Alumni Spotlight | Joy Every (Film ’85)

Joy EveryWas there a specific faculty member or peer who especially inspired you while at the School of the Arts? If so, who and how?
Frank Daniel was a wonderful mentor and teacher. He was also so much fun! A group of us would go weekly to the West End Bar with Frank. After plying Frank (and of course ourselves) with pitchers of beer and french fries, Frank would regale us with stories about the Czech film world. He was like a God to us, someone who was really there with some of the independent filmmakers that we so admired.
How did attending the School of the Arts impact your work and career as an artist?
It gave me a way to look at the world which inspired my work life in the film industry and as a visual artist (painter/photographer). The school taught me to be bold—to follow my dreams and instincts.
What were the most pressing social/political issues on the minds of the students when you were here?
Environmental (the movie Silkwood), gay rights, AIDS.
If you could revisit any piece you created during your time at the School of the Arts, which would it be? Why?
I directed and shot a scene from one of my screenplays with the mostly unknown at the time actors, Kevin Spacey and Cynthia Nixon for Milos Forman. Now that's some name dropping. Milos helped me find and convince the actors to help out. Of course they wanted to be in the scene, not because it was so brilliant but because Milos was there.
What was your favorite or most memorable class while at the School of the Arts?
Brad Dourif's acting class where we performed our "Alone in a Room" piece. He was so out there and smelled of his goat farm. Brad had terrific ideas to get us to dig deep as an actor. So although most of us weren't interested in acting, we could apply the knowledge to working with actors.
About Joy Every
After years of working as a Creative Executive for companies such as Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Turner Pictures and America Online, Joy went back to her first loves of painting and photography. She is also a Holistic Health Coach working helping people with chronic conditions such as Lyme Disease live a healthier more pain free life.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.