Caitlin Wilayto


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EP 115: Caitlin Wilayto (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it episode 115. 

[00:00:05] Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Kaitlin . Are you ready for this Caitlin?

[00:00:14]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:00:14] Yes, let’s do it.

[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] All right. Caitlin is a musical theater performer based in New York city. She grew up in Pepperell Massachusetts and is a graduate of the heart school. She worked regionally at many theaters, including Goodspeed opera, house, Riverside theater, the arts center of coastal Carolina, North shore music theater, and Westchester Broadway theater to name.

[00:00:38] A few, you can also see her as Julie in the marvelous mrs. Maysles season two off stage. She’s a teacher at the New York conservatory of dramatic arts and the owner of the theatrical Etsy shop, little shop of Rose gold. Kaitlin. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps, who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:10]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:01:10] Sure. Well, I am a performer and I. I also am a huge fan of Broadway in general. And I always have been for as long as I can remember, I always have just loved musicals and movies and art. Uh, I was just surrounded by it as a kid, my mom was in there. My family was really artistic and loved taking us to see shows or, uh, see the next big thing that was happening in Boston.

[00:01:34] Cause I grew up near Boston, so that was really exciting. And I started off as a dancer. Uh, I. Took dance class all the time. I did the recital and I was doing the Nutcracker every year and going to ballet. So it was very dance focused and it wasn’t until high school that I started to do musicals and sort of that side of it.

[00:01:56] And I just loved the acting aspect and the singing and telling a story that way. So, uh, that’s when I, they decided that I wanted to go to college for it, and I went to the heart school and I loved my time there. And the training was amazing. And I met some of my best friends there and we formed this really great support system and we moved to the city together.

[00:02:17]And, uh, since then I, I was lucky enough to do some great regional shows and do shows in New York and do some TV and. I have been living here for a while now and now I teach at the New York conservatory of dramatic arts, like you said. So I love that as my side job and I have my little Etsy shop, so that’s, that’s who I am right now.

[00:02:39] Dane Reis: [00:02:39] Yeah. Great. And you said you got to pop into Boston and go see shows growing up. And look, I went to. The conservatory in Boston, but I grew up in a small town of Missoula, Montana, and we had shows come through every once in a while, but so lucky to be in such a great place that you had access to such great performance all the time.

[00:03:04]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:03:04] Oh, yeah. Well, Well, Pepperell, I always say that it has more cows than people, so it’s a very small town, but it’s about an hour from Boston. So yes, I was able to go in and I was. You know, a dancer and, uh, really obsessed with ballet. And so I got to see the ballet all the time, but then you got to see some of the musicals and also North shore music theater, uh, in Beverly I used to see there all the time as a kid.

[00:03:28] So when I got to work there a couple of years ago, that was huge deal. Uh, cause that was a big Boston theater. So yes, and I also had a. Great teacher in high school who really was adamant about doing these big musicals in school. And if I hadn’t done that, I probably would still been dancing today, but she was amazing.

[00:03:48] She introduced me to so many different musicals and we got to do these big productions for a really small high school, you know, so yeah, that was awesome. I was really lucky that I had that.

[00:03:59]Dane Reis: [00:03:59] Oh, that’s so cool that you had such a great person in your life growing up that pushed you and expanded your skillset and introduced you to whole other parts of the industry.

[00:04:10]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:04:10] Yeah, it was amazing. I’m so grateful for that.

[00:04:14] Dane Reis: [00:04:14] Yeah, very cool. And I also liked that you said, you know, you went to heart and you formed these really there’s really great support group of friends around you through your time there. And it’s so great about these training programs that can offer that to us. Sometimes that moving into New York city is no easy thing.

[00:04:36] And to have. A group of people that are your friends, your network, that you can bounce things off of. And just hang out with straight away is huge.

[00:04:44] Caitlin Wilayto: [00:04:44] Oh, yeah, it definitely is. It’s it’s like, you’re going to college for the training by your. You also come out with a support system that is going to support you through this. You can’t really, I don’t, it’s hard to do this alone, especially if, uh, you know, my family was very supportive, so I was really, uh, lucky in that way.

[00:05:00] And I also had this friend groups, so that was so great. And heart is like a family, the teachers, I still. Uh, keep in touch with the teachers today. They’re very interested in, you know, what we’re doing and everything. And so moving here was really exciting. Uh, we had watched each other grow for four years, so then we got to come to the big city and do it here and, and it’s been really, really amazing.

[00:05:20] Nice and, uh, special to have them during this time of the shutdown, when we all had to stop performing, you know, you know, just like that and all had to kind of lean on each other to get through it, uh, as well as, you know, other friends from other shows, but it, it, the college friends are, are really, really special.

[00:05:35]Dane Reis: [00:05:35] Great. And let’s move on to this next section here and look, Katelyn. I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:05:48]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:05:48] Hm. Well, I am a huge Disney fan, so I, uh, I have been seeing this quote in this cause has been sort of following me the past couple of years. Uh, the quote is have courage and be kind, and it got sort of popular when that. New Cinderella movie came out, I think a couple years ago. And, uh, it was sort of like the mantra that Cinderella I was saying for the movie and I just really connected with it.

[00:06:11] Cause those are two things that are really important to me. Uh, you know, my parents brought me up. Uh, with the importance of kindness and, uh, how important it is to show that to everyone that you meet, because you don’t know what other people are going through. And, uh, and to have courage, uh, coming from the small town to a place like New York city to do this crazy career, I had to have a lot of courage, remind myself to be courageous and be myself, get out there and show everyone.

[00:06:36] Who I am and what I’m here for, and to do that with kindness is it’s kind of like the whole package of, uh, of how to get through some days here in New York and, and, and this career. So that was really important to me. I have it around, I can see it right now. There’s I have, uh, in my apartment a little have courage and be kind, um, quote thing up on my wall.

[00:06:55] So that’s mine, Cinderella reminding me every day.

[00:06:58] Dane Reis: [00:06:58] Ah, beautiful. And you’re right. , that really, in my opinion, does sum up two giant parts of this industry. Like you said, you really need to have that courage to push yourself beyond those comfort zones, to expand your bubble of what you know, all the times you’re always getting a little bit better and then gosh, being kind to everyone.

[00:07:18] I know personally, I can attribute almost all of my successes simply to being nice and developing friendships and relationships with people.

[00:07:28]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:07:28] Oh, yeah, it’s all about relationships. And I do tell my students at the college all the time, you know, thank your accompanist. Thank the monitor at the audition thing at these people. Uh, everyone wants you to succeed and, uh, it’s exciting when they meet someone who has good energy and who is kind of, uh, because that could.

[00:07:46] Help you get the job. You’d be, you could have two people with the same sort of skill set, but if someone is really just showing kindness and gratitude for being there, you know, that that will make them want to work with you. I think that’s really important.

[00:07:59]Dane Reis: [00:07:59] Hundred percent. And let’s get into this section here. And Caitlin, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now.

[00:08:26] It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while, yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do being on stage, being on set. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:08:54]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:08:54] Hmm. Well, when I first, uh, think of an obstacle, I, I, it goes right to the constant rejection that we all face all the time. You know, all the nose going, getting out there, going to the audition and just, uh, not hearing anything or. Or not getting the part that is hard to deal with. And, you know, I think that was hard.

[00:09:13]You coming out of college, all, you know, Broadway, right. I’d ready to go and just realizing, wow, this is going to be a lot of no’s before I get a big show or any show in general. So I think that that’s a huge obstacle that we all have to face. Of course, I think it gets easier and I am grateful for it going through it because I feel like I have a thicker skin now and, you know, just kind of.

[00:09:36]Let her roll off onto the next it feels when you get to that point, it feels good. Uh, but so, but personally I think in my journey, a really big obstacle for me was, uh, singing because I, like I said, I was mostly a dancer. Uh, I had, I. Had that, you know, my great teacher in high school who introduced me to singing and I loved it and I wasn’t great at it, but I really liked doing it.

[00:10:00] And I, you know, knew what, like I got it, learn how to do this in college, but I, I really took to acting, I think in college, I love to dance. So I knew I was good on that, but singing, it was really, uh, it was really vulnerable to be at a big school with a lot of people that. Probably were singing for a long time and it had an amazing voice and sort of knew that sound, that, that Broadway sound, you know, the belt that, the mix like that kind of stuff that I sort of had to learn in front of my peers.

[00:10:24] So that was hard. And I did have some teachers at school that sort of saw that I, I wanted to play roles and I didn’t want to always be in the ensemble. You know, I love doing that, but they just saw a part of me that wanted to. To get out there and play lead. So they were like, you have to learn how to use your voice and really get to a certain point to be able to get these jobs.

[00:10:47] So I really focused on that in college and I. If I hadn’t, uh, I would have still done some great shows, but I don’t think I would’ve been able to play some of the roles that I have been able to, or get some of the jobs to get some of the understudy roles that I’ve gotten. You know, if I’m dancing in the ensemble and then I can understudy a bigger role I’ll uh, cause I really focused in on that.

[00:11:07] In school and sort of got over my fear of maybe just sounding battled the in class, but until I finally figured out how to Belle, you know, so, um, that was the big thing. Like, I, I, I think for dancers in general, it’s, it’s really hard to. Go to audition dance, and then be asked to sing right after. And you’re, you know, feeling like maybe you’re not going to do your best, but I worked on that and that I feel like is how I have gotten a lot of my jobs, you know, being able to rely on both and knowing that it was set and all three aspects of that acting, singing, dancing, you know,

[00:11:41]Dane Reis: [00:11:41] Yeah, for sure. And I liked when you talked about, you know, you went to the school, you went to the heart school and you said I needed to work on my singing. I knew I needed to improve on this. And  you said you were kind of kind of learning how to use your instrument. While you were at that school versus kind of having it semi refined and then getting even better.

[00:12:02]Right. And I can a hundred percent relate to that. Cause I didn’t start this whole performing entertainment thing until late in life. And I remember showing up at the conservatory and I felt like I was miles behind people in a lot of ways. I was, and I was figuring out my instrument, figuring out how to use it the whole time.

[00:12:22] And I think the takeaway from that  for anyone listening that is in one of these training programs or getting, or wants to go, well, one of them that, to know that it’s okay, that here we are two people that entered the he’s really great training programs for performing arts. And we didn’t have all our ducks in a row.

[00:12:40] We were behind the eight ball, I guess, in some regards for what some of your peers may have in the credits that they may already have at such a young age, but to not worry about it. And to know that you’re there for a reason, someone saw something in you to get you into that school, to then you just need to put in the time and work on yourself and develop your craft because that’s what that time is for college or any kind of training program is not for.

[00:13:07]Being the best in showing everyone how amazing you are. It’s about training your craft so you can go out and then show everyone how amazing you are.

[00:13:16]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:13:16] Right. Yeah, no, it’s so true. I think I got there and realized, Oh no, I, I should, I have been more prepared and you know, I, I, I’m not sure I can sing these songs and I’m forgetting, well, this is school, you know, this is what I am here to do. So. So. Yeah. Yeah. It’s not all a performance already and you know, at heart, and I’m not sure if they do this at Foco, but we, uh, we weren’t allowed to, you know, be in the big shows freshman year, you know, you have to, you you’re on the tech crew, which was awesome.

[00:13:39] That was an awesome experience. But then you kind of build up to being part of the shows. And at first I was like, I’m going to be in the shows, you know? And, but then I realized, Oh wow. I, I have to. To really, uh, get there. Like this is a, a huge experience and a huge jump to be on stage singing these songs.

[00:13:54]Uh, didn’t expect it to be like that. So I think that was really cool that the school does that they, they, they train you and then have you perform it and then get you a showcase and then get you out in the real world. And then you can start cause some people you just moved to New York and they can do it.

[00:14:06] I wasn’t one of those people, I needed to figure out who I was going to be, how I was going to do this career. So yeah.

[00:14:13]Dane Reis: [00:14:13] For sure. Everyone’s journey is different, you know, and that’s, I think the important part as well is that we all have to be honest with ourselves and look at ourselves and where are we? What do we want out of our career is jumping straight to New York and just doing private classes the way to go. Or do you need a structured training program?

[00:14:29] What is it you need? Because every there’s no one correct reason or correct method, but being honest with yourself, you can figure that out for

[00:14:38] Caitlin Wilayto: [00:14:38] Yeah, definitely. And, and you’ll be better for it in the end.

[00:14:42]Dane Reis: [00:14:42] For sure. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:15:03] Caitlin Wilayto: [00:15:03] Okay. Well, I actually, I have both of those moments. I’m pretty sure. And you know, it’s funny. I keep going back to high school, I guess that was a really formative time for my, for my like Broadway dreams. I’m realizing I’m like, wow. But, uh, it was, I. So I remember the moment that I knew that I was going to do this.

[00:15:19] And so it was my sophomore year of high school. We were doing pajama game and I was Gladys in the pajama

[00:15:25] game. So my first row, no way. That’s awesome.

[00:15:31] Dane Reis: [00:15:31] literally singing that song yesterday,

[00:15:33] Caitlin Wilayto: [00:15:33] Oh, my gosh. That’s so funny. Yeah, no, that’s it. It’s funny. I haven’t, it’s been people don’t do that show a lot. So we did that one in high school. Um, that was my first role.

[00:15:43] Gladys was my first role. Uh, and that was great, you know, as a dancer to do steam heat and Hernando’s hideaway that, those fun numbers, but that was the first time I said, lines sang a song and I was so excited for it. And I remember, you know, The, I said a line in the audience laughing and I was like, Oh, okay.

[00:16:02] I totally, you know, but it got bit by the theater bug there. I remember it so well. And I remember going, um, just in the parking lot at, you know, of the auditorium afterwards and really being like, well, that’s, that’s what I’m going to do. I was like, can we stop? But, um, yeah, so I do remember that really specifically, but.

[00:16:21]Uh, recently sort of more recently, a moment that I felt really, uh, like I was in the, this was where I was supposed to be sort of, this was what I was supposed to be doing in the industry was at Goodspeed opera houses doing will Rogers Follies. And that was, I think too years ago, maybe three, the whole shutdown has me all confused.

[00:16:41] It was a couple of years ago and I was in the ensemble. So I was, it’s a huge tap show. Uh, so these numbers were so, so challenging and the whole ensemble is really great. Tapper’s, uh, really like high quality dancers. So that was exciting to be included in that, and that dancing was amazing. It was also on stairs.

[00:17:01] The whole show is on stairs. So the. Good speed stage is really small. First of all, to do big numbers that then also on stairs that required like so much focus and just really intense training for that. So getting to the end of the number was a huge accomplishment and there was a million numbers in that show and they all required.

[00:17:21] 15 second costume changes, huge dresses, you know, every, all of these things, it was one of those shows. So I was in the ensemble, but then I was also understudying Betty Blake, who was. Uh, you know, the lead ingenue, uh, woman in the show. So I got to go on a couple of times, and that was sort of the first time that I had ever been fully dancing in a show playing this, you know, ensemble role and then also getting to play lead sometimes too.

[00:17:46] And it was amazing to be able to do that side. And then all of a sudden one night be singing the, uh, the, you know, ingenue songs and doing the scenes furthering. Plot as the love interest, you know, I had never experienced both at the same time and I was really excited every day about what track I was going to do or how I was going to be able to help.

[00:18:06] And I loved having that little community of the swing and the under city and watching out for the. The women playing the role, you know, making sure she was okay. It was really cool. And I thought, wow, this is something I could do for a long time. And I hope that I could do that on Broadway someday, you know, be in the ensemble of the big dance show and understood the elite.

[00:18:25] That’s where I felt like this is what I’m supposed to do.

[00:18:28] Dane Reis: [00:18:28] Yeah, so cool. Yeah. And it’s no joke under studying and

[00:18:32] swinging. It’s 

[00:18:33] Caitlin Wilayto: [00:18:33] Yeah. And I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to. Do it, I, I didn’t know, you know, people say you have to have a swing brain or understudy brain. I wasn’t sure. But, uh, you know, I was, I’m pretty nervous the first couple of times, but I realized that it, I was able to do that and I’d like to doing it.

[00:18:49] I liked doing two different tracks and that kind of stuff. So that was really exciting time for me.

[00:18:54] Dane Reis: [00:18:54] Ah, very cool. And let’s piggy back on that question real quick and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day. The auditions and call backs. Yep. They happen to be a part of it. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.

[00:19:15] Yeah.

[00:19:16]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:19:16] Well, I have, uh, uh, a good story for this slide. Uh, this one, I, I tell a lot to people or to my students about one of those moments that, you know, it, you can’t believe it happened. So this was. A while ago, this was the first time I did chorus line. I’ve done chorus line about three times now. Uh, I love that show and I love doing it.

[00:19:35] And so this was my first, first audition for it. And it was right after I got my equity card. So I was. Uh, you know, the it’s kind of hard to get a job right after you take your equity card. Cause there’s, you’re in a bigger pool and, uh, of people. So I was auditioning a lot and yeah, this one came out, it was at Riverside theater and.

[00:19:56] Mitzi Hamilton was doing the show. And so she was one of the original vowels and chorus lines. So she is a big deal. And, uh, Jessica legaled and was assisting her at the time for the auditions. And those are two people that I looked up to. I, as far as chorus line, I’ve watched that video of Jessica legal and playing Cassie a million times.

[00:20:15] So I was really excited to audition for this. So my. Agents got me an appointment. Um, I went in, I think I sang first. It was for Judy and I got a call back to dance. And so that’s when I was getting ready to go in. I was super excited to do the combination cause I hadn’t really been in a chorus line audition yet.

[00:20:34] And the addition for those shows are really kind of crazy cause. It’s like you’re in the show, you know, it’s kind of like an out of body experience. You’re doing the same thing you would do in the shop. So there’s really kind of fun energy when you’re with there, with all your friends. So I was so excited.

[00:20:50] They were both in the room. They had a bunch of people there Riverside’s a great theater. So I was hoping to do well. And I thought I did great. I. Did the dance to the best of my ability, but everything felt great. And I got cut and I usually, you know, don’t get too, uh, heartbroken about that these days, but I was really like, Oh my gosh, I thought I did great.

[00:21:13] How. Well, am I even a dancer if I got cut. So with that, you know, just all that kind of stuff. So I, left left. I was like, I’m gonna just go because a lot of my friends were there too. So I, I, when I was walking around eighth Avenue, I called my mom, you know, just talking about what happened and sorta, just.

[00:21:31] Yeah, and over it, but really, really sort of embarrassed and stuff thought about that one. So then it was like an hour later, I was still downtown. I checked my phone and there was a missed call. It went straight to voicemail and it was the casting team saying, Hey, Kaitlin, uh, your headshot fell out of the pile.

[00:21:46] You were supposed to be called back. Uh we’re so sorry, but are you around, uh, we’re here for a couple more. They were like, we’re here for a couple more minutes and they’re like, if you’re not, you can send the video. And I was like, no, I’m here. I’m still downtown. Yeah. Like I’m coming back. So I, I, yeah, just completely, you know, texted my mom.

[00:22:05] Nevermind. I’m going back. So I went. Back. And I was like, not, I think I was in sweat pants. I was totally not audition ready. And they, yeah. Oh yeah. Fully changed modes, sweaty mess. And they were, uh, just laughing. I mean, it was a big, funny thing. Everyone was laughing and it’s funny. Cause Judy in the show is a little bit all over the place.

[00:22:29] And so when I came back, I did the sides and the song. And I was a mess. And honestly it worked for the character was so funny and they were laughing cause of that. So the whole thing was so funny and then I ended up getting it. So, uh, if that hadn’t happened, who knew if I would cause maybe I would have been so focused and doing it a certain way, but I was just me in sweat pants doing the.

[00:22:51] Judy sides. And that’s what they saw. That was a really fun story that I always tell, because that was crazy. Um, but I, another really quick one was when I got, uh, to be on the marvelousness his nasal, which was a huge deal. That was so crazy. It was actually right after I got back from Goodspeed and. My agents got me an appointment and I do mostly yeah.

[00:23:15] Theater. So I was really excited to get a TV appointment and I didn’t really know much of what to do, but I, I knew the show really well. So I was a huge fan. So I just went in to set a couple of lines. And later that night, like super late, like 11 o’clock at night, they were like, Oh, you have a call back, come back tomorrow.

[00:23:36] So I went back and it was for Amy Sherman Palladino who wrote the show. And I was like, I can’t believe she’s seeing, uh, you know, people that are just doing a couple of lines, but she worked with all of us and it was so crazy. I was super excited about that. And it was just so quick, they came out of the room and they said, if we say your name, then you got it.

[00:23:55] And they said my name. And then they said, we’re going to bring you to a costume fitting right now. And yep. And this was, Oh yeah. I had no idea. Like, you know, I’m used to theater waiting all this time. What, checking your phone wondering. So, yeah, it was that it was at Steiner studios, so they just took us straight to the costume department and we started trying on all these.

[00:24:15] Amazing vintage clothes. And then we filmed the next couple of days. And so that I is like, I’m always like, that’s that? And why is the moment, you know, that you’re like, I’m going to be on TV. You know? You know? So that was really, really cool. So that was, I guess my two fun ones.

[00:24:31] Dane Reis: [00:24:31] Yeah, those are so fun. So good. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And we’ve talked about it a little bit and right where a month’s this crazy global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:24:53]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:24:53] Hmm. Well,  you know, I’m not performing now right now. And, uh, you know, I think the union has done a really good job at keeping everyone safe and not allowing. People to go back to things are open or do things, you know, until we’re super safe. So that is good, but it’s also been hard for the community.

[00:25:10] And, uh, but I also think that the shutdown has been really eyeopening, uh, during this time. I mean, I think that being able to listen and learn from different artists of color have been, it’s been so empowering. Um, It’s empowered me to continue to fight for the, uh, for inclusivity in this career. Uh, and I think it’s empowered a lot of people to do so, too.

[00:25:29] So I’m looking forward to seeing those voices amplified on Broadway, even more and new stories being told, uh, for everyone. I think that. I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what stories come out of this time. I think it’s going to be this, you know, Renaissance for art, you know, we’re all gonna go back.

[00:25:46] No, one’s been able to see a show during this time. So I thought it was going to get really sad and, you know, there has obviously it’s been hard, but it’s almost allowed me to sort of dream again about what it’s going to be like to perform again, even if it’s just. Uh, you know, singing at a concert, like we can’t even do that right now.

[00:26:03] So that is, everything’s going to be so exciting. I was actually thinking about chorus. I sign, uh, recently and thinking if I get to do that show again, how exciting is that going to be to stand on the line, you know, after all this. So, uh, that has been really cool to think about, but, uh, aside from that, I am teaching at the college, which is.

[00:26:20] Such a great side job. And we’re working with the heads on zoom and some, and trying to do it in person stuff in masks, a dance class, trying to figure that out. So that is interesting to figure out how to teach dance during this, but that is awesome. And I also have my Etsy shop, little shop of Rose gold, which I can talk more about, but I, I have been working a ton on that during this time.

[00:26:42] And it’s really helped keep me motivated and saying, okay, Uh, sort of feeling like I’m a part of the industry still, even though we can’t perform.

[00:26:50] Dane Reis: [00:26:50] Yeah. Yeah. I love all your insight on all of that in guests. Could you expand on your shop a little bit?

[00:26:56]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:26:56] Yeah. So I started the shop a couple years ago and it’s, I had always done art as a kid. My mom was an artist, so I wanted to sort of bring that into my life too, uh, with performing. And so it was trying to figure out how, what could I sell? What could I do? And I. Well, we were going to different shows and the girls were trying to pick out things for their dressing room.

[00:27:21] That’s kind of how it started. And I realized that there wasn’t a lot of theater specific things, you know, you maybe like an opening night gift or something like that or something that said leadingly. So I thought about making candles. So it all started with candles. So I have a ton of candles in the shop that are all different.

[00:27:37]Uh, theater themes, uh, like opening night, leading lady, you know, some show themes once upon a December is stuff like that. So that’s been really cool and awesome for little gifts and for people to keep in their apartments or dressing room. And then it sort of expanded into, uh, audition logs that you can fill out and, uh, jewelry, matchboxes, all sorts of different little knickknacks that you could.

[00:28:01] Use as a theater lover or a good gifts as well. So, uh, yeah, it’s been great and I make them all myself and with help from my mom too.

[00:28:11] Dane Reis: [00:28:11] Beautiful. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready? All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:28:37]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:28:37] Mm. Um, definitely fear of failing. I think fear earlier was a huge thing, but, uh, and that still stays with me, but I don’t there wasn’t. I mean, I mean, I. I still did it, you know, you know, I, there wasn’t a lot of me that thought of a plan B. So I think that there wasn’t a lot that held me back. There’s a lot of, uh, still, you know, things floating around my brain of, ah, what if this happens?

[00:29:00] What if this happens, but I still always went and did it. And even during this time, I’m even more excited to do it. So maybe not a lot of things holding me back, but things that are still in the back of my mind, if that answered that.

[00:29:13] Dane Reis: [00:29:13] a hundred percent. And I think that’s, there’s so much insight to be taken from that because even if you are fearful, even if you have all these, what if this happens? What if that happens? Here’s the deal. You see You see people out there in the world doing things, making stuff happen, getting cast in shows.

[00:29:30] Doing, whatever , those people just aren’t void of fear and, and concerns. And self-consciousness, it’s just that you just did it anyway. You have to, everyone feels these things. You just gotta keep doing it.

[00:29:44]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:29:44] Yeah. Oh yeah. Especially if you want to, if this is what you want to do, it’s, it’s so rewarding, you know, it’s you just have to keep going. Yeah.

[00:29:53] Dane Reis: [00:29:53] For sure. And the second question, what is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:29:59]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:29:59] Hmm. Well, um, I think that, yeah, so this was a while ago. A fellow actor in a show was actually, it wasn’t even directly towards me, but it was kind of towards everyone in the cast. Um, uh, she said the sentence work with blinders on, and that stuck with me, uh, for a long time work with blinders on just whether you’re in rehearsal or whether you’re in an audition to just focus in on who you want to give your focus to if it’s the scene partner or the director or.

[00:30:27] Whoever, even though there might be a lot of people in the room and just focus on telling the story and not look left and right. You know, just look forward, focus on what you’re doing and how you are going to further the plot in the show, or if you’re at the audition, what you’ve worked on and what you’ve prepared to show these people, uh, without worrying too much about everyone else watching you and what people are saying behind you and everything.

[00:30:52]Um, especially also with. People succeeding in this industry, watching people, maybe succeeding at a faster rate, that’s always, you know, hard to watch, but if you work with binders on just look at yours, stay on your path, then you know, that’ll be, you’ll get there in a much better and easier way. Uh, so yeah, work with lenders on was a good one.

[00:31:14] Dane Reis: [00:31:14] Yes, work with blinders on it is really great advice. And I love that. Of course in the moment when you’re in performing then in the audition. And I really appreciate. That you brought up, you know, you’re looking at your other peers that are maybe succeeding in this industry faster than you are. And that kind of takes you into the social media rabbit holes that we can go down of self-loathing and it’s not a good place to be sure.

[00:31:42] You want to check in, see what stay updated a little bit, but you really do have to do you keep focused on what your skill set is, what you can control because. That’s the only way you can move forward.

[00:31:54]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:31:54] Yeah, it’s so true. And I think that helps me is, is just, uh, finding just gratitude for your friends when they succeed, you know, just being so, so, uh, congratulatory and grateful like that, it just helps you feel so much better. Helps them feel so much better. You know, you don’t have to live in that. That place of feeling.

[00:32:11] Oh, why, why can’t I do that? You know, you can be there and be super supportive and be at their show. Oh my gosh. It was some of my favorite things to do is just go to see my friend’s show. See their first Broadway show. See when they go on stage for the first time, that’s amazing. It makes you feel great.

[00:32:28]You know, so that I think that can help you stay away from that deep rabbit hole too.

[00:32:33] Dane Reis: [00:32:33] Yes, I think that’s really great  to. Stay grateful for everything that you have and be grateful and congratulatory for your friends.

[00:32:42] It’s such a great mindset. And the third, what is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on?

[00:32:55] Pause.

[00:32:56]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:32:56] Oh, yeah. Well, you know, actually I think what I was saying earlier about getting to dream again, you know, and getting to, uh, just imagine what it’s going to be like to perform again, is really working for me because I think right before, uh, COVID, you know, I. I was maybe a little down, like it was, the auditions were very packed.

[00:33:16] It was so hard to even get a call back for something. There were a lot of people trying to do this career and there still are, but it was just feeling like, wow, this is getting harder and harder each year. You know, I really got to stick with it and maybe. You know, You know, getting well, people around me seem to be a little Jaden, be a little, you know, uh, you know, uh, gosh, this audition is packed.

[00:33:37] I’m not going to go there kind of stuff. So now with that all being just shut down, it’s like a reset button. We can come back feeling totally new and fulfilled. Uh, And, you know, we got to spend time with family during this time or different loved ones and got to do other things in the theater. So I think that coming back is going to be really exciting.

[00:33:56] And for me, I think that’s going to work really well for me that I can stop during this whole time focused on other things, focus on the shop and art and teaching, and then come back and be okay. So excited again, and be wanting to go to all these auditions and wanting to. Uh, figure out what is going to be the show that I’m going to be in.

[00:34:15]Like, that’s just so fun to think about. So I think that that is working right now, even though it’s a hard time.

[00:34:21] Dane Reis: [00:34:21] Yeah. Great. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast, maybe. A piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:34:36]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:34:36] Hmm. You know, I think it’s, it’s funny, but I, I would say Instagram, honestly. I think it’s really amazing. I wouldn’t be able to have the shop without Instagram. That’s where I got all my customers are just people that, you know, theater lovers that can reach out for that kind of stuff. And for things like this, you know, uh, Finding you and finding other podcasts and the other people in the industry, I’ve connected with so many people that haven’t even met in real life that have, uh, we’ve exchanged.

[00:35:06] So many different things about the career, like, uh, things to do with the shop or, or maybe coachings that they’re doing or something like that. Uh, dance classes, these days, people doing dance classes on their Instastories, you know, you can do a live dance class. Like I think it’s incredible if you use it correctly.

[00:35:21] I think that people can get overwhelmed with social media too. So if you just set times and set certain people, you want to follow that make you feel great. I think it can be so helpful for this career.

[00:35:33]Dane Reis: [00:35:33] Yes. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:35:49]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:35:49] Hmm. I think that I would probably keep it the same. I think that, uh, I would think back and tell a younger Caitlin to, you know, not worry so much and to keep Vicky dreaming and, uh, you know, just to be excited about the things that are going to happen instead of maybe being, you know, anxious about, uh, what might not happen, you know?

[00:36:08] Uh, no, I. I think that everything happens for a reason. For sure. So I think, I think I’d keep it the same.

[00:36:14] Dane Reis: [00:36:14] Yes. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.

[00:36:25]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:36:25] Well, I think I’d say to, uh, I think don’t try to micromanage how it’s going to happen. I think that you have to get really clear on your dreams and. Figure out exactly what they are. Not everyone wants to be on Broadway or not. Everyone wants to do a tour or some people want to do something really specific.

[00:36:42] I think it’s important to get clear, write down exactly what you want, even in your wildest dreams, even if it’s just so out. Big you, you can’t even, you’re embarrassed to say how, what you want. You know, you just write it down, be really honest with yourself, what you want and put it out into the universe, work extremely hard and just trust that it’s going to happen and just have trust that things are gonna fall into place.

[00:37:07] And you’re going to be in the right place at the right time.

[00:37:10]Dane Reis: [00:37:10] Great. And to wrap up this interview, Caitlin, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:37:23]Caitlin Wilayto: [00:37:23] Yes. So you can connect with me on Instagram at  that’s my Instagram and I like to post on there a lot. So you’ll find me there. And for the Etsy shop, that’s. At little shop of Rose gold or a It’s the Rose gold comes from, Oh, I have a lot of things that are pink and Rose gold, and that seemed to be my thing.

[00:37:47] So I kind of ran with it with the shop, but you may have. I’ve seen our shop. If you went to Broadway con, we had a booth there in January. The shop is part of the Broadway makers Alliance, uh, which is Alliance of all the, uh, Broadway theme shops right now. And, uh, if you’re listening, then we are going to, they give you a discount code that I think we can talk about now.

[00:38:09] Yes. Oh, great. So the discount code for the shop is booked it, and you can put that in at checkout for 10% off of any of the items in the shop.

[00:38:21]Dane Reis: [00:38:21] Brilliant. And for everyone listening out there, I put the links to everything. Katelyn just said, in the description of this episode, you can also go to you forward slash Rose gold. That’ll take you straight to her Etsy shop and again, use that book DIT code so you can get 10% off anything in her shop.

[00:38:42]Kaitlin. It has been such a pleasure having you want to date. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:38:48] Caitlin Wilayto: [00:38:48] Thank you. That was so nice. And so nice to talk about some of the shows and stories. It was just so heartwarming.