Coach takes acting class to Powell River

One of Canada's top film and television acting coaches is coming to Powell River.

Jacqui Kaese, founder of Nanaimo's Spotlight Academy for Actors and Models, will be in town Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19 for three workshops and a free question-and-answer session.

"The information session is geared toward people who just want a general background in terms of what's available and how feasible it is living in Powell River," she told the Peak in a telephone interview.

The workshops are geared toward people who have little or no acting experience and will cover basics and pitfalls, helping hopeful actors market and motivate themselves.

Kaese said technology is enabling people from rural and remote communities to be seen and heard by industry professionals through the use of audition tapes.

"We've persuaded casting directors that we're a force to be reckoned with and through modern technology we've become more available," she said. "We've gone from being able to courier VHS tapes to emailing audition pieces."

She said there is still some skepticism and naivetie around remote auditions, but a lot of film crews in the United States will now accept taped auditions.

"At some point or other they've got to be prepared to make the journey," she said, adding that most commercial work requires actors to audition in person. "When you're in Vancouver, it's a 20-minute commute to the studios. With us, it can be an overnight trip," she said.

Because of the distance, Kaese said it's important for hopeful actors to know what it takes to market themselves in the business.

Kaese has more than 1,500 hours of on-set coaching experience, collected over 25 years of working in film, TV and commercials. Spotlight Academy's alumni include Cameron Bright, star of X-Men: The Last Stand and Thank You For Smoking; Colin Ford, star of Dog Days and Dungeon Siege and Blake Woodruff, from Cheaper by the Dozen 1 and 2. Kaese's latest success story is Beau Mirchoff, appearing on screen as one of the leads in Scary Movie 4.

Prices for the workshops range depending on age. For a complete list of times and prices readers can visit or call 604.485.2891. Kaese said she could soon be a regular presence in Powell River. If these sessions are successful, she'll be back twice a year to train more young stars. Readers wanting more information on Kaese's projects can visit

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