Spotlight Academy’s 2015 Halloween Camp (Submitted photo)

Spotlight Academy opens opportunities for youth in film on Vancouver Island

Spotlight is offering two themed camps for youth interested in film and television

Spotlight Academy is once again offering its Halloween Acting and Film Camp, as well as their Christmas Film Camp for kids.

The camps offer youths a professional acting experience. At the camp, the kids have complete creative control over their projects. They come up with the story, write the script, act, film, and direct their own feature length film. The camps culminate in a red carpet film screening event that mirrors Hollywood film premiers.

Jacqui Kaese is the owner, artistic director, acting coach, and casting director for Spotlight Academy. She has a wealth of industry experience, and has trained Island youths that have gone on to get roles in film and television. She created the camps to train Island youths in all aspects of film work.

“The sooner we introduce kids and teens to the concept, the more aware they are of the potential careers in film. There’s a shortness of crews, especially on Vancouver Island. Essentially, my job is to not only introduce the kids to the acting side of things, but to introduce them to the potential of being able to work one day as a member of the crew,” Kaese said. “There’s so much opportunity growing within the industry on the Island, and I saw an opportunity for education. It’s not just about having fun in the process, but it’s about realizing potential in an industry that’s growing rapidly here.”

Youth are given the opportunity to learn camera techniques, sound equipment, and editing, alongside acting and writing. Some youth choose to continue with regular classes at Spotlight after attending the camps.

Kaese says she’s often impressed by the quality of talent the youth display at camps and classes.

“I’m delighted. It never ceases to amaze me the wonderful amount of talent that we have here, and the opportunity that they can capitalize on. We are Hollywood North, so there is opportunity here to work in film,” Kaese said.

Kaese pointed to the recent Disney film, Upside Down Magic that filmed in Lake Cowichan. Kaese said that 300 Island teens were on set for the film, a majority of which were Spotlight students. In her capacity as a casting director, Kaese operates a database of background actors for film and television on the Island. She has worked for four seasons of Chesapeake Shores, and is currently working on a film in Victoria called The Nanny. She is not an agent, and does not take a cut from any of the performers work. With her years of experience, Kaese has become a highly renowned acting coach on the Island with a reputation for producing top tier talent.

“People come to me for talent,” she said. “Producers and directors will come to me if they’re looking for somebody.”

Of all the work Kaese does, her favourite part of the camps is seeing the faces of the youths as they discover a passion for film.

“The other favourite part — because there’s more than one — is when we present the movie to family and friends… to see the joy the kids have. They’re so proud to have their mom and dad, or their grandparents, or their friends there,” Kaese said.

Anyone interested in enrolling in Spotlight Academy classes or camps is encouraged to visit their website: spotlightacademy.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith Rotary Club donates 2,000 gloves to Ladysmith Health Centre

Due to a typo, the Rotary Club ended up with 3,500 gloves. Enough to last them 10 years

Cowichan doc spurs octogenarian dad to develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Graham Brockley takes concept to his dad who is trying to develop it to save lives

Martin Tang’s thoughtful approach to food in downtown Ladysmith

The owner of Appetit Food for Thought talks about nearly 20 years in business in downtown Ladysmith

Downtown businesses suffer attempted break-ins

Downtown Business Assocation requests additional security measures

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

COVID-19: Vancouver Islander celebrates 90th birthday with Model T ride as neighbours line streets

WATCH: Pandemic ruined plans for a party, so Francesca Dawe’s friends got creative

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Most Read