"Storytelling is healing

and healing is revolutionary,

act with joy." 

 -Joy DeMichelle

MY BACKSTORY

I am a Kentucky woman, family woman, artist, facilitator, mentor, student of life who loves to love and bring joy.  I started my creative journey at Louisville Youth Performing Arts High School, affectionately known as YPAS.  My senior year in high school was a turning point in my life.  I was cast in my first AEA show at Actors Theatre of Louisville and was the recipient of the NAACP, National ACT-SO Gold Medal for acting.  Working professionally and going to NYC for this competition exposed me to new experiences, garnered incredible support from my city and validated my desire to embark on acting and storytelling as a career path.  Looking back I know that the people that mentored and supported me were key to my growth and success.  I am now committed to sharing what I know and helping people find their way.

 

I  continued my studies at North Carolina A & T State University "Aggie Pride" (HBCU) with a BFA in theatre.  A family tragedy brought me back home to Louisville, where I had a chance encounter with Avery Brooks; this set my focus on Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts (PWI).  While at Rutgers completing my MFA , I was awarded a teaching assistantship and obtained the Jack Bettenbender Theatre Arts Award for Outstanding Performance.  One person across all theatre disciplines receive this honor and they picked me.  If only I really understood what that meant back then.   

Favorite Teachers and Takeaways?​​

Bill Esper "Good actors adjust the text to the inner emotion created by their response to the other actor."

Hal Scott "Track the script, the answers are there."

Maggie Flanigan -  "Don't be tepid."

Loyd Williamson "It's ok, it's ok, it's ok to feel what you are feeling."

Israel Hicks "Joy, ask for what you want."

Upon graduation l began working right away on off-Broadway stages and in regional theatres throughout the country.  I traveled domestically and internationally a bit.  After my second trip to Zimbabwe, I returned to NYC and decided to pack it up.  I purchased a one-way ticket and headed west to Los Angeles.  As an actress, I have had the pleasure of working along side award winning actors Forest Whitaker, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Tim Roth, Anna Deavere Smith and Stephen Mckinley Henderson, as well as a host of brilliant and well respected creative artists.  

 

Los Angeles is where I married and had my one and only daughter Zenzele.  While taking a hiatus from the entertainment business, I found the role of motherhood to be my life's greatest gift. I prepared for this part by taking a journey of profound self-discovery.   I explored personal development, wellness practices and holistic healing.  I acquired various certifications that transformed me as a human and influenced my craft as an actor.

 

My daughter is now a teen living her dreams. I feel pretty blessed to do what I love for a living and to help others do the same.

Continuous Joy,

 Joy DeMichelle

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© 2020 Joy DeMichelle | Acting With Joy  + Bolster Your Joy  | Photography by ZenzelePictures