Judith Weston has written two books: DIRECTING ACTORS, and THE FILM DIRECTOR'S INTUITION - for directors, actors, screenwriters - as well as others who may have wondered whether the techniques of actors and filmmakers might be useful in their everyday business and personal lives.
Born in Maine, Judith grew up in New England, and by an early age was drafting brother, cousins, and neighborhood children into living room and back-yard theatrical productions. She dropped out of college in the '60s, and moved to New York City's East Village, working in a bank by day, and (off-hours) organizing "guerrilla theater" events such as the 1968 picketing of the Miss America Contest. When she moved to Berkeley, California in 1970, she started studying acting for real.
"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 - 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."
While in San Francisco Judith became a working actor in theater, television and film. 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 and film directors.
By now she has been teaching for 29 years, classes and workshops for film professionals - directors, actors, and screenwriters. Judith has been running her own studio, the Judith Weston Studio for Actors & Directors, since 1990. In 2001 the studio moved to its current, and most spacious and beautiful, incarnation, at 3402 Motor Avenue in West L.A. Here she works with directors and actors with the determination to dive deeper into the possibilities of their craft, and to explore the joys and challenges of the actor-director relationship. People sometimes come from far parts of the globe. 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.
She teaches in New York City once a year, and has traveled with her seminars to Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. People who have studied or consulted with her, and endorsed her books, include winners and nominees of Academy Awards, Emmys, SAG and Spirit Awards, and directors of major studio films, features and shorts in competition at all the major film festivals, award-winning commercials and music videos, and countless episodic television shows.
Her first book DIRECTING ACTORS has been translated into eight languages - German, Japanese, Spanish, Finnish, Korean, Greek, Polish, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.
Judith's goal and mission is communication and collaboration. And finding the truest truth in every character and every story - as a means to making it universal and entertaining to an audience. Judith's website www.judithweston.com contains more information about her books; her workshops for actors, directors and writers; and special events at her Los Angeles studio. She has posted instructional videos on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/judithweston); her Facebook page is Judith Weston Studio for Actors & Directors.
Her volunteer community service activities have included consulting for the Make a Film Foundation, and as director and producer of acting workshops and productions for developmentally challenged adults, for physically challenged adults, and for stroke and head injury survivors. She has also volunteered in the Brotman Hospital Life Transition Program, Recording for the Blind, and the Screen Actors Guild "Book Pals" program of reading in the schools.
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 dream up exotic wall colors. 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.