Janine Manatis
Coach/Teacher –  Writer/Director – Critic/Interviewer


“FIRST” Film/Theatre Critic on Canadian Television (CBC)
“FIRST” Woman Director/Writer  Feature Film  “I, Maureen”  TIFF 3 Genie noms  Cannes
“FIRST” Creator “Ensemble Workshop” Actors/Writers/Directors Canada  Sponsored by NFB
Member Elia Kazan’s Director’s Unit, The Actors’ Studio NY 
Succeeded Edward Albee as Head of Playwrights’ Unit, The Actors Studio NY
Guest Host/Critic/Interviewer, “Saturday Night at the Movies” (TVO, Elwy Yost), & “The Brian Linehan Show”
Columnist/Critic: Saturday Night The Toronto Star  Chatelaine   MacLean’s
Master Teacher:  Ryerson  U of T  Seneca  York  Acadia  WIFT
Awards/Grants: Genies, Geminis, Doras, Oscar nom, Rockefeller/Ford grants
      I've lived most of my life in the land of hustle... Geographically, that's NY, LA, and TO. Specifically, it's in the eye of the entertainment storm. I started out in the “hotbed” of acting at the The Actors Studio in New York. Anyone who denies that title is unaware of theatrical history, for history it was and is. I am more than proud to have been an integral part of it in its heyday, where Sir Laurence Olivier sat among us, a few rows from Marilyn Monroe, and a few rows back from them were the other “somebodies”, and finally, us “nobodies”!  I progressed from the twice weekly acting sessions with Lee Strasberg to being one of a handful of women in the Directors' Unit headed by Elia Kazan. I was ultimately invited by Edward Albee to succeed him as Moderator of the Playwrights’ Unit, where I had the privilege of bringing actors’ exercises to the writers there, one of whom was my mentor, the late great James Baldwin. Hard work was never so much fun!
    Later, I was invited by preeminent theatre critic, Nathan Cohen to “spread the Word” in Canada. I wrote theatre/film reviews for the Toronto Star and became the first film critic on Canadian television (CBC). There is a long list of “FIRSTS”, but at the top was the opportunity for me to create and conduct “The Ensemble Workshop” (under the auspices of the National Film Board, spearheaded by producer/filmmaker, Beryl Fox) for writers, actors, directors, and producers based on the principles of The Actors Studio. 
   After becoming known as a "Star Coach" for having taught Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Louis Gossette Jr., Michael Ironside, Mark Harmon, Robert Carradine, Nastassja Kinski, Diana Scarwid, Sandy Dennis, Santino Buda and many more, I was asked to extend my teaching to include everybody from teachers, to lawyers, to business executives and health pratitioners. Out of all this exploration and growth, I decided to write a book and share my discoveries. The title says it all: 
       Alongside grants, nominations and awards, I'm also proud of always having been a devout activist: for civil rights, women's rights, animal rights; and against the Vietnam war, the first Gulf war and the Iraqi war.  Growing up in the South, I learned a profound statement:   
       'Someday, there will be a war, and no one will come.'
      And finally, one of the FIRSTs of which I am truly proud: being the creator of the award-winning "Marineland and Gamefarm: You'll have a Whale of a Time" commercial, thereby becoming the first woman director to "Kiss a Whale"!