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Acting for Directors

Starts February 24

1 session: Saturday, February 24, 9 am-5 pm

Directing actors goes beyond technical acuity, as the director needs to know how to motivate the actor and communicate in a language that the actor will understand. Veteran professional actor and acting coach Michelle Hutchison demystifies this process in this on-your-feet workshop, which introduces the director to the discipline of acting—deriving acting theory from Uta Hagen, Stanislavksi, and Michael Shurtleff—via acting warm-ups, exercises, and scene work.

Participants will learn to appreciate and respect the intricacies of acting choices made in beats, objectives, choreography, timing, humor, relationship, spontaneity, point of view, and more. All participants will have the unique opportunity to perform as an actor and a director while receiving individual coaching as Michelle weaves the participants through a series of acting exercises and directing scenarios designed to build an understanding of the mind of an actor and the craft of acting through the following objectives:

  • Learning how actors prepare for an audition 
  • Building a solid background for the character
  • Understanding how to positively motivate the actor
  • Establishing a collaborative environment
  • Interpreting the actor’s language to get the performance you want
  • Directing the actor effectively with useful notes on set and in auditions
  • Walking in the actor’s shoes to gain visceral and intellectual insight
  • Creating a rapport and build confidence

Tuition: $175 regular/$130 member/$100 low-income

Michelle Hutchison is a veteran of film, television, and the stage. Her accomplished career as an actress, writer, and producer has lent a unique insight to her position as a trainer, consultant, and coach for individuals and corporations. She has designed workshops in the craft of acting for the camera and stage, presentation skills, authentic communication, executive speaking, teambuilding, messaging, and effective collaboration.

14 years ago, Michelle founded her on-camera training business and has developed hundreds of actors and non-actors at Lynn Blumenthal Casting in Minneapolis. As a corporate trainer, Michelle has led corporate workshops for Skilled Expressions, General Mills, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Medical Association, Burger King, University of Minnesota Neuroscience Department, Humera Staffing, Medtronic, Dolphin Group, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, Augsburg College, and Concordia University. She is a resident Teaching Artist for the Guthrie Theater and Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Michelle continues to thrive as a professional actress as she can be seen in iconic films such as the Coen Brother’s film Fargo, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Thin Ice, Factotum, Into Temptation, The Public Domain, and television shows such as ABC’s In An Instant and as recurring character “Candy Coombs” in Netflix’s Lady Dynamite. She has appeared in numerous national, regional, and local television commercials, industrials, and voiceovers. Michelle could be heard as the voice for Purina Dog Chow, and as the iconic character “Tammy” for US Banks.

Michelle’s work as a writer and producer includes the nationally syndicated Travel Channel show Passport To Design and nine screened original short films. Her latest film for the 48 Hour Film Project, Time’s Up, garnered her a nomination for Best Writing. Her company Skilled Expressions helps working professionals master effective communication, conflict resolution, presentation skills, building business relationships, and more.


Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full to be valid. Registrations are accepted beyond registration deadlines as long as space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 5 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund by PayPal or charge card credit (for phone or in person credit card registrations) within 5 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another course if scheduled in the same calendar year.
    For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given.
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
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February 24
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Michelle Hutchison
Registration Deadline
February 19, 2018
Maximum Enrollment
Civi Event ID
Class count or Info
1 session: Saturday, February 24, 9 am-5 pm