x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Hollywood acting coach preps Dubai hopefuls

Michelle Danner, an acting coach from Los Angeles, was in Dubai over the weekend conducting workshops.

DUBAI // Michelle Danner tells her students there is nothing glamorous about honing the talent that has helped Gerard Butler become Hollywood's go-to beefcake or Penélope Cruz play a pirate.

The Hollywood acting coach, in Dubai over the weekend to conduct four acting workshops that wrap up today, has worked with these stars as well as Christian Slater, Zooey Deschanel and James Franco.

The 14 members in the workshop included a Brazilian singer seeking to improve her stage persona, a South African flight attendant looking for her big break, and a 22-year-old Canadian who seized the opportunity to pursue his acting dream while in the country visiting his parents.

"If you see something that makes you cry, write it down," Ms Danner, 48, told them. "You forget what gets you there, what takes you to that place, and sometimes what gives you emotion is the memory of something that took place 20 years ago."

Kanchan Kulkarni, a 39-year-old Indian expatriate who owns a real estate business, dreams of becoming a full-time actress.

"These classes teach you how to not overact, and how to really create those emotions when you need them," she said.

"It helps not having to learn things the hard way by going to a bad audition."