Christine Willes has been a dedicated professional actor, coach, teacher and director for over thirty years. She is internationally known from her roles in the cult TV series Dead Like Me and Reaper, working with such acclaimed professionals as Bryan Fuller, Mandy Patinkin, Missy Peregrym, Tyler Labine, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas. Other film and TV credits include Smallville, Emily Owens MD, Red Riding Hood, InSecurity, Lawrence and Holloman, Zapped, and The 100.
She co-owned the William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study in Vancouver, and oversaw its successful sale to Vanarts. During that time, she taught and coached literally hundreds of BC actors.
Film and TV series stars she has coached include Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), Zac Efron (Charlie St. Cloud), Britt Robertson, Shelley Hennig, Thomas Dekker and Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle). Her clients among young actors include Dylan Schmid (Once Upon a Time, Bunks).
Jessica Van der Veen studied acting at the Banff School of Fine Arts and completed her BA in Theatre at UBC. For 27 years she acted and directed in Film, TV and Theatre. Film and TV credits include Wiseguy, McGyver, The Commish, Cold Squad, Scary Movie, and The Goodbye Girl. Theatre credits include 17 Stories, Hot Flashes, Ever Loving, The Three Sisters, and Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man.
Van der Veen’s selected co-writing and directing credits include: “The Waltonsteins” (with Frances Sheridan); The Shadowbox; Scary Stories; and The Triangle Factory Fire Project.
Van der Veen and her writing partner Gillian Croft won Best Screenplay at Beverly Hills Film Festival for their feature script, “Emma’s Song”. Their inspirational internet series for early teens, “’Verse” won its young host a Youth Now award. They are currently writing two television series and a feature script.
Van der Veen worked as a consultant to ACTRA/Union of BC Performers creating a lobbying plan to change legislation and tax frameworks to promote the BC Film Industry. She sat on the Arts Advisory Council to the Capital Regional District. She is a member of the Dancing Backwards project, helping to develop theatre-based curriculum on democratic processes and the history of Canadian women in politics for the K-12 system.
Jessica built a successful career as an acting teacher in Vancouver, teaching at Gastown Actors’ Studio. She currently teaches Acting Technique and Acting for the Camera at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria BC, one of Canada’s Premier training schools for multi-talented performers.
Van der Veen is co-owner of CASTVictoria (Coastal Acting Services Team) providing coaching and taping services to professional actors across North America – in person and via Skype. She is available for private prep for auditions and also coaches on film sets. She provides career counselling to young performers. Clients include Kelly Rowan, (The O.C.) Sarah Chalke (Roseanne, Scrubs); Alison Somerville (Mama Mia, Rocky Horror) and many others working across Canada and the United States in film, television and the theatre.