Aug. 24, 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Kait Shane BFA '91

Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.

Kait Shane has worked under Shane Talent freelancing on a per contract basis since graduating with BFA in 1991. Contracts include: acting (TV/film and commercials), on camera hosting, international voice over, co-producing music for video, crewing video shoots (production coordinator and teleprompter owner/operator), singing for duos to big bands, coaching voice over and scene study, spokesperson for largest medical cannabis clinic in Canada, writer of blogs…..and mom. 

What is your favourite University of Calgary memory?

Being in the Basement of Craigie Hall, having just acquired my daily bran muffin and coffee from the lovely lady at the concession, and returning to the dimly lit cave where the (in)famous Keith Johnstone of Improv fame, would spend hours with the drama 300 class going over his observations about what makes a good (spontaneous) actor, and coached skills to make sure you became one. 

What was your favourite campus hang out spot?

One of my profs said to the class that if you treat your university years like a 9-5 endeavour– you will have no trouble doing well. When I embraced this, my favourite spot to hang out was the library where I felt accomplished and mature doing my 9-5 thing. When I wasn’t feeling that disciplined, I spent A LOT of time in the basement of Mac Hall playing pool and drinking beer at the Den.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?

I did a BFA as a performance major. Be flexible – you’ll probably be freelancing. Keep your eye open for opportunities. Don’t get taken advantage of. People of professionalism tend to attract each other so try to work for those with excellent work ethics. And like Quincy Jones said: Treat every job like it’s your first and could be your last. (Because it can!) 

How has your career evolved?

I was lucky to find very pro people to work with. I still work with many of them today on a contract basis in music, video production and voice over. My career has remained steady which is what I was aiming for. I like being flexible, and having time in life to be with my family. I write more now, and I speak to the media more now…and I’m not ‘castable’ in the same categories…I may get more on camera host roles than love interest roles, I may sing jazz instead of pop, I may write more on subjects that interest me.

How did your arts degree help you get to where you are now/your current career?

It gave me so much confidence. If I went for an audition – I had chops. I had professionalism. All the English classes that I took allowed me to feel confident when writing or speaking publicly. 

What is the best thing about your job?

Flexibility, avoiding 9-5, element of surprise.

Do you have any other thoughts or memories you would like to share?

My parents put together some money for me to go to University. I was singing in Halifax, having the time of my life when it was time to use the RESP. I had to pry myself away from Nova Scotia but it was the best thing I ever did (besides having children).