Jeanné Kietzmann flew into Cape Town last week to surprise her mum.
After a 28 hour flight from Los Angeles and 10 hours time difference, she glided into a Constantia restaurant looking every bit of the successful actress and model.
Born and raised in Plumstead, Jeanné was six when she began her training in drama, singing and in dance.
However, when she was 15, her grandmother died and she stopped dancing as it brought back painful memories of the close relationship they had. Her grandmother had taken her to her lessons.
Jeanné said she recently started again, doing hip hop and dance routines, and she’s really enjoying it.
Jeanné’s family is all female with mum Heather Young, younger sisters Lori-Ann and Kerri-Dee, and despite being in demand for gigs, she has visited them every year since 2014 when she moved to LA.
Jeanné has performed in many theatre productions since she turned 13 and has featured in numerous local and international commercials.
Her first acting job was a pilot film for America called Ambrose Fountain where she played a teenager. Jeanné made her television debut in the South African television drama Innocent Times and is also known for her roles in League of Glory and Outcasts.
She believes LA is the heart of the industry and moved there to grow in her art and to work with some of the best people in the industry.
Recently she played a role in the Muse and the short, horror film Solstice which are to be released later this year. She also recently started her own YouTube blog, which takes viewers on a self-recorded journey of her life and career.
Another project is her work on a snapchat channel run by Arsenic magazine. Her green eyes sparkle as she explains that her role is to teach young women in the music and modelling industry how to set themselves up in the industry and how to deal with an awkward situation, person or moment.
Jeanné never studied acting although she did courses and has read up a lot about it, but she has learned through trial and error.
She had no-one to guide her and so this is why she wants to make it easier for others who go into this career.
She says acting is harder to get into than modelling and offers the advice of making a “show reel”, a video clip of about 90 minutes using three monologues or genres – theatre, comedy and serious.
Nowadays with iPhones it is easy to do but she recommends that you ensure that the lighting is right, and what you wear and your make-up is appropriate.
Include a head shot and full body and a resume of what you have done to date. She stresses the importance of researching what field of acting you want to go into and concentrating on that, and being good at that.
“The industry loves comparing you to someone – a younger version of Megan Fox and Kate Hudson so characterise yourself on that,” she said.
She adds that the days of waiting to be discovered are gone. You need a go get it attitude, you need to set goals, do research and work hard. By way of example, Jeanné said she is reading up on the career of Jennifer Lawrence. “She didn’t study acting and recently won another Golden Globe award for her part in the film, Joy.”
Her final advice is, “Be confident and always be prepared, be present, be the best you can. It’s not about fame. Fame and success are different things. You can have millions of Instagram followers but not be able to pay the rent. Fame isn’t fun. Look at the Kardashians, Justin Bieber…they can’t step outdoors and have to employ bodyguards to keep the paparazzi away. It’s difficult to isolate yourself from so much.”
And regarding the education system in South Africa, Jeanné says the standard is much higher here than in America, and much cheaper.
Asked what she is looking forward to doing while on her two-week visit, she wants to go to Bain’s Kloof, have a picnic on the beach, visit a wine farm, catch up with friends but mostly spending time with family.
Jeanné lives in West Hollywood, which she describes as Newlands meets Sea Point, with lots of bars but a quaint neighbourhood where people are community oriented. It’s almost a half an hour drive to the sea but the beaches are not as pretty as in Cape Town.
She also spoke of how Americans perceive South Africa with most having no idea where this country is and weird ideas about fashion here, that we all walk around wearing camouflage and that she probably has a pet lion.
And as for what she’ll be taking home – it will include Rooibos tea, hot chocolate, rusks and she would take biltong if it was allowed.