Jacqui, you're the best.
There's no way I'd be where I am today without you Jacqui!
You were my life's turning point that made me believe I could one day have a career in the film industry. And now that I do, you're the first person I need to thank. The best lesson you ever taught me was that the most important part of making movies, whether as an actress or director, is to have a passion to work on your craft. No matter how much natural talent you have, it's worthless without the passion to stick it out.
There's no tougher business than showbiz and your tough love prepared me the most. I'll be thinking of you on the red carpet at Cannes this year!
Jacqui Kaese has a method of teaching the craft of acting that is truly unique in my experience. After taking classes and workshops with at least twelve other teachers, some of them with reputations of being "the best," I felt I was adrift on a great sea of confusion and uncertainty.
Whether you are just getting started, or have extensive experience, Jacqui will help you to lay down the foundations for a successful career, that no-one - no matter how talented and seasoned they are - can afford to do without. Nobody starts at the top, and believe me, there is no 'fast track' in this business.
I call Jacqui my anchor and best of all, she has a REALLY BIG HEART!
I have many fond memories from your classes Jacqui. Very special light you are to Nanaimo. Keep shining
I recently had the pleasure of auditioning a bunch of great kids from the age of 7 through 12, many of whom were from Spotlight Academy.
As a filmmaker, you tend to shy away from shooting certain things (kids, animals, etc.) because you just don't know what unknowns may all of a sudden become known when you start recording. I can say, unequivocally, that the kids who auditioned were nothing short of talented, prepared and professional. If you are like me and tend to not write roles for children because you don't think the talent is there, I'm telling you: the talent is there. The material we had them do was not easy stuff. They cried on camera. That made us cry off camera. Then we called 'cut' and they stopped crying. We continued crying. It was a mess.
Jacqui Kaese has done a ridiculously amazing job preparing and coaching these kids and I have no doubt they will inspire and amaze you like they did for us. If you're a filmmaker, don't be afraid to take a chance on these kids. Don't be afraid to write a role for them that not only challenges them, but challenges you. Chances are they'll outperform your expectations.
Track 10 Productions
Jacqui Kaese is one of the top acting coaches in North America. Students coached by Jacqui at Spotlight Academy have landed major roles in blockbuster films next to A-list actors like Nicole Kidman and Robert de Niro to just name a few.
I have known Jacqui for more 10 years and her humility, hands-on approach and long-term commitment to her students' success is what sets her apart as an incredible coach and friend. If you want to have a successful career in acting there is no better school and coach to have than Jacqui Kaese and Spotlight Academy.
de Villiers van Zyl
Thank you Jacqui! You inspired, motivated, pushed, taught, and supported me ... and you continue to do so! From my first acting class with you, I felt at ease even while filled with nervous energy. You have a wonderful spirit and compassion for all the big-eyed actors that come to your studio and you have taught me virtually everything I needed to know to become, not only an actor, but a talented and informed one.
Learning about commercials, TV, film, the industry, unions, sets, the crazy language used on set, blocking, finding the emotional core, the objective of the scene, the ARC of the scene, picking a good agent and on and on and on. You have brought me so much knowledge and belief in myself that I can do it. I AM DOING IT! In large part, due to you, Jacqui. Thanks again - you are a real gem and I am eternally grateful for your guidance, support and compassion.
Click here to see what you helped create.
I remember calling you at Spotlight years ago asking for your help about acting classes, as I been invited to appear in a Western film. I didn't know much about acting but I knew what bad acting looked like.
You were so easy to talk to and answered all my questions.
I remember my first class 10 years ago. I remember the scene we did on camera and then evaluated in the class. You were kind and encouraging and truthful in a pleasant way.
Every week in class I learned more about myself and how to access and express my inner emotions so that they would show on camera. Over many seasons of classes I learned more about myself as you coached and taught. I watched and listened while you taught other students in the class, I took lots of notes and would review them when I got home. I looked forward to the workshops when you would bring in casting agents from Vancouver or teachers from the Vancouver Film School, I learned so much in those workshops and I didn't need to travel to Vancouver. I remember it was part of my homework to watch movies and know the current TV series. Cool!
I first met you Jacqui when my three kids were young and doing TV commercials and movies. You would coach them and help them with their scripts and I even remember you being on the ferry with us and coaching them the whole ferry ride over.
And now here I am 60 years old and I thought I would try acting in my retirement years. You found me the best talent agent in Vancouver: Brenda Campbell with Premiere Talent. In just four months I have done three commercials and loving it.
The Bridal Wave movie for Hallmark was looking for extras and I was chosen for the wedding party. They put me in the most beautiful perfect outfit.
The scene was shot with another couple being the bride's parents and in the middle stood Jaclyn Smith. So here I am standing beside Jaclyn Smith smiling at her and at the camera as we throw rice at the bride and groom. I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. It was awesome and I was in heaven. I had no idea she was going to be there or in the scene with us.
So I can not thank you enough Jacqui for making me so very happy. This truly was a day I will cherish forever and never forget.
You're the best.
Love you always
Jacqui meets this tough and scary industry with a heart full of passion and love. She welcomes you with open arms and helps guide you on your journey; at whatever stage you might be in. You can always count on her to be there to give you a helping hand, and she has a tickle trunk full of knowledge that she is always willing to share. She has the ability to see your capability and your potential even when you do not, and her classes and her presence help to bring out the best in you.
Jacqui has been a positive and guiding light as I pursued this often tough and challenging craft. She genuinely wants you to succeed while feeling safe and supported. The atmosphere at her studio is that of absolute positivity and genuine care. it has become a place of comfort where I can nurture my passion and share experiences with others attending class.
What a fabulous evening! You provided a wonderful experience for all those kids. I really appreciated the personal comments that you made about each student. It is very evident that you love kids and that you love working with them.
You are a gift to our community!
When we recently played the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Society) annual fundraiser Gala I met my longtime friend Jaqui Kaese among the attendees, one of the nicest persons you'll ever meet, but she also knows how to stir people up and often prompts people to pay attention to the heart-wrenching side of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).
With one of the most misunderstood health causes in the world she is helping make a difference for her sons and the millions of others who live with T1D.
Always an inspiration to a lot of us for tirelessly dedicating her precious time to an amazing cause, she prepared one of the most amazing evening Galas this side of the Georgia Straight, in the equally amazing Tigh-na-mara Resort in Parksville, BC.
An amazing evening filled with Jaqui's trademark of elegance and style, talent showcasing and heart-felt stories from Hollywood actors to people from the community. Jaqui's taste for style can be seen in the superb display of ambiance throughout the event, her romantic and relaxed approach of the evening left us all in awe-inspired mood.
The Gala included both silent and live auctions, dinner, dancing and music. I was most impressed with her ability to direct the evening with ease and relaxed approach. I don't know what her plans are for next year but even if I'm not performing for one of her events next year I would for sure ask if I can at least could come and serve the cake at one of her fundraising events. It'll be the only way to witness a truly artist at enhancing and improving the lives of others.
Jaqui, thank you for taking care of us. As always you are an inspiration to a lot of us for tirelessly dedicating your precious time to an amazing cause. I look up to heroes like you
Santa Lucia LFR Music.
As an aspiring actor who took a multi year acting program at a major university costing tens of thousands of dollars, I can enthusiastically say that Jacqui Kaese's Spotlight Academy did more to realistically move me toward appearing in movies and television than entire years in theatre programs.
Spotlight's practical approach to the business of working in film, including on-camera presence, auditioning for Hollywood directors, characterisation on film, and industry terminology are mandatory tools to enter this exciting world.
Just as importantly, Spotlight networks you into the web of industry insiders from casting directors to agents. Through Spotlight sponsored seminars you get to meet these people personally, and it is the direct source for many actors' first breaks. Jacqui's experience fosters invaluable opportunities for those trying to move from a passion to a practical career.
I now have a quality agent, pending auditions, a skill set, and on-set experience. If you want to be in television, I can't think of a more fun and rewarding way then the skills, friends, and connections I made with industry leader Spotlight. One warning. As with everything in life, even with Jacqui's resources you still have to bring commitment and dedication to the craft.
I've been meaning to touch base the past couple of days to tell you something....
When I picked Jenna up from film camp on Tuesday evening, she came running to the car in the pouring rain and got in, absolutely beaming, exuberant and full of endless happy stories. As we were driving I was smiling and she asked why I was smiling. I told her I noticed whenever I pick her up from your classes she is always so happy and full of life, and that seeing her like that makes me happy. Her response? "Mom, it feels so good to finally have a place where I can totally be myself and I'm accepted for who I am."
My heart felt like it was bursting....
Thank you will never, ever, be enough, but from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.
So hard to know where to begin.
I met Jacqui Kaese as a nervous beginner with no film/TV acting experience, and a minimum of stage experience (only one show). From Lesson One, Jacqui inspired confidence and it was evident to me that I was in the right place to learn my new craft. Jacqui ensures that all of the skills necessary for this career are taught. She knows the business of acting, set etiquette, and film terminology, which she shares with her students.
When I booked my first film role last August, I had nothing to go on but Jacqui's instruction, and I found, to my delight, that the work on set was exactly as she described it! At the end of the shoot, I revealed to cast and crew that it was my first shoot, and they all expressed that they were surprised to hear this, and acknowledged that I had great training and preparation. It was Jacqui who guided me in our weekly lessons, with a steady hand ("Less is more David!") lol.
When Jacqui thought I was ready, she arranged a meeting for me with my agent, Brenda Campbell, with Premiere Talent. I'm pleased to say that Brenda signed me and things are moving forward at a great pace!
I have been in five films and a video game trailer. I am booked in other projects, and continue to move forward in print ads, commercials, film and TV. So thanks Jacqui!
As a teenager, I attended Spotlight Academy. A good friend of mine, James Wood, was also attending, and I remember being so excited we were in the class together learning different performance techniques; acting for stage and actingfor camera.
Even a simple technique such as not looking directly at the camera, and doing things smaller, are lessons that have really stuck with me and helped me along the way! I really enjoyed my time at Spotlight and the insight and inspiration of that experience is still with me today.
Thank you Jacqui!
Thank you for the referrals. All of the talent you have sent me are amazing. The feedback I receive is always positive and Ibelievethey have all had callbacks. Most have been put on hold for projects and there have been some bookings as well. You are a GREAT teacher and a wonderful talent yourself. THANK YOU!!!
Much can be said about Jacqui Kaese, but I think the following sums her up the most concisely: Jacqui Kaese is an amazing and beautiful human being. From the moment I first met Jacqui, I felt awed by her mere presence, let alone by the depths of her knowledge, wisdom, experience, passion, and courage that I would later be privileged enough to receive. During my training, she knew exactly what I needed as an actor and, through the course of the semester, was able to pull me out of my shell. She was definitely the missing link I needed in my training.
Jacqui Kaese has blessed me with her teachings, and I hope to be able to repay her someday by making her proud. Thank you Jacqui!
Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts
From my first hour spent with Jacqui I knew that she was going to make a huge impact on my life. What I didn't realize was just how much. My time spent in Jacqui's classes was nothing short of enlightening, professional, passionate and moving. To meet someone who is so unafraid to express her feelings and love for individuals is inspiring to say the least. It was like I had someone staring into my soul and accepting and loving every piece of me, good and bad. The open, caring environment Jacqui creates in her class makes you feel safe and comfortable to explore any and every aspect of your life and with her guidance. She shows you how you can use these discoveries in your acting. Jacqui always pushes her students to search for the truth and will work with you until you uncover it. Aside from being an 'emotional guru' Jacqui is also a working professional through and through. Her knowledge of the industry and experience working in it is something that cannot be found in all acting teachers. Jacqui makes sure to prepare her students for the real world and having that first- hand experience passed down is a very invaluable tool; one I feel so fortunate to have received. Jacqui is completely invested in her students and fuels us with the confidence we need to set forth in our endeavors. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Jacqui. I will always keep her in my life as a friend and mentor and look forward to working my skills with her for a long long time.
When i first met Jacqui I'm going to be honest i was a little intimidated. But after working with her she turned into a gift. She coached me into a better actor. Along with that she coached me in life to be a better person. There's only a few people in your life that will change you and push you to be better. Jacqui is one of those people. For that i am forever in her debt.
Jaqui is an amazing teacher and mentor.She is one of the most caring, supportive and professional people I have ever met.She is very honest and a breath of fresh air. I learned a lot about myself and the skills I need to succeed. She brought things out that I didn't even know were there. I feel honoured to have worked with her and she is definitely a person I will keep in contact with. She teaches all the skills you need to make it as a professional actor and is a true inspiration.
Jacqui Kaese is a wonderfully talented woman with a unique ability to see into your soul to the truth about you. With a seemly endless supply of compassion, wisdom and strength she has helped me grow exponentially as both a human being and an actor; she has taught me the greatest gift one can give is simply yourself. In order to give that fully she enabled me to love myself in all my flawed beauty and that I will always be enough. I would not be the person I am today without the loving guidance of Jacqui Kaese and I will be eternally grateful for her love and support.
Jacqui is an incredibly inspiring teacher. Her teaching style is a truly effective combination of pushing you to extremes and places you would never dare going on your own, with a classroom feel of trust, safety, and honest care for each of her students. I was able to connect with her in a way unique to any teacher I have worked with. I truly feel that she has not only been a turning pointing within my training but has changed my entire life! Jacqui I love working with you!
Jacqui Kaese has been one of the most influential people in my life.
In the first five minutes of meeting Jacqui I knew there was something very special about her. She has an extraordinary way of seeing beyond what the average person can see. Jacqui has a fearless way of approaching what she does, and is more than willing to jump through any barriers along side you and journey to the places most people shy away from. She is not afraid to tell you the bare truth but in the most genuinely caring and comforting fashion, she sticks beside you and is always cheering you on. The knowledge and professionalism gained through years of experience is evident in every moment I have had in and out of class with Jacqui.
I immediately felt comfortable around Jacqui, and through the time I spent with her, I came to conclude that she has that effect on people because of her extreme sensitivity to everyone around her, and herself, which makes her such an amazing acting and life coach.
I don't know how she does it but with the simplest tweak Jacqui Kaese can create miracles. I will always remember everything Jacqui has taught me, and anyone who has the chance to spend time with her is lucky.
Dear Cast and Crew:
It is with great pride that we can announce that Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Drama TV Movie or Miniseries. Everybody should be very proud of their efforts and hard work in the making of this movie. This accomplishment was a group effort.
So, congrats to you all!
Jacqui you're the best. You shape lives. This is profound and don't ever think it's less than that. I admire you. So glad you're on this rather astonishing team we have here. Thank you for caring so much. Thank you for your beautiful work.
Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts
I came to know Jacqui years ago while I was working in local TV in Nanaimo. It was quickly obvious that I was dealing with a very experienced professional who was serious about all aspects of show business and learning even more. In the years that followed I was fortunate to participate in several acting classes and help out with various local productions. I was also able to learn a lot through various courses she regularly organizes (my favourite was the firearms set etiquette). Jacqui strives to bring in the best instructors possible, all with proven credentials in the film, stage and television industries and is constantly working to provide her clients with the best possible learning opportunities.
On a more personal note, I have always observed Jacqui to be genuinely invested in the success and well-being of her clients, a rarity in show business. Her style of honest and open coaching is very effective. I have known Jacqui to be a fighter in both her personal and professional lives, and she has always been active in the community. If you are serious about pursuing a career in acting or modeling and are able to devote the time and effort to make it happen, Jacqui Kaese will fight to make you a success. A quick glance at the list of talents she has launched will show you that she’s the real deal.
I first met Jacqui kaese when I was four years old. She approached my nana saying I had potential for acting. A few years later I received great personal training from her. I participated in one of her many talent competitions and for the past four years I have had the pleasure of singing at her cottonwood Christmas dinners.
Jacqui is truly an amazing woman with a busy schedule. I thank her for being one of the few who helped me find a way to reach for my dreams. I fully recommend her to anyone wishing to pursue a future in the performing arts.
(Who has just landed a coveted spot at the New York Academy of Dramatic Art)
Leadership Volunteer for JDRF
The fund was preceded by a young lady with two sons that have both been diagnosed with Type 1. Her name was Jacqui Kaese and her presentation was nothing short of amazing. It was informative, brief, emotional and remarkably effective. It was the best that I have heard in a very long time. I think that the national JDRF should seriously consider using it on a broader campaign. It put us right where we needed to be and the room responded by donating more then they have in some time, perhaps ever. This was a great ending to the evening.
Jim Jungers, Auctioneer Seattle Washington
The way Jacqui goes about her teaching is so unique and individual to each of her students. Each time I work with her, she reaches into my artistic core and brings out exactly what I need to focus on. She strives with you to reach whatever goals you've set for yourself as an entertainer, short term and long. Rest assured you will never be alone in your journey through the industry, as Jacqui makes a point of always being there for you. I've been so changed as a young artist and as a young adult in the 2 years I've spent with this incredible, passionate woman. Her fearlessness as an artist, teacher and friend is contagious and I wouldn't have missed this coaching expirience for the world.
The teacher I have been consistently working with for three years is extremely similar to you. She's highly regarded in Vancouver and has a three month wait list. Before I had to leave, she told me what she wanted to work on when I returned. In the two classes I've had with you, you have highlighted and helped me recognise those specific things. So simply put, I find you to be far above par! Many teachers I've worked with dictate, whereas you collaborate. They seem to teach and nothing more. You really stand behind your students and personalise every exercise to challenge everyone individually regardless of difference or experience. Everyone excels and finds success. I'm actually going to try and see if I can stay longer before going back to Vancouver, because I am very excited to work with you and I feel that I can learn so much from you. You have a natural gift for coaching. As far as anything negative, I am truly at a loss, the only thing that comes to mind, is that too bad it's only once a week.
Thank you so much Jacqui. For inspiring me to be whatever I want to be; encouraging me when I feel discouraged and not giving up on me. I know that teaching new students must be a challenge but I've appreciated every minute and I look forward to the future.
You've been, and continue to be, a true blessing to not only be but the rest of the class as well. I am so thankful for the opportunities you've given me.
You're such a beautiful person, inside and out. Thank you.
Jacqui has been a mentor and true friend. She has always been there for me and continues to inspire my individual journey.
I always have lots of fun when I get coaching from Jacqui. Even though the work is hard sometimes, Jacqui makes it fun. She will always be a special part of my life and i will always be grateful to her.
Thank you very much for a fun, connected, and all-around amazing experience in your acting class. Your sparkle and your shine bring a calming ease to the classroom setting, which in turn brings comfort to those who attend. Through your logic and clarity you made it easy to grasp a firm understanding of the film industry, and what I need to do to prepare for auditions. When you coach on the classroom "mini set," all I need to do is close my eyes, breathe, listen to your words, and my body becomes completely relaxed and takes in the emotions and feelings.
Not only are you an amazing acting coach, but you are a dear friend and mentor. I consider you as my mom, because you are always there for me with a loving shoulder to cry on. Thank you very much .
I would like to thank you for coaching me on the Whisper set. I would like to do it again someday with you because you were a lot of fun. I liked sitting in the shade under the trees with you working on my lines. And remember how you got me to frown by thinking about the horrible fingernail clippers that I liked to hide from my mommy. Love and lots of hugs and squishes.
Jacqui Kaese has a magical touch that profoundly affects everyone fortunate enough to know her and be coached by her. My sons, Danny and Matthew Bristol, have taken acting classes with Jacqui for five years now.Jacqui has inspired and motivated them to pursue their dreams of acting and she has helped them to mature into confident and eloquent young men. They have had wonderful success with their acting and through Jacqui were able to secure one of the top Vancouver Talent Agents, Darren Boidman at Carrier Talent Management.
I cannot thank Jacqui enough for all that she has taught my sons. She is an amazing acting/life coach and also a wonderful friend.
Jacqui's coaching is a great place to start and meet good looking girls.
Remember to enjoy your journey and have fun. It's a great place to begin.
Most of my root training began with Jacqui Kaese. She helped me get into the industry and find an agent.
I enjoyed every single minute i spent there.
Just wanted to thank you for having me at your acting class. I felt excited as soon as I walked into the place. I love the way you conduct, teach and nurture your students in such an amazing way. You create an environment that feels both safe and challenging at the same time.
I think this will be very good for me to do. Not sure where it will take me or if I really even want to act, but I believe it will help me in every day life and interacting with people in general.
I have sat in literally hundreds of classrooms and presentations and I what I saw when I visited your class was brilliant. You were able to offer constructive criticism and at the same time give students encouraging, razor sharp insight to help them take one more step towards excellence. You were so fully present and engaged with everyone - it was awesome.
I'd love to study (anything!) under you sometime. I hope it works out.
We all look back on our past as we age, and I must say, there is always a person in everyone's life who inspires you. That person for me is Jacqui Kaese. I started taking acting classes with Jacqui at the young age of seven. I continued those classes for four years. For me, it wasn't all about landing a part, it was about spending the time with Jacqui learning to become a well rounded, confident person. Jacqui has given me the skills I need to pursue any dream. I chose to continue my dance career and musical theatre productions and I must say, "there is no greater feeling, than standing in front of a live audience to entertain. I have never forgotten where it all started and I thank you for that. Jacqui, thanks for giving me the skills to perform with confidence!!
I couldn't wait to e-mail you to tell you that I had the best acting class last night that I have ever had! Your coaching and energy are amazing and you truly direct me and push me in the right direction; somewhere I don't think I would go without you.
I watched my tape three times last night because I was so excited to see your comments again. And I have never had that many notes on my script, ever. After I got off camera with you I wrote them all down and they covered both pages! Thank you Jacqui. I got so much out of your class and I can't wait to come back next week!
Since 2002, we’ve had a close association with Jacqui Kaese. At four years old, our son Riley began working with Jacqui in her Tiny Tots program. This program focuses on building confidence and is an introduction to the film and television industry – but for him it was all about having fun!
After attending the program for several months, Jacqui felt he was ready to start going to auditions if that was something we were interested in pursuing. Riley could hardly wait to get started and he landed a principal role in a national US commercial on his second audition. At four years old he had learned how to focus on delivering a great audition and confidently demonstrate his abilities.
Since then Riley has performed in a number of film/video productions and most recently he’s been involved in live theatre. While he has always loved both, it has been difficult to go back and forth between the exaggerated emotion of theatre and subtleties of film. While he loved theatre, Riley has decided his passion is stronger for TV and film and is continuing his studies in this area. In preparation for work under the representation of Carrier Talent Management of Vancouver. He will be training alongside children who are series regulars which will be of tremendous benefit for him.
As parents, we have always had complete confidence that our son’s best interests were a priority with Jacqui and appreciate the value of having a resource of this calibre right here in Nanaimo.
Cathy and Bryan Orr
I just wanted to thank you for all the work you did with Erika-Shaye as her child coach on the set of Whisper. For me, as a mom on set, I was so thankful that we had you there. First of all you set me at ease as to the sensitive issue of dealing with characters that young children are needed to play but deal with subject matter not meant for them to view or even understand. You impressively were able to get expressions, feelings and dialogue from Erika-Shaye which were what the director needed. Yet, you were able to protect our six-year-old in a tender way. I was also impressed with the relationship you immediately built with Erika-Shaye. She knew upon meeting you that there was a task at hand and she could trust you to achieve it and she could comfortably discuss what was needed of her.
Moms don't always know their exact roles while accompanying their children on set. Once again, I learned so many valuable hints about my role. I was able to use these when there was no coach for her on the set of The Wicker Man. I am ever so grateful for that. In addition you have become a great resource to us as we continue in this field with our children. I sure hope that Erika-Shaye and my son, Luke, may someday be so fortunate to be on set again with you as their coach. You are just awesome!