Born Michael Gordin Shtull in Montreal, Michael Gordin Shore is the fifth consecutive generation of his New York based family to devote his life to the performing arts, and is the great great grandson of Jacob Gordin, the well-known playwright. Michael is the son of Mensa member and critically acclaimed costume designer and native New Yorker the late Beth Shore and of 75 year old Canadian triathlete Morris Shore who has won medals in over 50 consecutive Olympic length triathlons since he was 50, including at the ITU International Triathlon Championships in Bejing, China in 2011.
Early Acting Work:
Michael Gordin Shore started acting with The Children’s Theatre when he was 5. His first feature film was the 1977 Montreal production of City On Fire, in which he spent 10 days on set working with the likes of Barry Newman of Petrocelli fame, and the unforgettable Valerie Perrine. The next year when he was 12, Michael had his first line on screen in George Kaczender’s Agency as “boy in office”. There, he had the opportunity to meet his then hero, Lee Majors, straight off the set of The Six Million Dollar Man, his 12 year old’s dream come true. As a teen and young adult Michael had the opportunity to play roles on stage like Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Riff in West Side Story, and both the roles of Tevye and of Lazer Wolfe in separate productions of Fiddler on the Roof. He has been described by the press as “Born on the boards”. Other well-known past cast mates of Michael include Shawn Levy, director of Night at the Museum as well as Cheaper By The Dozen and The Pink Panther with Steve Martin, and Jamie Elman of Student body fame. In 1988 when he was 22, Michael played a recurring character on the daily Canadian teen soap opera Time Of Your Life. By the time Michael began his professional theatre training at age 26, he had already played over a dozen leads on stage and had been a cast member of over 25 plays.
A gifted child and a math and physics prodigy, Michael joined Mensa at age 14. Mensa is the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world - it is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test. He graduated from one of Canada’s top private high schools, Lower Canada College High School in Montreal at age 15, and with consideration for his age, turned down a scholarship invitation from Princeton based on his SAT scores. Instead he obtained a degree in Pure and Applied Sciences from Centennial College. After a year in Concordia University’s Liberal Arts College intent on majoring in Psychology, Michael left school for a number of years and worked at various jobs while he continued to do theatre. In Toronto he had the opportunity to perform in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by the well-known Canadian Director Paul Comeau, and the experience made him realize that if he wanted to act professionally he would need to train professionally. He returned to school at 26 to complete the three year John Abbott College Professional Theatre Program, one of the top classical actor training conservatory programs in Canada, then moved to Vancouver and completed a BFA Majoring in Theatre from the Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts. After SFU, he studied with most of Vancouver’s top film and television acting teachers and worked with the educational consulting/communications skills company The Standardized Patient Pool for almost five years before he started teaching Chameleon Audition Survival Training in 2003.
Michael paralleled his theatre school training with real life practical experience by performing in and helping to develop, produce, and design for almost 20 new original Canadian plays which were mounted in Vancouver’s smaller professional theatres even before he left University and dozens more since, and with many transformative workshops like the 6 week long National Voice Intensive and the two month long National Dance Intensive.
Beginnings of Technical, Coaching, and Casting Careers:
In 2000 after he completed his second degree in Theatre, Michael worked on a number of TV shows and movies in the Director’s Guild of Canada position of Production Assistant, including over a hundred days on the first season of Mysterious Ways as the on set PA, where he spent his time at video village watching the monitors as the show was shot, and listening to the powers that be assess the on camera acting of the pros. He learned what works and what doesn’t in the real world, as well as how and what they actually shoot on the day. He finished off the season as an IATSE lamp operator/electrician, working in on set lighting. This began another branch of his career, his ongoing technical work.
From 2002 until 2006 Michael was the office manager and head technician of a well-known film and television acting school in Vancouver. Since his theatre training and the teaching thereof adapted so easily to the process of auditioning for Film\TV, he was invited to co-teach an established commercial audition workshop once a month in 2003, and that started an explosion of demand for his help. Actors started calling Michael to help them prepare for auditions, agents started calling Michael to get him to help their actors prepare and to train beginners who wanted to break into the business, and some of Vancouver’s top casting directors started calling Michael to help them run their casting sessions, either as a casting associate, a camera operator, or as a reader, who is the actor who stands near the camera and reads the scenes all day with every actor who is auditioning for a project. A good day of casting will generally see well over a hundred different actors.
By now a familiar face in Vancouver’s casting rooms, Michael’s opportunity to participate in and witness over ten thousand actual auditions and to hear the conversations between the producers, the directors, and the writers after the actors leave the room, has given him an insider’s view on what “They” are really looking for, what works in an audition and what doesn’t, as well as showing him ad infinitum what nerves, pressure, and lack of preparation can do to any actor, even an experienced one. Michael has become a trusted and respected industry insider, depended upon and befriended by professionals on both sides of the casting process.
Michael has been called upon by directors, agents, and producers to arrange and run casting sessions in different cities and to make casting choices for a number of independent film projects. He has also worked as an on set acting coach and as an assistant director on a number of Industrial films, and has been involved as a Producer on projects for both the big and the small screens.