|While studying at Trinity Western University, Shayna Jones wowed SAMC Theatre audiences in Bride on Credit,Romeo + Juliet, and The Bacchae. Since graduating in 2011, she has worked for the Arts Club, the GVPTA, Pacific Theatre, and more. Read on for Shayna's story on entering the world of a professional actor.|
"It was at TWU that I discovered my deep love of performance – a love that I aim to nurture for the rest of my life," says Shayna. Officially a Humanities graduate, her life had taken a sharp turn when she took her first acting class in ’09 with Aaron Caleb. Since then she has been hungry for as many rich opportunities to perform as “the good Lord grants” (as Shayna likes to say!).
Immediately after graduation she hit the ground running with auditions. To her surprise, she managed to book four gigs in quick succession. She was delighted to be a part of UBC’s Brave New Play Rites Festival in a controversial piece titled Consent; The Vagina Monologues in Abbotsford in support of efforts to stop violence against women; Birth by brand new theatre company 75 cent productions which played at the Firehall Arts Centre; and Not Everything You Are, a Stone’s Throw production at Pacific Theatre. She also hooked in with the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance. As a volunteer and friend of the GVPTA she used her blogging and commercial acting skills to advocate for the organization that was invaluable to her as an emerging artist.
With so many experiences under her belt in less than 12 months, Shayna was eager for the next step in her artistic growth. In August 2012 she started an Acting Apprenticeship with Pacific Theatre. For 10 months she, along with two fellow TWU alum apprentices – Karyn Guenther and Cara Cunningham – worked behind the scenes as Box Office and Front of House Managers. Artistically, Shayna assistant stage managed and understudied the lead role for PT's musical season opener, The Spitfire Grill. Together with Karyn, Cara, and other TWU alumni she was also part of remounting Bride on Credit – the smash hit produced by SAMC Theatre one year earlier.
While thoroughly enjoying her work at Pacific Theatre, her apprenticeship was unexpectedly cut short. In April 2013, two months before completing her apprenticeship, she was hired to perform in Dreamgirls with the Arts Club Theatre Company. This gig was a lengthy four-month contract for one of Western Canada’s most acclaimed playhouses. Directed by Arts Club Artistic Director Bill Millerd, Shayna soaked up the magic of performance night after night for packed houses.
Now, Shayna works to balance her passion for performance with her passion for family and dear friends. Newly married and expecting her first child in June 2014, she is excited to navigate the path of “Artistic Motherhood.” For the next stage of life Shayna wishes to pour her heart and soul into nurturing her family, but refuses to let her love of performance fizzle. To keep her artistic muscles toned she works with Human Theatre Collective – a company of actors who train and create work together to submit to festivals; she collaborates with musician friends singing and making music in large and small venues throughout Vancouver; she attends physical/theatre workshops to keep her body and mind in sync; and continually seeks out worthwhile auditions and performance opportunities that fit with her maturing sense of self.
“Keep your passion ever before you,” Shayna likes to say, “but relax, and let life do its thing.” She lives by this and is excited to see what life will hold for her as wife, mother, daughter, sister, and artist.