Showcase Success: A Cinderella Story

Calling her’s a Cinderella story doesn’t do her justice.

This business is hard. For those who truly love acting, the trials are well worth it, but no one will deny that the lifestyle of a professional actor can be full of sacrifice and struggle.

Any time you’re feeling like you just can’t keep your head above water, remember that you’re not alone. I had the great good fortune to speak with a recent Cast It showcase winner, Kandace Caine, and was reminded just how much of our careers can be within our power to shape.

Originally from London, Kandace is an LA resident of 10 months. Theatrical training was hard-won. Though pursuing degrees in both Media Studies and Drama and Theatre Studies, Kandace had plans to be a Media Executive. Those plans changed, as they so often do, when she discovered that her true talent and passion belonged to acting. A friend convinced her to audition for theatre academies in London and Kandace was accepted to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Wood Green, London.

Finding financial resources for her education was a struggle. She took out a loan from the bank, but the fight for continued funding left her temporarily homeless. After failing a class due to the disorganization of her living conditions, Kandace knew she had to do whatever it took to deliver professional performances. She studied lines at the library or in her car. She persevered, completed the course, and visited LA. Kandace realized at once that she would have to do some serious saving to afford the move to Los Angeles. She returned to London, trained as a teacher so she could be a drama instructor on the side, and qualified as one of the youngest teachers in the course. Though she found it difficult to balance acting and teaching, the former began to take off, she booked a role in The Human Centipede 2, wrote and directed in London and LA.

In 2014 she moved to Los Angeles and pursued her career in earnest. Kandace entered every acting competition she could find and started seeing results. When she entered the Cast It talent showcase she was stunned. In her words: “I couldn’t believe it. I have had so many opportunities in the last 11 months of living in Los Angeles. I am just so thankful to everyone who has supported me and believed in me.”

If Kandace Caine’s story doesn’t light a fire in your heart, open your eyes. Calling her’s a Cinderella story doesn’t do her justice. No prince waltzed in at the final hour to sweep her off to Hollywood. She struggled, just like any of us, but her strength and perseverance make her extraordinary. As she sees it, “If you just say yes to what you definitely can do, it seems like more people want you to do things.”

So the next time you’re tempted to give in to the hardships of professional acting, think about Kandace learning lines in her car and going on to win the Cast It Talent showcase. Cast It is one of many resources that is available to all actors, and Kandace made superb use of it. It was just a matter of taking that first risk. “I hope that people apply to the showcase because you just don’t know until you apply,” mused Kandace when I spoke with her. “I think we as actors have to keep up our training…you do have to keep up your research…If you’re not in it you’re not going to win it.”

This showcase is one small stepping stone in her path, but with her fortitude, I have no doubt it will lay foundation for an incredible career. Thanks, Kandace, for reminding us to make our own dreams come true.

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com