By Mark Saldana
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Cassidy Schlitz caught the acting bug at a young age. Flash forward to the present after an extensive acting education and Cassidy is now pursuing her life -long dream and performing in movies. Currently based in L.A. the vibrant young actress scored a role in the Austin production 3 References. Cassidy now has returned to her college town of Austin to promote the film at the 2013 Austin Film Festival. During the festival, I enjoyed a most pleasant telephone interview with the sweet and exuberant actress. We discussed her pursuit of her dream career, her work on 3 References and her recent appearance as a contestant on the Price is Right game show. We also agreed on what place has the best restrooms in Austin.
Mark: Are you here in Austin for the film festival?
Cassidy: I am. I’m actually flying back to L.A. tonight, but I am here for the film festival and I am having a great time going to the panels, seeing great films. I saw short films yesterday and they were so good. All of them had children in them—child actors. They were so smart and so funny! They really understood the concept that the director was trying to give out.
Mark: Tell me about your acting background.
Cassidy: I started acting when I was about eight or nine and I first did a commercial, a regional commercial. My mother taught at the Humphreys School—Theater Under the Stars—for many years and she the spark of interest and she immediately put me in dance classes, musical theater classes, gymnastics. She taught me how to sing. Then in high school I started doing plays and I got hooked with dramas and I would read like two plays a week. My big leap into film was when I studied at The Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts. That happened when I was seventeen, for a summer. It was probably one of the best experiences. I am so grateful that my parents allowed me to spend about five to six weeks in New York by myself. I learned a lot and it really solidified the dream that I had as a young girl to move to Hollywood to be in movies and TV. Then I studied at St. Edward’s University where I got my Bachelor of Arts in Theatrical Performance. Six months after graduating, I moved to California. I did 3 References after graduation.
Mark: Describe your role in 3 References.
Cassidy: The main character spends the night with me and he never calls me again. What I like so much about my character is that I got to chew him out and tell him, “That you can’t do that to a girl! And you can’t treat us that way!”
Mark: Have you in your life ever had the opportunity to face a not-so-great ex and give him a piece of your mind?
Cassidy: Oh of course! (Laughs) Every girl my age has had the opportunity to let their voice be heard and be that strong willed woman that we all try to be and let a guy know that we’re not just a piece of meat and we have something to say and that we’re worth a lot more than they would think.
Mark: Austin is certainly a highlight of the film. Were you happy to be back in town making the movie and shooting at some of the iconic places Austin is known for?
Cassidy: I have so much nostalgia, driving down South Congress and seeing Hey Cupcake and 6th St. The Driskill is so great. It is such a beautiful hotel.
Mark: I just love hanging out there!
Cassidy: I would just sneak in there to use the wash room.
Mark: Aren’t their restrooms gorgeous?
Cassidy: Yes! It is the most beautiful bathroom I have ever been in.
Mark: What else do you have coming up?
Cassidy: Nothing coming up other than attending my acting class. I have been talking to producers and casting directors in L.A. I have an agent and a manager and I work closely with a production company and that has really helped me out. There is stuff in the works, but nothing for sure.
Mark: With your theater background, do you currently do any stage work?
Cassidy: Not in L.A. Mainly because of scheduling conflicts. I want to do stage in L.A. because a lot of it is avant garde and they have a great classical theater scene in L.A. I really like going and seeing the performances, the different types of theater work and the different shows they put on.
Mark: Okay, in one of the emails I received from your publicist, it is mentioned that you were a contestant on the Price is Right, so you have to tell me about that experience.
Cassidy: I didn’t know at the time, but the very next day after that episode aired, I found out that I am the second highest winner in game show history in a single episode. It was so unbelievable! I couldn’t hear my name when I was called down and my friend was pushing me down the aisle and I ran down and I was exploding. It was like an out of body experience. I had so much adrenaline. It was probably the most adrenaline I ever had go through my body. I couldn’t stop laughing! I won a BMW! I was so excited because I always wanted one. I had convulsions and I fell to the ground.
3 References had its World Premiere at the 20th annual Austin Film Festival and was an entry in Write/Rec competition. The film tells the story of a chauvinistic player named Nick (Christian Swacker) who has a penchant for one night stands. When he falls for a woman named Michelle (Harper Graham), Nick faces the challenge of proving his worthiness as a boyfriend.