Joy DeMichelle (she/her/hers)
As a qualified intimacy coordinator, Joy helps create safe workspaces on film and TV sets while enabling a brave and creative atmosphere for intimate scene work. Her on set experience and credits n film, television, theatre and voice, as well as her work as a holistic arts practitioner with an emphasis in race based trauma, extensive knowledge in sex education and consensual crafting and staging of stories of sex, race, disability, religion, or age with appropriate cultural context and competency.
She consults on scenes with loaded, heightened, or charged content that draws on the actor’s identity and advocates for actors by obtaining consent, gauging actor’s needs on an ongoing basis, providing clarity of riders, and ensuring closed set protocol.
Joy specializes in consent, trauma-awareness, authentic representation for LGBTQIA+ communities, BDSM/kink, non-monogamy, working with diverse casts, body positivity, and is a certified COVID-19 protocols officer. Her extensive production experience allows her to understand the specific needs of producers, directors, cast and crew, making her an effective liaison among these parties.
In response to the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, the current industry standard includes working with an intimacy coordinator who will act as a liaison between actors and production, ensure that proper safety protocols are followed, and is on hand to assist with choreography for intimate scenes if requested.
Communicate with the director and actors in order to support the creative vision of the production while respecting actor needs and boundaries.
Facilitate dialogue between the actors and director about their comfort level with the content and choreography of an intimate scene
Collaborate with production and actors on the nudity and simulated sex rider process
Support the director in choreographing intimate scenes when requested
Collaborate with departments, such as costumes, make-up and props on nudity garments, barriers, and prosthetics
Ensure that SAG-AFTRA guidelines are followed, including closed-set protocols
Are on set to ensure that contracts and boundaries are adhered to during production
Advocate for LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented actors
My movement training consists mostly on the principles of Williamson Technique and Rudolf Laban’s teachings. These techniques help to free the actors body and return to playful, instinctive and impulsive movements. This allows the actor to become more responsive, less self-conscious, and open to taking risks.
Loyd Williamson developed his technique to complement the Meisner Acting Technique being taught at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. This technique teaches students how to release tensions in their body and trains them to respond organically and impulsively from the core of their body to stimuli in the moment. It integrates extraordinarily well into any level of acting training, and helps actors to free their bodies from the tensions that block or check their honest emotional responses. It also assists the actor in developing confidence and freedom in their body and in making strong physical choices.
In particular, I utilize Rudolf Laban’s dimensional and effort work to add specificity to the actors’ movement play. They start to learn how a very specific choice of a dimension or effort can change a character, both physically and emotionally. I also train them how to apply this kind of specificity to moments in a piece. The effort work particularly combines brilliantly with Stanislavski’s actions and objectives. The shifts from one dimension or effort to another in a scene or monologue help to create a performance that is rich with variety and interesting choices.
The first level of this work, which I call “Basic Movement,” focuses on releasing tensions and inhibitions, utilizing Williamson’s concept of “shape/flow” with elements of sensorial imagination work to music and Laban’s dimensions - Top/Bottom of Vertical, Horizontal, and Front/Back Sagittal. We also use the dimensions to physically create, sharpen and define characters. One of my favorite parts of the Williamson work, and one of the things students connect to the most, is the idea and repetition of the phrase “NO APOLOGIES.”
The second level that I have been teaching is what I have called “Advanced Movement,” or “Laban Movement,” but it is basically an introduction to the Laban efforts and then instruction on how to apply them to text in order to increase specificity and variety in the acting work. Ultimately, the first level teaches the actor to take their brain out of the work, and to work freely and impulsively, and the second level puts the brain back in a little - or at least in the preparation for the work. The combination of the two produces actors that are physically bold, open, responsive, and yet still specific! Depending on the amount of time and number of students in a class, the two levels can be combined, as I have been doing in my private Chicago class and in my university classes.
My Period Style Scene Study class focuses primarily on the Restoration/Georgian and Victorian/Edwardian periods, as they are the most frequently produced and farthest from our modern style of movement. This class could also include Elizabethan and potentially even Early American Classic (Williams, Miller, etc.). In my Period Style class, not only do I teach the students how to move as people did in those time periods, but why they moved the way they did. Understanding the why and the ins and outs of those societies makes it much easier to translate the movement into organic, honest work. That is my goal with Period Style – to have the actors moving in a style quite unlike their own, but to be able to inhabit it honestly and truthfully. We take this and apply it to scene work from the appropriate period. It’s very advanced acting, but extremely valuable if one is going to work well and truthfully in these time periods.
When the body is constrained, the voice cannot work the way it should. I find the freedom and “NO APOLOGIES” that students develop from the Williamson movement work helps the breath and voice work immensely.
Raced Based Trauma & Holistic Healing
Her on set experience as an actress and healing arts practitioner enable her ability to provide grounded emotional support for performers and bring heightened believability to to intimate and emotionally charged scenes.
Joy has appeared on major networks, in national commercials and theatre stages around the country. Full list of credits here on IMDb.
Intimacy Coordinating/Directing and Choreography is an exciting new component of the theatre, film, television and entertainment industry freeing artists to be simultaneously safe, brave and vulnerable.
Joy DeMichelle offers a wide variety of services including consulting, training, workshops and speaking engagements for professionals, community organizations, and educational institutions. Please feel free to contact Joy with questions about what she can bring to your production or organization.
As an intimacy coordinator, Joy DeMichelle helps facilitate a safe and comfortable environment for scenes with simulated sex or nudity. Her role includes facilitating dialogue between actors and production about the content and choreography of intimate scenes, negotiating nudity riders, collaborating with costumes, make-up, and props, ensuring that SAG-AFTRA guidelines are followed, being present on set to support actors during production, advocating for LGBTQIA+ actors, and more.
Authentic representation is at the core of good storytelling. Joy DeMichelle can offer authentic insight on topics pertaining to LGBTQIA+ communities, kink, BDSM, nonmonogamy, body positivity, and many more due to her many years of experience within these communities. She is available for hire as a consultant for story, script, and character development, casting, production, and any other stage where your project might benefit from expert support, specificity, and nuance.
WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Joy is available for theatre, film, television, photography and other media departments.
IC work is the new industry standard. Ensure your program/department is at the forefront of this movement by providing students and faculty with the current language, standards and best practices to work competitively in the art/media industries.