Rising Star Cat Healy: “In the beginning, find out what your brand is”
In the beginning, find out what your brand is. Quirky teen, tough guy, overbearing mother, etc. Zeroing in on this, and determining what your style strengths in acting are, will help you fine-tune the direction and get you more jobs.
I had the pleasure to interview Cat Healy. Cat originally hails from the South and now calls Los Angeles home. She has studied with the prestigious Stella Adler Conservatory, Janet Alhanti Studios, The Groundlings Improv School and found success with supporting roles in prime-time television including: JAG, MTV, NBC’s “Saved by the Bell-College Years” and “California Dreams.”
It wasn’t long before an interest in the music business set in and Cat shifted gears to work for promoters in the industry, followed by a position at one the largest music labels in the world.
A cosmic shift and some big life changes fortuitously led Cat back into the world of performance in the wildly creative, avant-garde cirque arts arena that includes fire dancing, burlesque, vaudeville, clowning, variety shows, cirque arts productions and body airbrush art. Performing, painting or producing independently and with exotic troupes such as Unifier Entertainment, Black Lotus Entertainment, Fire Groove Entertainment, Sky Fire Arts, Lucent Dossier Experience, Zen Arts. Cat can be seen as the mesmerizing fire dancer recorded on the jumbotron during Usher’s performance of his hit single ‘Hot Tottie’ on his live world tour.
Feeling rejuvenated to rejoining the mainstream acting world, Cat has found success in voice-over work for a Netflix series currently in post-production called, “Brasozia. “ A supporting role in “There Will Always Be Christmas” (scheduled for release in 2020), starring Michael Paré and Eileen Davidson a supporting role in D-Railed (2018) opposite SciFi icon Lance Henriksen, garnering 53 award wins and 17th nominations. She is also expanding her skills in writing and producing, creating two short films that are currently in post-production. Cat hopes to set the world on fire with her soulful and fearless spirit!
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always been a creative, expressive person. It first started for me with art, as a young child. Later, I developed a passion for acting. As a kid, I loved watching old movies with my father. I became captivated by film and television and playing make-believe with my friends. I left for Los Angeles at 19 to find myself in this creative realm. I’ve also kept the art alive and when I say “alive”, I really mean it. I’m also a body airbrush artist! Yes, I paint people.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First, can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
When I was young in the industry, I had a lot of opportunities but lacked supportive relationships to help foster my creativity. I think that colored the way I approached the business. The lack of focus and drive derailed me. After shedding myself of a cacophony of distractions and insecurity, I decided to reenter the acting world after a long pause. Thankfully, finding my healthiest self, seeking clarity, asking questions, having faith that I was “enough” and not getting caught up with the minutia other people’s negativity provided a viable path to attain my goals. I surrounded myself with friends and family that supported my growth and it made all the difference.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I trusted my instincts and realized in order to make things happen I needed to create a container for my ideas, be open to changing my outlook on myself, and be aware of what I am putting out into the world. Step by step, when I started to see results, it kept me motivated and driving forward.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a mini-series called, “The Hope and the Hopeless”, a slapstick comedy about actors trying to make it in Hollywood. We just filmed 11 episodes that are in post-production. We are shopping it around to get it released on multiple platforms. I also recently wrote, produced and starred in two pairs of shorts in post-production and intend on taking them the festival circuit. The first one is called, “The Interview”, a #metoo reversal skit and the second short is about an overzealous vegan called, “Vegan and Then Sum.” I just finished doing voiceover work for a Netflix series called “Brazoria”, a Spanish crime thriller. I also have a supporting role in the 2020 movie “There Will Always Be Christmas,” which stars Michael Paré and (3 time Emmy Winner!) Eileen Davidson.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was a young actress, I went to an audition for a project that Anthony Michael Hall (“The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty In Pink”) was producing and starring in. He was in the casting room and actually read with me. I was excited at the prospect of working with such a wonderful, funny actor. I came into the room affected by a previous interaction that left me very anxious, though. I couldn’t shake the experience and negativity. It took over during my performance and what was supposed to be a comedy turned into a drama. The look on his face was priceless, as I destroyed whatever shred of acting dignity I had left. LOL! I try to have tunnel vision when I go into an audition now.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Bring the focus and tenacity. You’ve got to be 1000% in it. If you are passionate about what you do, you don’t get burned out. The fuel is in the craft and the work.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I owe a lot of my recent success back into the acting world to Suzanne DeLaurentiis. She is a producer that has created a community of actors and production teams that network and try to include each other in productions. We have all forged friendships and love working together. So whether it’s a small part, casting, or working behind the scenes, we have a crew of friends and professionals that are driven and love to create.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started, and why”:
1. Have your audition material memorized and don’t rely on the paper. You have a large amount of competition and any break in your flow and concentration takes you out of the running.
2. Don’t be late for auditions or to the set. It’s unprofessional and disrespectful. They might not say anything, but everyone notices and it’s a strike against your dependability.
3. In the beginning, find out what your brand is. Quirky teen, tough guy, overbearing mother, etc. Zeroing in on this, and determining what your style strengths in acting are, will help you fine-tune the direction and get you more jobs.
4. You have to hustle, no one is going to do it for you.
5. Stay in class. Constantly fine-tune your instrument.
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