Guided by accomplished director John Coles (HOUSE OF CARDS, THE WEST WING, HOMELAND), learn the language that leads to effective performances.

Jul 29, 2024 - Aug 2, 2024

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $2395
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 14

Spend a week with one of Hollywood’s most in-demand coaches and find out why Catlin Adams is the ‘secret weapon’ of many A-list stars and directors.

directing actors for the camera

Catlin Adams teaching Directing Actors for the Camera workshop
Catlin teaches Directing students during her 2022 Directing Actors for the Camera workshop.

SOLD OUT! Email [email protected] to be placed on a waitlist.

This week-long workshop will focus on scene analysis, exercises, and techniques to take directors deeply into the dynamics of directing actors. Throughout the week, students explore and rehearse scenes with a team of actors.

What does an actor need from a director in order to deliver the best performance? How do directors and actors embrace the freedom to risk that can lead to breakthroughs?  Preparation sets the stage for compelling and inspired work. Only when you’ve done the work of fully investigating your story and characters can everything else fall into place. Confidence. The willingness to make fear your friend. It’s not magic. It’s a craft.

Through scene study, character investigation, exercises, rehearsals, improvisation, and review of on-camera work, participants will arrive at a richer understanding of their material and craft, learn to be present in the moment, and communicate constructively.  By the end of the week, you will understand the common language that leads to honest and powerful work.

The workshop will also examine how to identify a character’s core, the value of incorporating physical tasks, and much more.  Once participants have explored a scene, it will be put on camera for analysis and discussion.

While this workshop is focused on directing, writers and cinematographers wishing to learn powerful tools that will equip them with a more profound way to understand character and performance are also welcome to participate.


When Catlin previously taught at Maine Media Workshops, this is what her students said: “The best teacher I have ever had”… “My life, mind, heart, and spirit have been forever changed by your insights and teaching”… “You can’t get an experience like this anywhere else.”… “Every push is necessary, honest, and purely to help. Your giving 100% makes me want to do the same.”

“She is my secret weapon though I do hate to share her.” – Zoe Saldana, actor (Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy)

“Catlin demystifies the process. Breaks it down, and teaches how to transform technique into art.” – Darren Aronofsky, director (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, Pi)

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Instructor: John Coles

John Coles is an award-winning director and producer of films, television, and theater, known for work that features compelling performances from some of today's most respected actors. He was nominated for an Emmy and a PGA award for his work as an Executive Producer and Director on the Netflix phenomenon House of Cards.  Other directing credits include the Emmy Award-winning Showtime series Homeland, the Disney+ series The Right Stuff,  the Epix original series Berlin Station, 11/22/63 for Hulu, and Amazon’s Mad Dogs. Recently he directed and executive produced USA’s hit drama The Sinner.  Other credits include Bates Motel, Power, Damages, Justified, Sex and the City, and The West Wing.  He has also directed and executive-produced Elementary, Thief, Unforgettable, 3LBS, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, New Amsterdam, and Wonderland.