One look at Lise Lacasse is enough to know you’re in for something special. From the first moment of a chance encounter to the last, Lise has that rare and intangible “je ne sais quoi” that proves to be an infectious elixir. If acting has taught Lise anything, it’s that there’s no business like show business… at least no business that she knows; and Lise Lacasse knows the craft of acting inside and out. A seasoned performer in theatre, television commercials and, more recently, feature films, Lise Lacasse has steadily evolved into a respected artist of substance and quality.
In an age and an industry of affectation, Lise Lacasse is indeed a rarity: an outspoken, spirited and outspoken storyteller who enjoys nothing more than connecting with her audience. When asked how she’d most like to be remembered, Lise Lacasse thinks first of the audience – “being a conduit for their laughter and tears.”
“I think the best actors have a servant’s heart,” Lise says. “We’re part of a great ensemble and hopefully leave our mark on a place that is better because of us than it was before we arrived.”
Even though most performers would give most of the credit to their agents if they were in their shoes, Lise attributes her success primarily to her faith in God. Both as an artist and as a female, Lise prefers the autonomy of a quiet life to the glam-bam sensationalism associated with fame and superstardom.
“Hmmm,” Lise muses. “Others bestow it on you. But it’s not real. In my youth, I was probably no more or less famous than the next kid in the neighborhood … but as I mature, the view changes. You respect the balanced quality of life. That’s so much more important than being a celebrity.”
While most actors are out to maximize their notoriety, Lise’s dream project – to be the voice of a character in an animated film – would make her virtually invisible to her audience. But being a multi-faceted actress with considerable range is only part of Lise Lacasse’s story. At first glance, her repeated missionary work in South Africa and Kenya might rank with the oft-lauded efforts of some contemporary celebrities on behalf of the less fortunate, if Lise Lacasse hadn’t championed social philanthropy long before it became the fashion. Asked to name an alternative career if she weren’t working as an actress, Lise Lacasse is suddenly speechless.
“Acting is all I ever wanted to do,” she admits. “When I was growing up, other kids sometimes appeared to be so set on their future. I certainly wasn’t. In fact, I had no idea what path I would take or what I wanted to do. Then I tried acting, and everything clicked. I had finally found a place where I not only belonged, but also felt at home.
One of Lise’s early breakthroughs came in Windsor Feminist Theatre’s production of Top Girls, directed by Teresa Sears. After taking classes at Humber University and dabbling in Toronto’s theatre scene, Lise headed to Los Angeles, The Entertainment Capital of the World. But in 1990, she returned to familiar territory and took more classes: this time at the University of Windsor, although she had the opportunity to attend the more prestigious York program in theatre and drama.
“I like it there,” Lise admits. “The closeness of the community……the people……the standard of living-everything just seems better there. Plus, I totally love snow (a commodity that is in short supply in L.A.).”
Over the course of her career and life away from stage and screen, Lise Lacasse has managed to hone her razor-sharp wit and punchy comedic style: a unique and charming amalgam that exemplifies her joie de vivre, first practiced in Detroit when she did sketch comedy at Second City from 1994 to 1996.
“High-profile comedy is the best,” Lise reveals. “As a kid, I grew up on a daily diet of I Love Lucy and The Carol Burnett Show. But I think in general, and from an actor’s perspective, live theatre trumps movies every time. For actors, it’s food for our souls. On stage, unlike in film, you can’t go back and correct a mistake. You’re in the middle of the action. It’s subjective. You have to make it your own, live with it and accept everything that comes after. The advantage of film, of course, is that you have the luxury of evaluating your own creativity later by looking at the day’s notes…to see and learn and evaluate your own performance.”
Yet for all her successes – both past and present – Lise Lacasse is as humble and authentic as one can be. Case in point: when asked what the best part of working in film is, Lise Lacasse replies with an answer shot from the hip: “That my name is spelled correctly in the credits.”
When asked how she would classify herself as a performer, Lise admits that she is authentic, generous, and detailed; qualities that she quickly reconciles with the old cliché that to be a good actor, you must also be a good liar. “I am great!…and humble…uh…that’s a joke,” she clarifies with an exuberant smile, adding, “As an actor, you have to portray life truthfully by drawing from personal experiences, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, showing compassion, and maintaining the belief.”
Lise has maintained her acting chops and continues to make her lifelong dream of being a professional actor come true by traveling with Scheer Genius Assembly Shows. Lise portrays three different characters in educational elementary school shows that are the brainchild of magician and educator Doug Scheer.
One of Lise’s favorite roles is playing Spike, a troublemaking bully with a soft but playfully malicious side. Learn more about Lise’s current projects and bring her to your school by contacting us: