After Acting School: Cait's Story

01 Sep 2017

After Acting School: Cait's Story

2015 Acting graduate Cait Burley is currently starring in American Beauty Shop at KXT, and has  been very busy on stage and screen since she finished her course here at The Academy of Film, Theatre and television. 

We caught up with her to find out more about post-graduation life! 

What have you been up to since graduating?

Since graduating I’ve kept myself fairly busy working across stage and screen as well as continuing my training here in Sydney and abroad.

Last year I played Bubba in Ray Lawler’s iconic Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (Epicentre Theatre Company) and Elizabeth in a much more recent Australian work Flood (The Old 505) by the wonderful Chris Issaccs and directed by Charles Sanders. This year I had the absolute pleasure of playing Chorus 2 in Dan Evans incredible, ‘Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (ATYP) directed by Fraser Corfield, wherein a cast of 4 take on over 50 characters in a punchy 100 minute re-telling of Sophocle’s Theban Plays set in Australian suburbia.

I am currently in the final weeks of rehearsals for Dana Lynn Formby’s heartfelt play American Beauty Shop running at the Kings Cross Theatre Bakehouse from August 25th - September 16th about the resilience of women over three generations and what they do to survive… Come along! You can get tickets here. 

Screen-wise I’ve continued filming YouTube sketches with Neel Kolhatkur (#Equality, Modern Educayshun and The Privilege Game) and played Chloe in a Screen Australia funded web-series with Frenchy and The Roudabout Crew (The Australiana Hostel). I’ve also been a part of a number of music videos including a fun Dracula clip with one of my favourite singer/songwriters, Ainsley Farrell and short films including the quirky love story about a young couple’s prom night Love Car (

LOVE ROAD - Short Film from Mathilde Nocquet on Vimeo.

 Why did you want to study acting?

I think story-telling is such an important part of our human evolution. I’ve always loved books and having my thoughts and experiences echoed in some faraway land of the imagined, or rooted in history. Stories allow us to imagine ourselves beyond their present, to help them grapple with their secret selves, or to understand what is happening inside their dearest friend or to civilisations around the world. When these stories are brought to life through live-theatre or on a screen our sense of alienation is decreased, I know how much stories have personally affirmed me through my soul-searching moments.

I wanted to study acting because I wanted to match my intuition to the framework of a script, learn how to safely and repeatedly invest and portray a character’s journey for an audience. I wanted to expand my range of expression, improve my vocal stamina and ultimately I chose to study more because I want to continue acting for the rest of my life.

What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned about the industry since graduating?

No one else can do you like you do. Just keep going.

You have to be hyper vigilant about everything. No one’s going to do it for you.

For auditions, disobligate yourself from having to get the job and just have fun.

Remember to ‘play’. Everyone says it, but really don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s not heart surgery, no ones going to die. The stakes might be high for the character but they’re not for you. And it’s not about you anyway. It’s about the story!

How do you think AFTT helped prepare you for the industry?

AFTT provided a great environment for me to fully explore and own my truth and mistakes without judgement. I think that it’s really important to have a strong sense of self and your values before getting into this industry. Whilst studying I was also able to work alongside many industry professionals which was just INVALUABLE experience.

What were your favourite things about AFTT?

Oh goodness ! There were a lot. We had some phenomenal teachers and I’m still in contact with many of them. There is a lot of passion and creativity in those doors. Our three major productions for me will probably continue to be my most memorable.

What advice do you have for current students?

Start with your truth. Remember to fall on your face often. ‘Failing’ is the quickest step to your next breakthrough.

Have fun, remember that you chose to study acting and it is a privilege.

Be respectful. Listen. Don’t be late. Do your warm-ups. Play.

Find out more about studying Acting or apply now. 

American Beauty Shop
August 25- Sept 16 @KXTbAKEHOUSE
It’s hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps in this economy - Sue should know. It’s harder when you’ve got kids, even whip-smart, talented ones like Judy. Sue has big dreams for both her basement beauty shop and her daughter, who’s anxiously waiting for a letter from Berkeley that could change her life. Armed with tough love, combative humour and an uncompromising work ethic, Sue is struggling to balance her own livelihood and Judy’s future. 

A heartfelt play about the true cost of dreams.

Directed by Anna McGrath; Produced by Oleg Pupovac; Set & Costume Design Ellen Stanistreet; Sound Design Ella Griffin; Production Manager Sean Nolan; Graphic Design Tara Clark
With Charmaine Bingwa, Caitlin Burley, Jill McKay Amanda Stephens Lee, Janine Watson