Lelund Durond Thompson

Black Facts.com

By Staff

Tell us about your company and services.

The name of my production company is Lelund Durond Studios and I coach some of the industry’s biggest names in television and film, like Jennifer Hudson (RESPECT), Marlon Wayans (AIR) and Diane Guerrero (Doom Patrol). While coaching clients on film sets like RESPECT and THE FORTY YEAR OLD VERSION, I also offer actors on all levels the opportunity to strengthen their skills in my studio in Atlanta. My goal is to encourage actors to become more specific, spontaneous, and honest in their work for television and film. I help produce stronger actors by nurturing their talents virtually, in my studio classroom, and on television and film sets. I also provide commercial and personal photography services. I’m a multi-hyphenated artist. I’ve enjoyed capturing actors Cynthia Erivo, Corey Hawkins, Jackie Cruz and Danielle Brooks, directors Liesl Tommy and Kenny Leon, along with many others. I’m open to working with or capturing anyone who has a compelling story to tell.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

I grew up in a home that experienced grief for the first time in our immediate family when I was six years old, with the death of my sister Tracey. That loss gave me the opportunity to consider spirit, supernatural things, and what happens after life, at a young age. My two brothers Kenneth and James were also two souls that returned to spirit much sooner than I expected. I had my own health challenges when I was in high school. I was rushed to the emergency room because I was experiencing severe stomach pain. Later that day, I discovered my stomach had been cut open during an emergency surgical procedure to remove my gallbladder, in order to save my life. Growing up, I was in church a lot, almost every Sunday. I heard, “To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48), often. Because I was still alive, and my mother’s only living child, I started to think I was here to do something that really mattered, something that matched the weight, the magnitude of the load I was being required to carry, something that complimented the things God created me to carry. I’m a storyteller. I started making them up at a very young age. I saw the reactions from family and friends. They were laughing, they were crying, they were moved and always asked for more. They always encouraged me to stand in the spotlight. They inspired my love for stories and acting. I’m inspired by other storytellers like Oprah and Tyler Perry. I created Lelund Durond Studios because I too, see myself one day, being in a position, like those legends, where I’m empowered and supported while creating opportunities for myself and others to tell stories for television and film globally. That’s why I created Lelund Durond Studios. Becoming an entrepreneur, creating that business was my first step toward making that dream a reality and those were the things that inspired me.

What does success look like for you?

 My goals change daily, but are often connected to finishing the story and sharing the story. Sometimes that looks like teaching a class full of actors or coaching an actor on set. At other times it’s by writing or taking a photograph of someone. I feel successful when I’m being creative. The years of experience I’ve had as an acting coach and photographer on sets and in the studio have prepared me to pull the best out of my actors as a director. When I’m directing television and film starring some of the incredible talent I’ve had the opportunity to help grow, I’ll feel even more successful. When I’m in the position to really open the door for myself and someone else, I will feel successful. That’s what success looks like to me.


What keeps you motivated in such a competitive industry?

I want to inspire people. I enjoy seeing people grow. My mother often shares wisdom with me that I struggle to listen to, because she’s my mother. She gives it to me straight, over and over again. When you’re going through it, straight can be hard to swallow. I know there’s a ton of value in her wisdom, the life lessons she’s trying to share with me. I’m grateful to have a mother that loves me and wants to teach me. I want to give back to her. I want to help show her that God has so many great things in store for her. That keeps me motivated. The one thing she values most about life after losing most of her family is still having her peace of mind. My desire to let people know you can heal from almost anything keeps me motivated.

What are the true benefits in working with you?

Actors that work with me develop a better understanding of what to look for when they’re investing in the imaginary circumstances of a script, any type of script. Actors who work with me understand their value and make dynamic choices that are informed by the world of the script. They know how to bring what’s on and what’s not on the page. They know how to work with the camera. I’m available for in person on camera acting coaching sessions in Atlanta. You can work with me virtually from anywhere in the world. I’m going to bring out the best in you. That’s another benefit of working with me.

Where would you like to see your business in the next five years?

I see Lelund Durond Studios having facilities in Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles where actors are able to meet and train with some of the world’s strongest coaches. I see my clients having the chops and tools they need to excel in the classroom, on the sound stage, and in the business. I see Lelund Durond Studios having the flexibility, freedom, and resources needed to produce both scripted and unscripted television with a mission to tell stories that heal globally.


LELUND DUROND THOMPSON is an actor, acting coach, photographer, lyricist, writer, and director. He is also the founder of Lelund Durond Studios, a multi-media production company based in Los Angeles. After receiving his MFA at Case/Cleveland Play House, Lelund has gone on to perform at regional and international venues like the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Sons d’Hiver Festival in Paris. Film acting credits include the Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect (MGM, 2021), where he also served as acting coach to Jennifer Hudson and Marlon Wayans. Additional acting clients include Diane Guerrero (Doom Patrol, HBO), Joivan Wade (Doom Patrol, HBO) and BAFTA Award Nominee/Sundance 2019 Directing Award Winner, Radha Blank (The Forty Year Old Version, Netflix). Lelund has photographed artists from Ricky Martin to Sting, Daniel Radcliff to Danielle Brooks, Cynthia Erivo, Corey Hawkins, and many of New York and Hollywood’s most talented artists. His photography has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, People Magazine, GQ and Playbill. Lelund is currently in development on the musical WILDFLOWER (National Black Theatre/Apollo Theatre) and working with Marlon Wayans on the set of his new Netflix film.

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