Ask Jacole Kitchen if the art of acting can be successfully taught and she defers.
Instructor Profile: Jacole Kitchen, Acting
“What I always tell my students is, my job is not to make them better actors,” she said. “My job is to get them to dig deeper, deeper into the text, deeper into the psyche of their character, deeper into the subtext.”
As casting director and artistic associate at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Kitchen works with ever-changing casts of professionally trained actors who have devoted a lifetime to their craft.
With her theatre-arts students at UC San Diego Extension, she seeks to cultivate a different sort of devotion.
“No matter what kind of actor you are,” said Kitchen, “once you start digging, you’ll find the honesty of the character and the truth of the script. That’s where true acting comes from, when you’re not pretending anymore. It comes from the inside out.”
Kitchen regards San Diego as “a great theatre town” for performances, but with limited acting classes. Formerly a Los Angeles-based casting agent, she’s taught acting for nearly eight years, the past year or so at UC San Diego Extension.
“I love teaching,” she said. “I feel like I’m really making a difference in my students’ lives and their desire to pursue their dreams through drama.”
An accomplished poet who gives frequent readings, Kitchen no longer considers herself an actor, though she was “a damn good one” when she was. “I’m more behind the scenes, directing and producing,” she said. “That’s how I get my creative release.”