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Pineville Woman Receives Scholarship to Film School

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PINEVILLE, W.Va (WOAY) – A Pineville woman received a full scholarship to study acting at the Vancouver Film School.

Jamie Leigh Reichert, 28, started acting in 3rd grade but wasn’t heavily involved in performing arts until she lost her best friend Stephanie to aplastic anemia.

“Her passing away kind of fueled this passion to write about things in life that happen and to never let them go,” said Reichert. “If you have it on paper, maybe someone will read it one day.”

Reichert wrote a play about her friend’s death to cope with the loss. Fifteen years later, Reichert used pieces of her play to audition for a scholarship to the Vancouver Film School.

To get the scholarship, Reichert submitted both acting performances and songs she played on her ukelele. She would have to impress award winning actor, writer and producer Kevin Smith. Reichert not only impressed Smith, but he praised her natural talent.

“It was a long shot, and when it came through, I was surprised because I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith,” said Reichert’s father Tony Reichert. “I don’t want to say I’m surprised. I’m not surprised because we were just holding our breath and its such a great opportunity. I think she’s going to have a blast.”

As for what her best friend would think about being her inspiration, Reichert responded, “she’d probably make some kind of joke about it and be like, ‘at least you’re doing something for me.’ I don’t know. I’m sure she’s happy. She’d make some witty joke because she was really smart.”

Reichert plans to leave for Vancouver in April to study at the film school for a year. After that, she hopes to work as a full time actress.



Kassie Simmons

Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.


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