Antoinette “Toni” Attell is an accomplished performer who has enjoyed success in a variety of performing mediums for almost four decades. She is an Emmy-nominated actress, but her stage, television and movie credits tell only part of the story of a remarkable and versatile woman who has also become a well known and respected acting coach and motivational speaker.
Drawing upon her many successes, Toni has blended her talents and experience to create The Attell Method – a coaching style that incorporates hypnosis, acting and memorization techniques to help actors and business executives develop their natural presentation talents to the highest degree.
Toni began her acting career in San Francisco, performing with the American Conservatory Theater. She became well known in many performing circles as Toad the Mime before moving to Southern California to further her career.
After a stint with Theater West in Los Angeles, she toured more than 350 colleges in the United States as a mime-comedienne, teaching master classes in movement and acting to hundreds of students while being named the best solo act on the college circuit. On tour, Toni also performed numerous charity shows for the blind, veterans and at children’s hospitals.
During this time, she was named the best new comedienne by Us Magazine. That helped her to become the opening act for Jay Leno, Steve Martin and Robin Williams.
In addition to her film and television work, Toni honed her on-stage performances by creating and performing a number of one-woman shows. She started the Comedy Store Players in Los Angeles and has used her comedic talents to instruct and choreograph the clowns at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Toni’s keen sense of timing and movement has also served her well in directing the choreography of several music videos, most notably Kim Carnes’ Betty Davis Eyes.
Throughout her career, Toni has continued to refine her craft, studying and working internationally with some of the greatest masters of mime, including Jean Louis Barroult. Marcel Marceauand Mamako Yoneyama. She has also studied improvisation, comedy and acting, including the Alexander Technique, and with well known teachers such as Bill Ball, David Dukes, Paul Shenar, David Alexander, Nina Foch, Harvey Lembeck and Carlos Mazzonne.
Years of study helped ignite a passion in Toni to realize her own dream of teaching others the craft of acting and performance arts. Twenty years ago, she began pursuing that dream, developing a variety of classes for children, teens, adults and seniors.
During this time, Toni helped create a summer program for actors and writers at the Los Angeles Theater Center. She also started three stand-up children’s comedy groups called “The Comedy Pups” that were featured on national television.
Toni became an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinema where she taught The Acting Experience for Writers andActing for Directors for five years. She also taught Acting for Non-Actors and Acting for Commercials to graduate and undergraduate students at Chapman University for four years.
Toni currently teaches Comedy Boot Camp, Improvization, Hypnosis and Intuition for the Actor in Acting, and Acting Fundamentals at the UCLA Extension.
For the past three years, she has also written a column for The Tolucan Times and La Brea Living Magazine called “The Chatterbox-The Biz.”
Her involvement in the performing arts also extends to her membership in The Academy of Arts and Sciences where she serves on the “Blue Ribbon Panel” that votes on the Emmys. She is also a board member of The San Fernando Valley International Film Festival.
Toni is the author of Just Kidding, Stand-Up Comedy For Kids of All Ages and You Are What You Were, A Home Guide to Your Past Lives. She recently completed a third book with Carl Gottlieb who is best known as a screenwriter for Jawsand is a past Vice President of the Writers’ Guild. The Little Blue Book for Filmmakers is a workbook for directors, writers, actors and producers that will be published in early 2011.
Toni Attell’s Credits
- Jersey Boys – directed by Clint Eastwood, the role of Adrianne
- Krippendorf’s Tribe
- A Christmas in Connecticut
- Skin Deep
- Patty Hearst Movie
- Things Are Tough All Over
- Goodbye Cruel World
- Andre’s Women
- Stand-Up L.A.
- June Bride
- What Would Jeanne Moreau Do?
- Normal Doesn’t Mean Perfect
- Comedy Store Players
- Devil’s Disciple
- La Mama Troupe
- 40’s Radio Show
- Black Jacks – Role, Lee’s Mother – Director, Bjorn Wilde
- Beverly Hills 90210
- Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
- Picket Fences
- Babylon 5
- Knot’s Landing
- Life Goes On
- Hogan’s Family
- Shattered Dreams
- Sledge Hammer
- My Dissident Mom
- The Annihilator
- You and Me Kid
- The New Laugh-In
- Great American Laugh-Off