All of our acting coaches here at Vancouver Young Actors School are working professionals in their fields. They bring with them years of experience and credits that have aired on networks such as NBC, Disney, SciFi, UPN and more.
Here at Vancouver Young Actors School you can be assured that our coaches will be able to pass on real-world experience that is invaluable to any actor in training.
Beverley Elliott is a multi-talented actor and singer located here in Vancouver. She has performed extensively both on-screen and off, having been a member of the British Columbia Theatre, The Arts Club Theatre Company and The Touchstone Theatre. Furthermore, her notable on-screen credits are a who's who of Vancouver productions. These include 21 Jump Street, Unforgiven, The X-Files, Highlander, The Outer Limits, The Chris Isaac Show, Psych and many more. Currently starring as Granny on ABC's Once Upon a Time, Beverley brings with her over twenty-five years of experience. As a result, students of all levels will find something new to learn in any one of Beverley's fun, exciting and informative classes.
Hamza Fouad was born in Djibouti, Africa, raised in Toronto, Ontario and now calls Vancouver, BC home. The only boy in his family, he grew up surrounded by sisters. An award-winning spoken word artist, his acting ambitions started on a high school stage and quickly blossomed. In his first role, he worked alongside Zoe Saldana in Blood Ties. Since then, he's worked on hit shows like ABC's Designated Survivor, CBS's Star Trek: Discovery, SyFy's The Expanse and CBS's Salvation. With a recent recurring role on the latest Marvel's Helstrom and supporting role in Lifetime's A Sweet Christmas, Hamza is just getting started.
Carmel Amit is a native of Israel and immigrated to Canada in her early teens. Her acting career began in New York, after completing her formal training at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her first film role was as a key member of the Earthlight Players, a historical group of avant garde performers who were featured in director Ang Lee’s film Taking Woodstock. Recently she portrayed the fast talking, high powered Ari Greenberg in ABC’s Mistresses. In essence, Carmel’s professional experience spans film & TV, theatre, sketch comedy, cabaret and mime. She's been teaching acting since 2011.
Eduard Witzke is an actor, comedian and improviser living in Vancouver. Having performed stand-up comedy in both Vancouver and Los Angeles, Ed brings with him extensive on stage and on camera credits. Ed studied improvisation at both Instant Theatre in Vancouver and The Groundlings in Los Angeles. Some of Ed's acting credits include featured rolls on Sci Fi's The Troop, and Disney Channel's What's Up Warthogs. Above all, Ed's classes are fun and high in energy, with an emphasis on natural and organic learning. Students in Ed's classes will find something new to learn in every class.
A dynamic theatre, film and television actor, Erin Boyes has worked in all mediums throughout the US and Canada for over fourteen years. After attending Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Delaware, where she majored in Drama and Vocals, Erin studied and began work as an actor in Philadelphia and New York. Her work in Philadelphia brought her to Vancouver to pursue acting full time. Erin then began years of travel pursuing studio acting and writing throughout Toronto, Los Angeles, Jamaica, Montreal and New York at Lonsdale Smith Studios and scene work in Los Angeles with Larry Moss, comedy sitcom with Lesly Kahn, Chubbuck Technique with Ivana Chubbuck and continued to work in other aspects of the industry as a producers assistant, producer and casting assistant in Los Angeles.
Currently based in Vancouver, Erin works as an acting teacher and coach combining her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with her extensive experience as an actor and industry professional. Last year she became a mom to a beautiful baby girl, which is her best role EVER!
David Attar vividly remembers the Saturday morning as a kid when he realized that one voice was behind many of the animated characters he loved and imitated. He knew then that he would use his voice to bring characters to life and tell their stories. Years later, that memory has become a reality. David has used his talents to work in narration, video games, radio and TV commercials -
he has also crafted the voices of many cartoon characters including The Legends of Chima, Dinotrux and as Thor in Marvel’s Spiderman Shorts. At the end of the day, it’s all about telling stories and pursuing his dreams.
Shelby Wyminga was born purple due to near asphyxiation and couldn't cry for the first several moments of her life. Thankfully, she soon managed to catch her breath and hasn't shut up since. She eventually embraced the inevitable and completed her BFA in Acting through the School of the Arts, Media, and Culture at TWU where she studied Visual Art alongside her theatrical pursuits. Primarily an actor, Shelby has enjoyed the freedom to dabble in many areas of theatre creation, developing skills as a scenic painter, costume designer, and playwright.
Recent acting credits include Jo March in Little Women-audio play (Far From The Tree), Marta Reddy in Cariboo Magi (Far From The Tree), Henry and The Dauphin in Henry V (Stone's Throw), various roles in A Prayer For Owen Meany (Ensemble Theatre), Tour Guide in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe (Pacific Theatre), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Shadows and Dreams), Gloria in It's A Glorious, Wonderful Life (Morrow's Lark), and various roles in Still The Kettle Sings (Plan Z Theatre).
Nils Hognestad is a Canadian producer, writer, and actor in film, television & voice. He is best known for playing King Arthur in CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Aaron in Lake Placid 3; and Alex in Min Søsters Børn og Guldgraverne (within Danish circles).
Nils was born in Bergen, Norway and has been acting in film since he was 10 years old. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ryerson University in Toronto. In addition to his BFA, he obtained his Classical Acting Diploma from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Nils can be seen on such shows as Backpackers, Once Upon a Time, Aftermath, Some Assembly Required, Supernatural, & Ghost Wars. He can also be seen in films such as The Movie Out Here, Crash Pad, & the 2018 Overboard remake starring Anna Farris.
Johannah Newmarch has worked extensively in film, television, and theatre for 20 years. Her TV credits include; Supernatural, Smallville, Stargate, Rogue, Haunting Hour, Motive, Gracepoint, The Whispers and many award winning independent films. Furthermore, in 2012, Johannah was honoured with a Leo for best Supporting Actress in a feature for her work in Sunflower Hour, and again in 2014 with the Best Actress award at the Vancouver Short Film Festival for her performance in The Weather Girl. Johannah has taught acting to a broad range of students from teens to seniors, and novice to accomplished professionals.
Michelle Thorne’s Actor Training pedagogy is grounded in the facilitation of supporting artists in the connection to their own body, mind, and voice, as well as their connection to text, their scene partners, and the context of work. Originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Michelle Thorne is a multi-faceted, award winning artist. After completing an undergraduate fine arts degree in dramatic arts from the University of Lethbridge, Thorne returned to her home town of Fort McMurray where she and her creative teammates saved and revitalized an arts community suffocating under the weight of an oil-town in the midst of an unprecedented boom. Thorne co-founded and acted as Artistic Director of Theatre; Just Because for three years before stepping down to pursue her master’s degree in directing from the University of British Columbia. Now a permanent Vancouverite, Thorne continues to train in the field of Intimacy Direction as she works across Western Canada as a freelance Director, Educator, and Dramaturg.
Jeff Todd is an actor, writer and voice-over artist located here in Vancouver. He is involved in numerous projects, both on-screen and off. He is a member of multiple theatre groups, for which he has been featured in several on-stage productions. Jeff trained in and graduated from the Acting for Film, Television and Voice-Over Intensive at Vancouver Acting School. As a result, he has garnered acting and voice-over credits in productions such as Rogue and Tenkai Nights. Furthermore, he was the voice of Razar, Bladvic, Crawley and Lennox, among others in Lego's animated TV Series, Legends of Chima. Above all, Jeff brings to all of his classes, a positive energy and tenacious enthusiasm that will have everyone looking at voice-over acting in a whole new way.
Natalie Kay Dunn is originally from the States where she first began her acting journey. She studied Acting & Musical Theatre at university and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She continued her education in Vancouver at VFS in the Acting for Film/TV Intensive Program. While studying at VFS she fell in love with Vancouver & decided to make it her permanent home. While working to obtain her PR status she continued her education at Vancouver School of Bodywork & Massage, completing the 300 hour Advanced Yoga Training Program. "Bodywork & acting go hand & hand as it is our vessel in storytelling"- Natalie
In 2013 she starting assisting in commercial casting with Kirsten DeWolfe Casting Inc. and gained valuable experience of what happens on the other side of the camera. She continues to work closely with Kirsten DeWolfe & Lynn Ward (Casting Associate), soaking up all of the wisdom they have acquired with their years of casting experience.
Natalie loves sharing all the knowledge she has learned in front & behind the camera.
Michele Goyns is a Vancouver Acting School Alumni, graduating from one of their earliest classes. She has been on projects such as Fringe, Charmed and The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story. She is the co-founder of Bubble Pipe Productions where she co-created the web series Totally Normal and continues to create her own original stories. She is always training to sharpen her craft, and she believes that there is no substitution for hard work and preparation when it comes to honing your skills.
Jillian Walchuk is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, and lyrical dance and is a certified Bikram Yoga teacher. Along with specializing in coaching movement classes at Vancouver Acting School, Jillian has trained at The Actors Foundry, Lyric School of Acting, and Second Avenue Studios, giving her the well roundedness to make a big impact as a coach in a variety of disciplines. An alumnus of Vancouver Acting School herself, Jillian uses her experience as a student as well as a teacher to connect with her students and give them the best direction possible.
Andy Thompson (www.andythompson.ca) was born in Chilliwack, BC. After graduating from Sardis Senior Secondary School in 1987, he attended Fraser Valley College (now the University of the Fraser Valley). In 1993, he obtained his diploma in acting from Studio 58 in Vancouver.
For over two decades, Thompson has worked in film and television, with dozens of credits to his name. Notable work includes performances in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, Guillermo del Toro’s Antlers, The Chronicles of Riddick, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale, Van Helsing, The X-Files, several Hallmark movies, as well as a recurring role in Greg Daniels’ hit comedy Upload.
Thompson is also a theatre producer, director, and playwright with over a decade of experience teaching acting. He has been nominated for 18 Vancouver Jessie and Ovation theatre awards, winning three. He is the creator of several acclaimed plays, including The Zombie Syndrome theatre series.
Adam Beauchesne was born and raised in Lethbridge Alberta, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) and a diploma in Speech Arts. After being cast in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil - a horror-comedy which screened at Sundance in 2010, Adam relocated to Vancouver to pursue performance in theatre and film. Here, he developed working relationships with local companies Fighting Chance and United Players, assistant directed productions and eventually joined the executive for Ensemble Theatre Company, and became Associate Producer for queer theatre company “the frank” in 2014. For the past six years, he’s developed an extensive list of credits, including recurring guest-star roles on Netflix’s original series, Project Mc2, CBC’s This Blows, and most recently NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Last year, he joined the cast of Audience Network/HBO Canada’s You Me Her for their fourth and fifth seasons. Adam continues to pursue acting for the camera, as well as expanding his resume of voiceover credits, recording commercials and audiobooks from his home studio in Vancouver.
Laura is a Writer, Producer, Actor and Director. She began her professional career in the Film and TV industry almost 15 years ago as an actor and has appeared in numerous TV Shows including Eureka, Almost Human and Arrow as well as films including the indie smash hit It’s A Disaster where she worked alongside Julia Stiles and David Cross. Furthermore, Laura was nominated for a Leo Award in 2013 for her role in the web series Hitman 101. Upon moving into writing and directing, Laura’s films have been featured in prestigious festivals and events including Crazy 8’s and The Austin Film Festival. Additionally, her film Goodnight Kiss was nominated for 8 Leo Awards.
Katrina Salisbury is a local voice actress, born and raised in Langley, B.C. After graduating high school, Katrina decided to pursue a career in acting. Since then, she has recurred on a number of animes, cartoons, and video games, including Tobot, Kiznaiver, Tooth and Tail, and My Little Pony.
Scott Patey is a professional actor, improvisor, host, stand-up comic, writer, and sketch comedy artist who has been performing since the age of eleven. After spending four years with Theater Alberta, Scott moved to Vancouver to pursue a career in film & television in 2005. Since then he's amassed numerous credits, appearing on television show's such as Caprica, Fringe and Supernatural as well as the feature films The Odds, Lloyd The Conqueror, and The Big Year. Furthermore, Scott has shared the screen with some of his biggest idols including Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Leslie Nielsen, and Patton Oswalt. Heavily involved in the stand-up and improv community, he is a key member of the Vancouver TheatreSports League.