Eric: Hi and welcome to the backlot.
A discussion with the entertainment industry’s top talent.
Aeriel: I’m Aeriel Segard
Eric: and I’m Eric Conner and this episode we are taking a look at CW’s Riverdale with two of the show’s stars.
Aeriel: Yes that’s right. Casey Cott who plays Betty’s BFF Kevin and the frontwoman of Josie and The Pussycats Ashleigh Murray.
— For our characters we get a little more time off than some other ones. Which is sometimes nice but most of the time we’re like put us in the show. – I don’t know why you guys are laughing.–
Eric: Riverdale is an adaptation of the legendary so square it’s hip comic book, Archie.
Aeriel: Actually it was popular but I don’t think it was ever considered hip.
Eric: But the show is the farthest thing from Square it owes so much more of its brooding expressionistic style to shows like Pretty Little Liars than it does the original comic book.
–Our story is about a town and the people who live in the town. You wanted fire? Sorry Cheryl bombshell my specialty’s ice. – Didn’t we have a deal? no, Geraldine we have a secret. you’re a little more dangerous than you look aren’t you? You have no idea. Riverdale wasn’t the same town as before. It was a town of shadows and secrets now. —
Aeriel: To pull off this blend of mystery melodrama romance and murder. Riverdale needed a cast who was not only talented but trained.
Ashleigh Murray: I actually went to a school that is in a similar vein of the Film Academy. I went to a private conservatory. It’s called The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. It was a two year conservatory and it was Meisner based.
Casey Cott: Hey!
Ashleigh Murray: Hey. Meisner Sanford
Casey Cott: yeah Meisner
Ashleigh Murray: You got to do it from here. Let it do you right? Nightmares this is my favorite. I think for me personally conservatory environments are really great for artists because if you know how to spell you know how to work a calculator you know like you get through all of your GE courses that you do in school and they may be your favorite. But sometimes focusing on just what you want is the best way to go because you can just let your right brain take over you know? Oh, the thing that I remember most from school: don’t be late. Don’t be late. And if you’re late Apologize acknowledge it immediately and let it go. Don’t don’t make excuses. Nobody cares about where you’re coming from. Nobody cares why you’re late. Nobody cares if you learned your lines or not you just better suck it up pretend like you know that s**t if you don’t live in that moment and call it but that – that’s the number one thing that I remember and it’s you know I’m working on it.
Casey Cott: She’s never late.
Ashleigh Murray: I am almost never late. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been late in the last three or four years. That’s how you know that this is what you need to be doing because you’ll never be late to an audition or a job.
Casey Cott: On a different note. I became an actor in high school and I really wanted to pursue that in college. I went to Boston University for a bit and great school great school wasn’t for me. Sorry wasn’t for me so I left and I went to Carnegie Mellon University and I – my my senior year my second semester of college we did a showcase in New York and the Warner Brothers – our show’s a Warner Brothers Show and casting directors came to that and the next day audition for Kevin and then that night I got it. One one – your life can change in two hours. Because I mean literally auditioned was on a flight in the morning. The thing that I’ll say that I carry with this show is that you’re in a unique spot right now to adjust the way you think about art and the way you think about acting and to put your bias aside and whenever you go see a movie or TV show or a play you can think about it unbiased. Don’t think if it’s good or not. Think about what it is and how you can adjust what you do to fit into the style that that thing is, for instance, Riverdale is not Shakespeare or Guillermo del Toro or it’s a super specific style of of of art and it’s good and it’s different. But allow yourself to whatever you do constantly. Go see it unbiased. You can be like I friggin hate this but you can also be like wow that person really dove into that style. I try to keep that with me whenever I see whatever I see or whatever I do.
Aeriel: When it came time to audition for the roles that launched their careers the actors needed to make choices about how to deliver a line or how to wear a backpack. Or even using a set of cat ears.
Ashleigh Murray: I had lunch with a cousin of mine who I’d never met before it was the first time I’d ever met him. He’s also an actor and I found out I had the audition for for Riverdale and I was telling him about it and he said, “The one thing that I do that allows me to book so much.” – He’s very he’s very good. I can’t -anyway, and the thing that he told me to do was most actors who are going to come into an audition, they might make a choice and then a smaller percentage of them will have made one choice. You need to make more than one. You need to make several choices so each time you come to a moment in a script where you feel that something has shifted that the intention has changed or you know the conversation that you’re having you’re not getting what you want so you have to find another way to get it in those moments make a choice. It can be physical. It can be vocal. You know it can be internal whatever that is whatever that works for you. And what’s funny when I made it to the studio and network auditions to test I had to sing Whitney Houston and I had like made an abridged version of “How Will I Know.” And I didn’t know all the words. And I forgot it. Midway through the audition like I was singing and I stopped. And everybody was like Is she gonna. And then I found it again and I kept going. And in order for me to not have that moment my agents and my team they were like, “oh my god please don’t do that again.” So when I had to test for the studio or excuse me for the network I decided I don’t I don’t really feel comfortable you know this note is really high. I don’t know how I’m going to sell it. I don’t want them to see that I’m uncomfortable. So I decided to dance. I just turned the song into an entire performance. I took what I do in my real life when Whitney comes on – god bless – and like I when I’m out with my girlfriends I’ll get up on a table and I’ll dance for anybody who’s watching. I don’t even know them I don’t care I’m just in that moment. So I took that part of myself and a physical choice and was able to execute that moment and booked it. So that’s that’s the way that I work. I hope that that makes sense and translates well enough. It’s more important about making more than one choice. It honestly will set you apart from everyone because most people are going to make one and most of those people are going to make the same one.
Casey Cott: In terms of for me auditioning. I think I got lucky on this one because they were in a time crunch. I’m not kidding. But in terms of what I think about acting in general –
Ashleigh Murray: – he got cast the day before –
Casey Cott: – like within 24 hours of us shooting we started shooting the next day. But to answer your question I learned. Do you guys do like a text analysis kind of thing. Yeah. So that to me is is the number one thing. Because the writers hopefully give you enough about your character that you don’t have to do as much work as you think you know everything that’s said about your character. All those things are specifically written by the writer obviously. And then on top of that I like and some of these things come later but with TV they don’t you know the second I put a costume on I’m like. All right. This is what this person wears. The second I get a prop I’m like Kevin has this this backpack that it’s this little like weird backpack. And whenever I put that on for some reason that’s my thing I clutch it. I’m like, “This is Kevin!” But I want to take everything outside of here. That’s given to me because if I go into here it’s not going to work for me. I like to take props costume text and from there – exactly what Ashleigh said. Make as many choices and I like to make it as active as possible which is a very buzzy actor word but it’s true if you’re actively trying to get something from that person you’re going to come across as much more engaging than if you’re just you know. And you can use your body to do that and you can put those actions on a page. And that’s what I do. Granted not with Kevin I don’t really I’m not going to lie and say like I still write down my actions. I just clutch the bag and I’m good but I like I like props costumes and what people have said about your character in the text and then try to make the most active choice after knowing those four things.
Ashleigh Murray: You know it’s funny you say that about costumes because I was never that person. I was like I’ve never been that actor where it’s like oh I’ve got the clothes on like and because this role honestly is the only one where I’ve felt connected to the characters through a costume piece. And it was the cat ears and I actually wore cat ears to my audition. I had a tank top that I bought from H&M like five years prior that just had a giant cat face on it and I had these little $1.99 like cat ears that my roommate let me borrow from her cheap, cheap Halloween costume and it gave me this like extra level of sass and it also allowed me and informed other physicality because once I put those cat ears on and I was getting all in Archie’s business I was like, “you don’t understand.”
— The Pussycats are building a brand. Creating a signature look -OK – we’re telling a story it’s just my glossed lips Justin Gingerlake. Not. Gonna. Happen.
Ashleigh Murray: It just came out of nowhere. And I was like Oh that’s a moment. And so it’s. There are certain things that will bring you to those moments.
Eric: Once they got the roles the reality and the stress of having these roles on this massive TV show began to sink in.
Casey Cott: The biggest thing I had done was. Was a play for 65 people in Pittsburgh and our crew’s probably 85 people so you you – I walk in the first scene of the entire show we shot was me and Veronica and Betty walking down the hallway the first time we meet Veronica.
— So what’s the social scene like here any nightclubs?
A strip club called the ho zone. And a tragic gay bar called innuendo Friday night’s football games and then tailgate parties at the mall Mart parking lot Saturday night is movie night regardless of who’s playing at the Bijou. And you better get there early because we don’t have reserve seating in Riverdale and Sunday nights. Thank God for HBO.
Veronica Lodge, Kevin Keller Veronica’s new here Kevin is gay, thank God. Let’s be best friends. —
Casey Cott: And I walk into this school and I see all of this crew and I’m like what are these people doing why are they all here. And I see the Warner Brothers executive producers and I see the CW producers and there’s a moment where you’re like why did they choose. I should not be here. I don’t deserve this. I’m not good enough for this. And then you instead of going there you go. All right. Like let’s just get in the driver’s seat. Let’s do it. And if you take that approach and if you take all the passion you have if you take all the training you’ve done and you just think it’s a simple scene and the cool part about TV is that you shoot scenes like that are like this big. So you have like at most like six lights right. You’re like I’m going to get through these six lines and I remember the first three takes – after the third take this door like flew open down the hallway and this Warner Brothers producer leaned out and like gave me the thumbs up. And I was like, “I’m not getting fired today.” But it’s it’s freaky but you get it and you have good you’re going to have good people with you that show you how to do it. Lily my first day. One time I felt her kind of like this on my shoulder and I was like I’m trying to say my line. But she was moving me over to my mark. And it was Camille’s first day on set too. You know you just get it. You get it. It’s the same, it’s all the same! It’s different but it’s so similar. You just you just do it that.
Ashleigh Murray: That’s yes that’s exactly what it is. And you know if you if you know what everybody’s job is you know if you’re used to pretending like you’re on an active set and in class at school it honestly won’t be any different. If anything you’ll just be you know kind of overcome by all the really cool things about it rather than, “oh my god I can’t do this.” You know, that that fear will turn into excitement once you get comfortable when you realize everybody is here for the same thing y’all all are here to make the same show work. So you know you’re there for a reason. So you know just embrace that –
Casey Cott: – and then you learn and then you’re like Ah like that camera’s here this camera’s here. They’re on that lens They’re on that lens. If I go like this far this way I’m going to be out. And then you start to learn that craft and a whole new style of acting. It’s super cool. It is.
Aerial: Being a series regular on a popular TV show is like every actor’s dream. You don’t need to audition every day and you know when and where your next paycheck is coming from.
Eric: But it’s a lot of work. A lot of hours and the job itself doesn’t stop just because your scenes are wrapped.
Casey Cott: This was my first time ever on a set so I didn’t know what was happening. But basically, we work Monday through Friday and then actually this year we got pretty backed up so the past eight – like eight/nine weeks. We had a Saturday. So we were working Monday through Saturday which is crazy but Monday mornings you start super super early so a call time will be like 5 am 5:00a.m.
Ashleigh Murray: It will be like 5:11. Yeah no yeah 5:04.
Casey Cott: So you get there at 5:04 and they do your hair and makeup and then it just depends on how many scenes are in it can be anywhere from a normal day shooting wise. For us is about 14 hours. Yeah. Now I would be exaggerating if I said That’s everyday because there are certain days where I’m in the first scene or Ashleigh’s in the first scene and we’re done and it’s a you know it’s a six hour day.
Ashleigh Murray: Deuces. Just leave the sun’s still up I can go grocery shopping. It’s great.
Casey Cott: Yeah. And then there’s you know on top of that there’s there’s days we have a lot.
We do a lot of press for our show. So we have what we call EPK which you know like MTV is here today so you’re going to go do an interview. We do a lot of that. So it’s you have to love it. But for our characters we get a little more time off than some other ones. We do. Which is sometimes nice. But most of the time we’re like put us in the show.
Ashleigh Murray: I don’t know why you guys are laughing. He’s right. And you know what the other thing about being on set which you’ll have to get used to is oftentimes sometimes the schedule is you’re at the top of the day and then you’re at the bottom of the day. So you have five six scenes in between when you work. So I would suggest getting a hobby that isn’t this. You know bring some knitting needles bring your laptop. It’s like a 10 hour break. You know it’s like you just like whatever you can’t do because you’re on set. I would try to find a way to do it there because sometimes you’re just you know you’re getting paid to wait essentially and then you know make friends with the people at crafty. Crafty’s great. Cause they’ll makes you smoothies they’ll make you anything like she made like a Chia seed cup that was vegan and gluten free and like wasn’t too sweet. Like I’m super picky
Casey Cott: I’m like do you make buffalo wings? And do you like ranch?
Aeriel: Just like how the actors have to keep up with their healthy or sometimes unhealthy diets. They also continue refining their training and their craft even after getting on Riverdale, Miss Murray and Mr. Cott never stop learning.
Ashleigh Murray: I have a few coaches that I go between. You know I’ve found people that I know I work very well with. And funnily enough they don’t all have the same like technique. But they give me certain things that I need. So I know whatever the audition is. Oh I can reach out to Ted Sluberski because you know he knows the game. He watches everything all the time and oftentimes he has the script but they’re not sending out. And you know then if I know that you know Anthony Abeson is really great with doing like cold reads or working with dummy scripts for bigger projects that are unnamed. So I definitely have people that. I reach out to when I know and then like my Meisner teacher’s husband still works at the college that I went to so I just hit him up and I’m trying to take some classes just while I’m here just to keep you know the machine oiled. You know sometimes I find that I lose touch with my instrument and it’s always good to revisit that however is best for you. That’s what I do.
Casey Cott: You know yes and no I’ve had some auditions recently and I did an indie movie real quick after we wrapped which was which was a big learning experience. And it was great. I worked with some really cool people but you know when you go from such a big budgeted show to a low budgeted indie it’s a whole new thing. But I loved the indie world. But yeah I’ve been auditioning. It’s fun. I’ve never had a coach in New York because I have never really lived lived here I’m only here for three or four months a year and since my brother is an actor. I often times just shoot him a text and be like, “hey man can you check this out?” But I – Can you give me those the numbers of those people?
Ashleigh Murray: Yes!
Casey Cott: I think having a coach is great and specifically with theatre auditions to me when you get to that point that callback point when you’re like this might happen because those auditions are so much more thorough and they’re so much longer and a lot more dialogue and you can really take an entire room and set it up the way you want. That’s when I seek help to make sure I’m not doing too much or whatever.
Aeriel: In the episode a night to remember the Riverdale gang put on a production of Carrie the musical.
— Every day I just pray every move I make is right where I go. Who I know will I be alone on Saturday night.
The world according to Chris is better to strike than get struck. Better to screw than get screwed you’d probably think it’s bizarre. And that’s the way things are.
You ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s gonna be a night we’ll never forget. You ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s gonna be a night we’ll never forget.
You can never win. There’s no doubt that life just doesn’t begin until you’re in.
Welcome to Carrie the musical.–
Ashleigh Murray: You know, putting on a musical as you guys know is not easy. You know it takes a lot of time rehearsal. All that stuff costumes everything. Now imagine trying to shove all of that with a camera crew with like giant cranes and stuff in eight days like we have eight days to shoot our episodes.
And we’re also because we were behind we were shooting other episodes at the same time while we’re trying to get this one done. So we were doing dance rehearsals in like two hour chunks by ourselves it was just like us and the background dancers and our choreographer and then that whole chair scene where we’re night we’ll never. That was the first time the day we shot that was the first time we were all together doing the choreo as a unit and you see it’s a unit dance. So it was kind of hard to do that when nobody else was there and then you just add in everything else like you saw how it was. It was really intense. So many elements.
Eric: When you watch the episode and we recommend you do it’s great. It feels like Carrie The Musical was always meant to be part of Riverdale the mood the style. It’s like they’re tonal cousins all they had to do was sing.
Casey Cott: It’s a cool musical. It’s a culty musical and it’s trippy and. It’s. Flashy. And yet it’s super dark which is literally Riverdale. So those two blend together make a perfect combo. And I hope that hope that paid off.
Ashleigh Murray: I didn’t know the musical. I still don’t know the musical. I know the few lines that we sang like I learned Madelaine and our duet in the studio as I was singing it.
And I also sang it out of context. We hadn’t really like Roberto and the writers hadn’t really solidified what type of story we were going to tell through doing Carrie The Musical. So when we were going in and recording the songs I didn’t even know what the scene was between Ma- between Cheryl and Josie. I didn’t realize that it was going to be what it was. So I just made the choice to sing it like well it’s Josie she’s playing like you know a 40 something you know gym teacher she’s probably going to sound a little bit more mature so let’s throw some of that 40-year-old on there it came out great. And it’s funny because I also got to listen to like everybody everybody has such wonderful voices on the show. Can you imagine like it’s just crazy.
Casey Cott: Also don’t worry, that’s autotune. They’re great they’re great but like. It’s autotune. It’s autotuned.
Ashleigh Murray: I am not nor have I ever been autotuned on the show. It’s the scariest thing. Like legit. In the last episode, like in the in the finale, and the scene in the season finale I have to sing this song and I broke down again like we’ve been making this show for two years and I was in the in the studio and I was just like crying like it’s very it’s still very uncomfortable for me to hear my voice through speakers. I can’t explain it to you. It’s just like a weird audio dysmorphia thing like I just
Casey Cott: and if you get a note wrong, they’re like we’re going to play this back for you so you know the note you got wrong and you’re like dude seriously just tell me just feed me the note.
Eric: So Riverdale does an adaptation of a musical which is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel on a TV show that’s an adaptation of Archie Comics. You got all that. Now it is a far cry from the original source material.
— Archie’s here. Betty’s here. Veronica too. —
Eric: Back in the day Betty Jughead and Veronica’s adventures had like no sex and even less murder
Aeriel: And that might be why both actors have very different points of view about even reading the original comic books.
Casey Cott: I get this question every time someone asks me questions about the show. And at first I was like ah yeah like yeah but no I’ve never read them I. I didn’t know what it was. I’ve never read one. I auditioned for Archie and the first time I read this pilot, all these random people had red hair and I was like, “What is this like so weird like demonic hair town where like anyone with red hair as is some sort of it’s some sort of cult?”
Ashleigh Murray: Are they all natural redheads? I –
Casey Cott: Well, it said like Archie: red hair; Cheryl Blossom: red hair; Natalie or Penelope: red hair. And I was like “this is really weird.” I didn’t have to to go red. I didn’t get Archie but I eventually learned that they weren’t in a cult. They were just it was just strange to me I was like “What does this weird thing-?” But long story short, no, no, no.
Ashleigh Murray: Yes, I did. She’s a nerd. I am a nerd. Archie nerd. I am a comic book nerd. I love comic books. I love cartoons. It’s the best Scooby Doo. All right that’s my jam a pup named Scooby Doo friggin Dragonball Z. I’m like a big I love any of that animated stuff so I was a big Archie Comics fan growing up.
Aeriel: The comics may have been around for years but when it comes to learning TV scripts the name of the game is speed. The actors were asked how far in advance they got their lines well Miss Murray’s reaction told the entire tale.
Peter Stone (moderator): When do you get the script like how far in advance how much time do you have?
— Ashleigh Murray laughs —
Casey Cott: You get them when you get them. No you know what. It’s tough. You know. They have a tough job.
Ashleigh Murray: So it is it’s At the beginning of the season you’re like oh my gosh this is great. I mean you see what we’re dealing with there is so much story there’s so much plot and stuff and sometimes things change sometimes people are sick or you know somebody gets hurt or whatever the case is so you know adjustments have to be made but sometimes like you get the script as we’re shooting the episode or you know like I think the soonest that we’ve probably gotten one was what like three days.
Casey Cott: You know in the beginning of the season they I remember this year we had the first three before we started shooting and that was awesome. Yeah but as time goes along and they’re so busy and they’re they’re also shooting with us sometimes and it kind of compiles so towards the end you get them each episodes eight days you probably get them the day before day one of the episodes
Ashleigh Murray: Yeah. So really –
Peter Stone (moderator): Do they let you improvise at all or is it like a very strict?
Casey Cott: No, we are word perfect.
Peter Stone (moderator): I was hoping you would say that.
Casey Cott: We’re a word perfect show. Yeah, learn how to do that because they’ll get you. We have we have scripts supervisors whose sole job is to make sure that we are. I mean every once in a while. They’ll come up to me and go it’s it’s not, “Did you go to the beach?” It’s, “Did you guys go to the beach?” And I’m like, “OK yeah.” And I will continue to say, “did you go to the beach?” Like no matter what. But we are a word we are. We are a word perfect show. Yeah, it’s I’ve never said that line. By the way, it’s really good to There’s no beaches in Riverdale. Really. Not yet. No, it’s really good to like. Riverdale takes Miami. Season 15 season 14.
Ashleigh Murray: Oh my God. I’ll be like 50. No, I think it’s really important to have like whatever is your way of learning a script memorizing words whether it’s visual audio whatever is great. It’s a very good tool to have. I would also say that it’s very good to be able to improvise if you know your character well enough and the circumstances and where they’re living – if for some reason you may not know you know the words or whatever it is if you’re so grounded in that moment and who they are whatever comes out of your mouth is going to be right. So just you know let that marinate.
Casey Cott: And when you shoot network TV it’s one thing but if you’re developing a new play. Yeah. Or you’re shooting an indie movie. They’re going to be like you do your thing you know. But on network TV usually it’s pretty pretty word perfect.
Ashleigh Murray: Get your lines right yeah.
Eric: After 40 plus episodes the actors know their characters better than pretty much anyone including at times their various directors.
Casey Cott: We have a new director every episode and some we have some repeats but there comes a point when always with gratitude the director and the notes they give there comes a point when you’re like – totally hearing what they say and adjusting to what they say and hearing what they say. And there’s always a gracious way of doing that and the wrong way of doing that which I’m sure you’ve all seen someone do the wrong way. But there’s a way of being like, “oh on episode four like this happened and I’m thinking about this.” And they’re like “oh yeah I didn’t think about that. But in that way yes.” But in certain ways you’re always learning. I mean you don’t know what’s happening in Chapter 36.
Ashleigh Murray: Yeah right it’s that’s kind of what my sentiment was is that you know our the environment of Riverdale so ever changing that you know I wake up one day and like you know Josie and Veronica. Like you know besties and then all of a sudden you know she’s snatching people’s groups then like it’s like you never you wake up and you’re friends and you’re not.
Casey Cott: She’s a group snatcher.
Ashleigh Murray: She is. She’s a little group snatcher. But Casey is right because we do have different directors all the time which I didn’t know is customary in like network or in television that it’s very rare that a television show has the same director for every episode. So oftentimes you do have to be very comfortable with your character to be able to direct whomever that is new to the set to let them know hey this doesn’t actually work. Like I wouldn’t be sitting next to you know Casey or Kevin because such and such happened and you know most times they’re like oh yeah got it. Sure. We’ll move you over here.
Aeriel: Mr. Cott and Ms. Murray have exceedingly busy TV schedules. And despite that they still find time to go on audition during hiatus which both admit would be very difficult without representation.
Casey Cott: I’m going, to be honest, I’ve never had an audition in this city personally without an agent. And that’s just because I was very fortunate to get one a long time ago when I was in college. So I can’t speak to that. I have most of my friends don’t have agents. But I’ll let you take that one.
Ashleigh Murray: I – you know I’m trying to remember I don’t think I did. To be honest with you it’s different here on the East Coast on the West Coast. They don’t agents don’t freelance. You’re either signed or you’re not. And I think it may be the same with managers there I’m not sure but here in New York it is a bit of a privilege to be able to freelance with an agency so they can see if you actually are willing to do this and can show up to auditions on time and know your material and things like that. On time on time it’s so important. It’s so important. But having an agent is going to open up an agent and a manager is going to open up so much more opportunity for you because they’re the ones who get the breakdowns. They’re the ones who have casting directors reaching out to them being like, “Hey can you send 0 I’m looking for this type of person for this role.” So it’s it’s very hard if not all impossible to do that on your own without any representation.
Casey Cott: It’s hard you know I have friends of book Broadway from no agents though. There’s a there’s –
Ashleigh Murray: Well I don’t know nothing about no theater I’m just saying like commercials and TV.
Casey Cott: There’s so many avenues you know just if you don’t have an agent Just put yourself the more you put yourself out there the more possibilities are to find one. You know agents aren’t going to come knocking on your door.
Ashleigh Murray: They’re not. And you know because you’re in New York. I’m a New York fan all the way OK. I feel like if you want to go to L.A. do it and if it’s your jam do it. I am hardcore about the East Coast mostly because I feel like there’s so much more opportunity to get proper training here and here like I’m sure you all curse all the time. New York is not about the bulls**t. You can’t bulls**t a bulls**tter. You know what I mean you can get by pretending to be pretty and all this other stuff in L.A. and you might book a few things because you cute to look at but if you show up saying you know somebody you don’t. This world is very small and you will get up on that wall real quick and they’ll be like yeah she sent me glitter in her like press pack. I’m not messing with her no more.
Casey Cott: Is that like a term what “she sent glitter?”
Ashleigh Murray: Oh yeah. There have been people don’t inundate casting directors with mailers aren’t really a thing anymore. If you’re a mailer – anything like – if you’re going to send a mailer it’s it’s only if you’re in something but don’t put glitter in it don’t like, don’t be weird because they will not they will not mess with you anymore but being why are you laughing I’m serious. Being in New York I feel like you have a better opportunity of of meeting the right people who are going to help curate who you are as opposed to what they think you should be. I just feel like if you can make it here you can make it in New York. You can make it in Georgia. You can make it you know wherever else the work is. I think this is a really great place to start. And knowing that, don’t ever pay anybody to represent you. And if somebody comes to you and it’s like oh we should like, “change your hair and like get rid of the bangs and just the blonde!” Don’t. Don’t do it. You know you know who you are. Be authentic to who you are. Unless you feel like whatever. Like different haircut or hair color or whatever the case is is just going to elevate. Your essence do that. But you know just kind of I could be here all night you know what I’m trying to say.
Eric: Through all the hard work the actors remind themselves that they are lucky
Aeriel: and try not to lose sight of why they chose this career in the first place.
Casey Cott: We’ve been shooting for about two years so we’ve done two seasons but we’ve only been shooting for two years. But there’s a lot that goes into it. What we do are doing right what we’re doing right now. There’s a lot of contract stuff there’s a lot of business stuff there’s a lot of social stuff a lot of press stuff and then some shooting stuff
Ashleigh Murray: and then there’s free stuff
Casey Cott: and then there’s free stuff. And and it becomes stagnant Yeah. Like simple yeah like are there days many days on set where I’m like I don’t want to be here. I do not want to be doing this. Of course. Are there days where Chris Pratt feels that on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 set. Yeah. What I will say is I think of that feeling to me right now and I’m biased because this is all I’ve done I think TV is the hardest when it comes that because you are contractually obligated to do this thing for many many many years and it’s a daunting task and you it’s exactly what you want to do you want to do movies you want to do all the things that I just said I wanted to do and that’s that right. So let’s say my contract right now is X amount of years. You have X amount of break, you have X amount of time while you’re doing what you’re doing to set yourself up to do all the things you want to do. But it’s it’s a business and it’s important to remember that and it’s important keep yourself inspired when you are doing a show like we’re doing because you can get very uninspired very quickly and we all feel that. But luckily too we have such a great young cast and adult cast too. Because we call ourselves the kids and adults even though like I’m 25 and
Ashleigh Murray: I’m not.
Casey Cott: So we all whenever I’m down I’m like, “yo I am feeling rough right now. This sucks”. And they’re like “yeah.” Like well. Like, let’s talk about it let’s figure out together let’s make this story good. This is our job. Let’s get passionate. Why do you like acting. Or I’ll call the people in my life that are not on the show. “Why do you -why are you doing this? Why don’t you go be on Wall Street or something? Do you want to do that? No, alright. Are you blessed to have a job? Yeah. So let’s figure this out and power through it.” You know it’s the same with that intimidation factor. It’s like instead of moping dig deep. And figure out why we like to act. And be thankful for the opportunity to do it.
Aeriel: We’re thankful to Casey Cott and Ashleigh Murray for having such a candid conversation with our students and thankful to all of you for listening.
Eric: I’m Eric Conner
Aeriel: and I’m Aeriel Segard. And this episode was written by Eric Conner hi based on a Q&A moderated by Peter Allen Stone. This episode was edited and mixed by Kristian Hayden
Eric: Our creative director is David Andrew Nelson who also produced this episode with Kristian Hayden and myself Executive produced by Jean Sherlock, Dan Mackler, and Tova Laiter with a special thanks to the staff and the crew at our New York City campus for making this all possible.
Aeriel: To learn more about our programs check us out at nyfa.edu. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review on Apple podcasts or you know wherever you listen.
Aeriel and Eric: See you next time!