including the widely popular French Cabaret show, “Night of the Black Cat” (Best Musical: 2006 LA Music Awards) and the ongoing series, “Scene Bites” (featured in Daily Variety).
Alexandra has been producing plays and films since 2005. She has had a long collaboration with director Henry Jaglom producing his critically acclaimed play “Always but Not Forever” to his runaway hit “45 Minutes from Broadway”that ran successfully for over a year. Besides producing plays Alexandra has produced an a number of musicals such as THANK Q – A World Music Tribute To the Humanitarian Works Of Quincy Jones and the Award winning musical “Black Cat Cabaret” which ran for a year, as well as its revival renamed “Tick Tock Cabaret” Alexandra’s latest feature film “Hello Herman” written by John Buffalo Mailer, starring Norman Reedus from the “Walking Dead” will be opening in 10 cities in June and has been picked up by Warner Brothers to play in 100 million homes. The trailer can be watched at www.helloherman.com. Please visit her film company at www.allinfilms.com to see the latest films under development for 2013. She is also an active member in the community and has created and shaped various outreach programs for underprivileged children, teens, and the elderly. With a passion for art, she also curates the Edgemar Center for the Arts Art Gallery and runs the Michelle Danner acting school one of the top acting schools in the country, offering acting classes to children teens and adults. You can visit www.michelledanner.com
Directed: THE HOUSE OF YES, CHIP CHOP and IT MUST BE HIM at Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica CA, LOST IN YONKERS and ALMOST MAINE for the STEEL RIVER PLAYHOUSE in PA, ALMOST MAINE for the Gasworks Theatre in Melbourne AU, and THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW at The Complex in Los Angeles.
Mr. Drillinger is a founder and the Creative Director of Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, CA. He directed the show for the first Edgemar benefit event that was hosted by Jason Alexander and included; Hilary Swank, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sally Kellerman, Chad Lowe and many others.
In Los Angeles; he currently produced and stars in the film HELLO HERMAN, premier, Hollywood Film Festival 2012, winner, the Award for Social Relevance at the 2013 Monaco Film Festival. Brian produced FOUR-THOUGHT at the Hudson Theatre, as well as the critically acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams THE ROSE TATOO also at the Hudson. He produced the successful industry series SCENE BITES at the Tiffany Theatre and also, the workshop production of HOW TO GO OUT ON A DATE IN QUEENS, directed by Larry Moss. Brian produced the award winning short film DOS CORAZONES. He co-wrote, produced and stars in the feature version of HOW TO GO OUT ON A DATE IN QUEENS, for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the LA Indie Awards 2006.
Mr. Drillinger teaches classes in scene study, cold reading and voice for the Edgemar Center. As a visiting artist he has taught classes in voice and scene study in Melbourne AU and for the Philadelphia Acting Studio and the Steel River Playhouse in Pennsylvania. Judy Kerr lists him as a “Recommended Acting Coach” in the successful industry guidebook, Acting Is Everything.
Brian studied acting at SUNY Purchase and graduated with honors. He played Stan on Broadway, and in the film version of Neil Simons, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS and the National tour of BROADWAY BOUND. Regional credits include: THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE at the Old Globe in San Diego, the Pulitzer Prize winning play WIT at the South Coast Repertory (original production), the Seattle Repertory and the Alley Theatre in Houston, also at SCR, DEATH OF A SALESMAN and BOUNDARY WATERS, at the Hudson Theatre, SOLACE, GANGSTER APPAREL and DOVE, A SHAYNA MADEL at the Tiffany Theatre, THE REAL THING at the Terry Schreiber Studios in NY and BRIGHT IDEAS at Edgemar Center For The Arts. His television credits include: THE AGENCY, WINGS, LIFE GOES ON, REASONABLE DOUBTS, and GENERAL HOSPITAL. Brian starred opposite Sally Kirkland, in the indie feature STARRY NIGHT, Janeane Garafalo in I SHOT A MAN IN VEGAS and currently in HELLO HERMAN.
ED CHA | Producer
Ed Cha – a Native Angeleno – is a producer-writer of theater and film. His initial training came on the technical side of theater, learning and applying his craft as Technical Director for Sushi Performance and Visual Art in San Diego. During his time at SPVA he worked with and designed for a laundry list of world-renowned artists including, Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, Rachel Rosenthal, and Oguri. An award-winning Lighting Designer with over 300 credits to his name; Mr. Cha designed the Pacific Resident’s Theatre award-winning productions of Orpheus Descending and A Delicate Balance
From there he went on to the La Jolla Playhouse where he was part of the technical team that mounted the original “Thoroughly Modern Millie” directed by Michael Mayer. “Millie” would go on to win multiple Tony Awards on Broadway, including Best Musical.
Mr. Cha returned to his hometown of Los Angeles and began his film career. After a quick – two-year – climb from P.A. to Line Producer, Mr. Cha produced for a number of clients and boutique agencies. His commercial clients have included: Captain Morgan’s Rum, The Rolling Stones, Hite Beer, Anheuser-Busch, FX Network, and Tanqueray Gin. He has produced multiple music videos.
Mr. Cha was hired to produce for The Rolling Stones. He flew to Toronto and joined the band as it prepared for its “Bigger Bang” tour. During the next month Mr. Cha coordinated the international and domestic press interview sessions, and produced both the lead commercial for the CD and the performance videos “Rough Justice” and “Streets of Love” for director Laurel Harris.
Mr. Cha’s credits as a theatrical film producer include, “Katie Q” directed by Ron Vignone, starring Tanna Frederick, Karen Black and Zack Norman. “Shuffle” by award-winning director Kurt Kuenne (Dear Zachery) starring TJ Thyne and “Hello Herman” directed by Michelle Danner and starring Norman Reedus (Walking Dead).
Ed Cha uses the down time between films to coach college football, this will be his fourth year coaching. He is the Special Teams Coordinator for Compton College – The Tartars. He is to receive his B.A. in Communication and Culture from CUNY SPS in June 2013. He will be graduating Summa Cum Laude.
Mr. Cha is developing a feature film project that he will write and direct, based on true crime events in the deserts of Nevada and California.
SANDRA VALDE-HANSEN | CINEMATOGRAPHER
CHRISTIAN KINNARD | Film Editor
BERNT AMADEUS CAPRA | Production Designer
FERNANDO VALDES | Set Decoration
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