Shelley's hands on approach is rooted in her early training and her life experience as a performing artist and teacher. She helps her students make meaningful creative breakthroughs and considers herself to be a midwife supporting their innate talent and strength. Her approach includes traditional Method Acting exercises, mindfulness, self-awareness, cultural-awareness and interpersonal awareness. She is a trained practitioner of Applied Kinesiology and uses it with her students to help them achieve and maintain emotional centering and balance.
Shelley Mitchell trained with Lee Strasberg for over four years in both his private classes and at the Actors Studio. She is a graduate of the Circle in the Square Theater School and has a degree from New York University.
She began her teaching career in Venice, Italy where she lived throughout the 1980s. Surprised by the extremely positive and life-changing effect her class had on both actors and non-actors, Shelley developed an approach integrating art and science that helps her students get in touch with their inner life and reach their full potential as communicators and performers.
of Dramatic Art
H.K.: ... nine out of ten Hollywood directors do not know how to rehearse. And most
actors do not know how to rehearse. The rehearsal process is a very important part of the creation.
And it will do directors and actors a lot of good to study the craft to learn how to rehearse.
To learn how to do their homework. To learn what to do as homework.
TR: Specifically, how does one rehearse?
HK: ... Well I cannot teach a class here now on acting. ...They have to immerse themselves into it. I was in the Marines, and I can tell you that if you do not take the training that a Marine takes, and you are thrown into the jungle, you're probably going to die. If you do not take the training an actor needs to take when you are put into that human jungle of cement and palm trees, you are going to die. You need your craft to support you, to guide you, to sustain you. I can only advise your directors to study acting. And your actors to study acting.
About Shelley Mitchell
Duse Studio of Dramatic Art is named after the great Italian actress Eleonora Duse. She was fundamental to the birth of modern acting as we know it. Both Stanislavsky and Lee Strasberg cite Duse as an inspiration for their techniques. ...Duse was such a powerful and influential performer that the word 'doozy' was invented after her 1893 tour of the USA!
Duse was the innovator of a technique she described as "the elimination of self". Akin to the ideas of Zen Buddhism and mindfulness, she said that her technique allowed her to internally connect with the character she was portraying and free her spirit from mind and ego so that emotional expression could take over.
"To help, to continually help and share, that is the sum of all knowledge; that is the meaning of art." -Eleonora Duse
Shelley moved to LA in 2013 after living in the Bay Area where she taught acting at The Actors Center of San Francisco for 20 years. Her students ranged from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs seeking to be more emotionally expressive, to coaching world class performing artists like Tom Waits and Eamonn Walker. She actively invites guest teachers to give a master classes at her studio and in the past her students have had the opportunity to perform for and get feedback from artists like Sean Penn, Eamonn Walker, Jill Eikenberry and Joseph Cross.
Watch this video where Elia Kazan, founder of the Actors Studio, explains how Method Acting shifted our consciousness and paved the way to dramatic film acting as we experience it today.
Shelley's work is very definite, very sound, very detailed... -LEE STRASBERG
As an actress, Shelley Mitchell is best known for her critically acclaimed stage performance of TALKING WITH ANGELS: Budapest 1943. “…a portrayal with such leisurely, lifelike timing,...Mitchell transforms into something between a dancer and a shaman. ..Its excruciating beauty derives from its simplicity and purity." Los Angeles Weekly