Judith Weston

Judith Weston

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Judith Weston, the author of Directing Actors and The Film Director’s Intuition, has been a teacher and mentor to directors, actors, screenwriters for 35 years. She started acting in 1970, when she moved from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she studied with Jean Shelton and became a working actor in theater, television and film. "Attending acting class was like stepping through Alice's Looking Glass," says Judith. "It was a parallel universe, new and unique—absolutely absorbing. It became a spiritual laboratory—a way of understanding myself and the world around me. Acting was instantly my university, my hobby, my therapist, my church, my family, my joy. And although I sensed that soon it would be the way I made my living, the emotional and spiritual nourishment I got from acting has always remained its strongest pull." As the '70s came to a close, she was drawn to Los Angeles, where she continued her acting career with roles on Hill Street Blues, Newhart, Little House on the Prairie, and other episodics, MOWs, independent films, and theater. She continued studying, with Stella Adler, Jack Garfein, Jose Quintero, and Harold Clurman. Judith, an idealist with a passion to explore emotional reality, imagination, and the world around her through acting, found in Los Angeles a new creative path—teaching. The date of the first class she taught, March 4th, 1985, seemed prophetic, as she "marched forth" into her true and lasting vocation—coaching actors, directors, and other film professionals. For 30 years Judith maintained a full schedule of classes, workshops, and special events in her Los Angeles studio. She also traveled with her workshops, to New York and other US cities, all over Europe and Canada, and to New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Directing Actors has been translated into twelve languages. Then in 2015 she closed her studio and stopped traveling. Instead of classes and workshops she now offers one-on-one consultation for directors and writer-directors. During the 2020 pandemic she’s been offering free Zoom Q&A workshops. Her deep understanding of acting and directing as a laboratory of life has led to her reputation as "a detective of human nature" whose insights go to the heart of a scene, and to the soul of each individual artist. Her clients, students, and readers come from all formats: film, TV, web series, animation, video games, theater, commercials, and music videos. They include winners and nominees of Academy Awards, Emmys, SAG and Spirit Awards, and projects that compete in all the major film festivals. The purpose of all her books and all her consultations and workshops has been to challenge filmmakers to work harder—and to give them the tools to do that. With each book she strives to present liberating ideas of communication and analysis with greater and greater depth and clarity. Readers have said that her books not only give them concrete, actionable advice for storytelling, but also reach them at a subconscious level and awaken their creativity in unexpected ways. Readers even find insights that guide them in business, social, and family relationships. Directing Actors is available as an audiobook. It came out in September 2019—revised and updated from the original paperback (which was written in 1996) and read by Judith. The audiobook predates the Directing Actors 25th Anniversary Edition, which has been further revised and updated, and will be available in April 2021. Judith's website www.judithweston.com contains more information about her books, the history of her workshops, and the accomplishments of her students. The website also has links to her social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Judith is married to John Hoskins, who works with her on the business side of things. They have a cozy Venice Beach home where they garden together and try to make a positive difference in the current political climate. There, for a number of years, they gave amazing Winter Holiday parties. In 2004 Judith battled a rare but treatable form of cancer, and because of great good luck, and because of John, and because of the work she loves and the students she treasures, she is flourishing.
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