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Acting for Film

Starts July 11

7 sessions: Tuesdays, July 11–August 22, 6:30–9:30 pm

In this course we’ll explore and discover the many differences between acting on film and on the stage. The film director’s approach to storytelling is primarily visual, and we’ll examine and practice creative approaches to acting in the context of visual storytelling. All exercises and assignments will be filmed weekly and those “dailies” will be screened and critiqued. Basic theatrical acting experience (any size role) or some previous acting training is helpful but not required.

Course objectives include:

  • Understanding the technical elements unique to working on a film set: continuity (physical/emotional/psychological), marks,
    etc., and a basic understanding of film terms and positions that actors need to know
  • Learning how to make choices (actions) that are visual in nature and revealing in content
  • Understanding performing without dialogue
  • Awareness and relationship to the lens: understanding how framing (wide shot/close-up, etc.) informs the performer and performance

Tuition: $320 regular/$240 member/$180 low-income

Mendel is kind of a downtown legend, an iconic actor and reliable presence in Richard Foreman’s work and countless other productions, he brings a kind of sinister, threatening, serpentine but thoughtful and complicated masculinity to all of his roles. – Culturebot

DJ Mendel HeadshotD.J. Mendel is an actor, director, writer, and filmmaker. He starred in Hal Hartley’s feature film Meanwhile (2011). His collaborations with Hartley began in 1997, when he played a supporting role in The Book of Life opposite Martin Donovan and PJ Harvey. The following year he performed in Hartley’s play Soon, commissioned by and performed at the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria and the de Singel Theater in Antwerp.

D.J. has worked extensively with avant-garde theatermakers like Richard Foreman, (The Universe, Permanent Brain Damage and Panic!), Karen Coonrod (Christmas at the Ivanov’s), and Robert Cacuzza, (Cattywampus). He has also worked with emerging new writers, directors, and groups such as the Keen Company, 13P, and 31 Down. His plays Tom, Dick & Harry and Dick Done Broke were presented at The Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York. His play Exhaust Pipes and Manifolds was produced and presented by the Ground Floor Theater Lab.

D.J. has been an Artist in Residence at The Ontological Theater, Brown University, Pace University, and Performance Space 122/Mabou Mines and has performed and directed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Directorial credits include Cynthia Hopkins’ This Clement World, The Truth: A Tragedy, Accidental Nostalgia, Must Don’t Whip ‘Um and The Success of Failure (or, The Failure of Success), all of which were presented at St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, as well as throughout the U.S. and Europe. Other recent directing credits include Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Symphony for the Dance Floor and Darwin’s Meditation for the People of Lincoln, both premiering at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Next Wave Festival.

D.J. also works with singer Rosanne Cash, video designing and directing her last three tours.

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, IFP MN 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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July 11 @ 6:30 pm
August 22 @ 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


D.J. Mendel
Registration Deadline
July 6, 2017
Maximum Enrollment
Civi Event ID
Class count or Info
7 sessions: Tuesdays, July 11–August 22, 6:30–9:30 pm