Industry Reference & Testimonials
The Producers, Writers, and Directors
STEPHEN KING , Author/Producer/Director
THE SHINING and STORM OF THE CENTURY
“Of all my experiences working with young actors, the best by far have been those where I was assisted by Dawn Jeffory-Nelson. She is a genius at putting children at ease, and using her own remarkable teaching talents to elicit excellent performances. I cannot imagine recommending anyone more highly. I do not write many recommendations, but Dawn is quite without peer.”
ALEZ ZAMM, Director
THE LITTLE RASCALS SAVE THE DAY
"Dawn was such a wonderful rock for me during this entire production and helped elevate the kids' performances at every turn throughout. I'm so proud of our collaboration, and can't wait to do it again. She
brings so much to the party."
MARK BAKSHI, Exec. Producer WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
“Dawn Jeffory-Nelson was a valued member of our film, both in a pre-production casting and advisory capacity right through to wrap. He positive energy and her “yes, I can do that for you” attitude was a plus for the entire crew. She was also a real team player. She interacted constantly –and often “off the clock” with our AD’s, props, make up, wardrobe, special effects, and casting whenever her time, input or expertise were needed.
Perhaps even more important from a Producer’s or UPM’s point of view: an enormous amount of time and money were saved by Dawn’s work on the film. Production is always leery of adding another salary to a budget if can be avoided - in this case, we came out way ahead. "
LYNN KRESSELL, Casting Director, FEATURES & TELEVISION
“I have been involved as Casting Director on several projects which have been fortunate enough to have Dawn coaching minors on and off the set. Not only is she a talented acting coach, eliciting fine, honest performances from children, but she is also a welcome and invaluable resource on set. She is a kind and delightful person who truly loves young actors and is able to get results with a positive approach, which gives them the confidence to do their best work. She also frequently does the off‐camera performances for minors, when Production runs out of time on them. It doesn't hurt that Dawn is short, therefore usually the right size to do this!
Directors I have worked with are terribly disappointed if Dawn isn’t available for a project became to my knowledge there is no one quite like her in her ability to work either with a single child lead or a large cast of as many as a dozen or more child actors. She is also a smart, flexible, and enthusiastic person, well liked by young actors and their parents as well as others on the set If an acting coach for young people is needed, you can't, in my opinion, find a better qualified person than Dawn Jeffory‐Nelson.”
TOM BRODEK, Prod. Stephen King’ STORM OF THE CENTURY
“ We couldn’t have done it without her . . . never again without her! With EIGHT 5 -8 year olds, their parents (!), and four months in a "foreign country,” we were faced with a nightmare...until Dawn showed up and taught us how to work with kids and their parents. After forty-years in production I have never worked with a more professional coach. She is inventive, coercive (in the best sense) and thoughtful. Next time we will have Dawn sit in on all of our children's casting sessions.”
DAVID WITZ, UPM WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING and LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
"If you have any small children or babies in your project – Hire Dawn! I have had the pleasure of working with her on 2 projects and she always makes me look like a genius for hiring her. My most recent project would have been a catastrophe if we didn’t have her amazing skill and magical touch."
STEPHEN COLLINS, ACTOR/DIRECTOR
"I worked closely with Dawn for seven years on 7th Heaven. We started the show with a talented, but very inexperienced six year old as a key member of the cast. It was absolute havoc on the set until, mercifully, Dawn was called in after a few episodes. Our work days suddenly got shorter---by as much as an hour or two. Thank God, Dawn stayed for seven years. She's a producer and director's dream---but she's also an actor's best friend. Because with Dawn taking care of the youngest actors, we could focus on our own performances, instead of flailing about, trying to coax a kid into hitting a mark or saying a line correctly. An uncoached, or poorly coached, child makes life on a film set nail-bitingly difficult. Dawn was a major part of the alchemy that made 7th Heaven so successful. Everyone who has ever worked on our set knows that."
CHERYL STEIN, COORD PROD., 7TH HEAVEN
“QUITE simply the very best acting coach/ I have ever worked with! Dawn has the ability to bring out the innate talent in the young actor in the most nurturing way, so that the actor can discover who he or she is as an actor. She allows the children to remain true to themselves while fulfilling their responsibilities in the sometimes strict confines of daily production.”
MICK GARRIS, DIRECTOR, Stephen King’s THE SHINING, THE JUDGE
“I could not have made THE SHINING miniseries without the help of Dawn Jeffory-Nelson. Her always patient and upbeat presence helped Courtland and the film in many ways that I was unable. I would (and will) work with Dawn, any time, any place. I cannot recommend her work highly enough. “
HARVY LAIDMAN – Director, 7th HEAVEN
“As a television series director, I have worked with Dawn Jeffory-Nelson and her actors many times. Dawn’s actors are so well prepared that I am often able to devote more time to the scene and other actors. In this way, she has helped actors who will never know! I have great respect for Dawn’s ability to communicate the meaning of the script while allowing the child’s heart to shine through. Her actors are not mimics. Her concise, intuitive communications works subtly and quietly to save considerable time.”
DAVID THWAITES, Exec. Producer WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Dawn Jeffory-Nelson this past summer in Atlanta on What To Expect When You’re Expecting and I couldn’t recommend her more wholeheartedly. Due to Dawn’s techniques and skills, we lost virtually no time during the entire shoot because of child-related issues. In addition, she was a pleasure to work with: professional, organized and always clear when presenting her suggestions, which she did in a diplomatic fashion. In the future, whenever I have a movie that involves children, Dawn will be my first call.”
“The script called for real acting from a two year old. Having directed many children, (including Haley Joel Osment when he was four years old) and, being the father of three myself, I declared it impossible to get a performance out of a child as young as two. Dawn proved me wrong! We called Dawn “The Baby Whisperer”.”
JIM VAN WYCK, Exec. Producer, LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES A Of UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
“For seven months I had the pleasure of working with Dawn as our baby wrangler . . she did an excellent job. We had a pair of 13 month old twins who worked on camera approximately 110 days out of 125 shooting days. Their performance is exceptional and we have Dawn to thank for that. If I ever do another film with small children, I only hope that Dawn will be available to work with me.
LAURIE MACDONALD, Exec. Producer, LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES A Of UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
“Dawn saved our film!”
JONATHAN MCCOY, Producer, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS
“Dawn was a lifesaver. The whole crew was in awe of how she could get the children to do what was scripted. Impressive!“
TODD STRAUSS-SCHULSON, Dir., A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS
“I don’t know whether to call Dawn a life saver or a film saver -totally amazing! At first I was skeptical about inviting a "baby whisperer" onto the set but an hour into her first day I was totally convinced it was the right move. Dawn was able to get our 2 year old triplets to do things I never thought were possible AND THEN SOME. It was without a doubt the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. We went from babies crying and running away from the cameras to babies giggling and wanting nothing more than to be in front of them.”
JAY ROACH, Dir/Exec Prod, MEET THE FOCKERS
“We called Dawn ‘The Baby Shaman!”
KIRK JONES, Director, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING
“Dawn made my job so much easier than it should have been - she advised on casting choices after working with children in workshops and instinctively assessed their potential, weaknesses, and strengths. She nurtures and helps tease performances from very young children whilst at all times respecting their need to rest and play.
She has a bag of toys and sparkling lights which mesmerize adults as well as children, and is nothing sort of a child whisperer.”