We talk to Caitlin Muelder about “Playing make believe”, being our “Dirty Momma”, her advice to actors and her exciting role in “Hail, Caesar!”.
Caitlin Muelder, a midwest native, has had an incredible Acting career thus far – and it just keeps getting better! Not only has she worked on and off Broadway while living in New York, not only has she perform many one woman shows all over the country (including across the pond at the esteemed Edinburgh Fringe Festival), but Caitlin Muelder has also recently appeared in the latest Coen Brothers movie “Hail, Caesar!”.
Caitlin Muelder is not just an incredibly talented actress (Which she is – and we invite you to see for yourselves)–
–But she is also a visionary director and one hell of a witty writer! In fact, she is currently collaborating on a new series with an Emmy-Award winning writer (who unfortunately cannot be named at present), as well as having a few other pilot scripts being shopped around by different production companies. It sure is an exciting time for Caitlin Muelder!
Caitlin Muelder has a bit of a special place in our hearts here at “The Dirty Filmmaker”. In fact, we often call her our “Dirty Momma”. Initially a teacher of ours in a private acting class she and her husband taught (her husband by the way is the wonderful photographer behind all the images you see in this post, as well as many of our own!), Caitlin took on more of a mentor-ish role when we started developing Dirty Talk; often reading drafts of ours until the wee hours of the morning. She continuously cheered us on by helping us with the script, aiding us during production, and even by playing the part of the questionably-European, eccentric artist and gallery owner, Malvina.
Caitlin Muelder has been an incredible inspiration to us during our careers and we cannot sing her praises enough. She is truly one of the most loyal, considerate, honest, intelligent and wonderfully hysterical people we are fortunate to know.
So without further adieu, let’s introduce you…
Caitlin, tell us a bit about your one-woman shows?
My first one-woman show started off as a thesis project in my graduate program. I did a workshop of it in New York, and then performed it there before taking it to my undergrad school for a guest artist performance, and then continued on to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In my experience the hardest step is always the initial one. Once I’ve taken action, there is no looking back. If you can start it, there is always a way to see it through. Things may take longer than you’d like (or first imagined), but if you keep going, you’ll find a way or you’ll find a way to adapt, which will provide the solution to whatever obstacles you encounter.
How long have you been producing you own work?
I made my first short films in high school. I firmly believe that creating your own content is vital work as an artist. It helps you explore and refine the stories you feel compelled to tell. And it reminds you why you got into this art/ business in the first place. It also helps you take control over your own career.
I’ve been playing “make believe” and telling stories since I was a little kid, it’s very rewarding to be able to do so in so many different platforms and in so many different ways.
You were recently in the new Coen Brothers film “Hail, Caesar!” (woop! woop!). Can you tell us a little bit about that?
It was a dream job. I’ve been a huge fan of the Coen brothers’s films for a long time. They were (and remain) at the very top of my list, for directors and writers I most want to work with. I certainly hope to do so again.
I cannot say enough good things about Joel and Ethan. In addition to being two of the most important filmmakers in the history of cinema (you don’t say that about people everyday), they are also incredibly funny, generous and kind people. I could go on and on for days, singing their praises, so I will just say this, they are the very best!
In your opinion, what steps did you take in your earlier career that helped you get into that audition room, as well as many others?
I will speak to what I believe helps generally, with getting into any important rooms: clarity of purpose, hard work, self knowledge, experience, training, knowledge of the art form, knowledge of the directors work, writers, casting directors, genre, prior work experience, keeping the faith and luck.
Fantastic, laugh out loud funny and a face that lights up the screen!”- Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, on working with Caitlin in “Hail, Caesar!”.
What is one trick or mantra you carry with you for every audition or meeting room?
It’s important to remember that you are showing them how you see it, how you want to do it, and then staying open to other ideas. If you show them your genuine take on a role, and you commit fully to it, it goes a long way to showing the room who you are as an artist (and person), and it takes the pressure off of getting it “right”. If you stay open to their ideas, it becomes easy to incorporate adjustments, and then you’re off and running on a fun collaboration- which can help to book the room if not the job.
We call you our “Dirty Momma”, and genuinely believe that Dirty Talk wouldn’t have been as wonderful if it weren’t for your huge contribution and continuous support. You play the character of Malvina. In your own words, tell us a little bit about her, where you drew inspiration, and what it’s like stepping into her world?
“Vell, my baby dahrlinks, Mamma Owl loves her babies!”
Malvina is a woman of the world. When you first approached me about playing her, I immediately saw her as a kindred spirit to some one like Edna Mode. Life is art and art is life for Malvina, and so too are her identity and persona.
If you could, what is the best piece of advice you would give others at the beginning of their careers?
Work on (train and practice and embrace) your art, learn the business, and try to find a happy balance between the two. Have other interests to keep you both inspired and help to distract you from the up and down/ hot and cold aspects of a career in the arts. That and – keep trying new stuff.
What is one tool or resource you’d like to share with our readers?
Resource – the world around you! Get away from the phone every now and then. Participate “IN” the moment, event, or experience. Talk “TO” people, not at them. Look up and be involved in “it” while “it” is going on. You can process it better that way, than keeping the world at arms length via a device. And if you can process it, you can retain it and reflect on it, it will enhance your work. It will also make you happier.
Trust us, this woman is going to do incredible things!
Are you a filmmaker? Got a production you’re working on? Do you have a unique story you think people should know about? Get in touch here and you may see your story on The Dirty Filmmaker!