Joy DeMichelle (she, her) is an intimacy choreographer/coordinator, cultural sensitivity consultant, actress and acting coach with a process that produces consensual, culturally competent, creative containers for dynamic storytelling.
In addition to beautiful moments of intimacy, Joy's approach enhances character embodiment and increases the probability of an actors creative freedom and wellbeing.
Bring Joy to your team and experience how an intimacy professional and acting coach can enhance your show from pre to post production.
Why did you choose this work?
JOY: The art of acting is intimate, period. Actors are asked to share a whole range of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we have as human beings. As an actress I have faced my fair share of abusive, threatening and racist power dynamics in personal, professional and creative spaces. On the journey to healing myself from my own traumatic experiences, I started to study various modalities of healing and became a holistic healing arts practitioner. I quickly realized that suffering for my art was not necessary to be creatively free. With boundaries and consent in place, actors maintain dignity and self respect in all spaces. I merged my healing arts practice with my acting process to create Holistic Care for Creatives, which helps creatives relax, access, embody creative energy, characteristics and imagined circumstances. When intimacy directing was brought to my attention, I quickly realized this was in alignment with my process and this training was the perfect addition to the acting, coaching and healing arts experience I provide.
How would you describe your process?
JOY: My process is collaborative. I sit with the director to capture their vision, share what I see and map out a plan. I help actors live fully through vulnerable moments of intimacy while honoring boundaries. I also, work closely with other departments to ensure believability and physical safety. It is a team effort, as we support each other in bringing the story to life in the most nuanced way.
My MISSION is to create consensual, culturally competent, compelling physical storytelling - while keeping our hearts + souls intact.
And how does your work intersect with cultural competency?
I advocate for and guide actors to vibrant, consent-based performances that bolster the cultural themes, history and integrity of the communities represented in the show. My process secures the likelihood that everyone’s physical, emotional and cultural boundaries are respected within the guidelines of a consent forward creative experience. My work is steeped in years of studying human behavior, the craft of acting and holistic healing practices.
You've been called "the director's special sauce" what does that mean?
That means I speak actor and can provide that extra flavor that delivers the performance the director was looking for within the guidelines of a consent forward creative experience. If desired, I can bring my additional expertise as an actress, acting coach and healing arts practitioner to any experience at any time to help the actors access the characters physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy.
I create space for the director to bring the big picture together and actors to authentically embody the life of the character's given circumstances. I can provide actors with grounding tools to assist them with detaching from the character's experiences or trauma.
Thrilled to support the director's vision and
help actors deliver dynamic performances.
Acting With Joy, empowers you to do your best work when working on scenes that involve complex cultural points of views, intimate touch, nudity, partial nudity, simulated sex, familial intimacy, medical intimacy and or LGBTQ+ themes by respecting the boundaries of cast & crew.
TRAINING: Mental Health First Aid Certification, Embodied Social Justice, Bystander Methods, Intimacy and Minors, Intimacy in the Classroom, Intimacy and Childbirth, UZIT: Holistic Healing Practitioner.
Theatrical Intimacy Education (TIE), Intimacy Stage and Screen (ISS), and Intimacy Coordinators of Color (ICOC) Intimacy Director Professionals (IDC)
Joy is a "local hire" in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Louisville and potentially NYC.
Memberships: SAG/AFTRA, AEA, Intimacy Coordinators of Color (ICOC)