By Amie Grimason
Having already starred as Christina in the soap River City and Lisa in Waterloo Road, actress Caitlin Gillespie shares her story on how she bagged her dream job in acting.
When did you become interested in acting?
I became interested in acting from a very young age. I enjoyed performing in school and with my friends, as a lot of young girls do, so it began from there.
Did you study to become an actress, if so where?
I trained at the stage school, Glasgow Acting Academy. I joined when I was 12 and studied there until I was 17. It was during my time there that my passion for acting grew and I began to realise I wanted a career in the industry. It was an amazing place to learn professional skills and techniques for acting. I learned many skills, mainly theatre training and I also performed in plays. These included a mix of traditional theatre, such as Shakespeare and Greek theatre and more modern contemporary theatre. When training to become an actor it’s important to take as much advice on board and get as much experience as possible. I got involved in as many projects as I could, including extra work so I could experience a TV set and take part in as many plays as possible.
How do you make contacts in the acting industry?
Making contacts in the industry is all about experience, it’s important to get as much experience as possible to get further with your craft! Glasgow Acting Academy is a great place to make contacts including the people I went to classes with, most of whom I am still in touch with. Many of them have moved on to London to carry on with their training or are making strides in the professional industry and we help each other out as much as we can.
Any tips on how to ace auditions?
Auditions are always a scary experience, even if you’ve done 100, it doesn’t get less scary. I think it’s important to stay calm, stay focused and try not to be nervous.
When did you get your first acting job? How did that feel?
I got my first professional acting job was when I was only 17. I played the part of ‘Christina’ in the BBC soap River City. I was very excited! It was such a nice feeling to know that my hard work had paid off and to finally get my foot in the door was fantastic!
How do you manage to stay focused on your career being so young?
Being young in any industry as intense and tough as acting, isn’t easy. I think it’s very important to keep grounded and to have good family and friends around you.
Any advice for future actors/actresses?
The main thing in the acting industry is to stay strong and positive. There are a lot of highs and lows and you need to be prepared for a lot of rejections so you definitely need to have the determination to keep going. Determination is key!