This week’s #castified winner is Caroline DeGraeve! Following her appearance on Seal Team’s episode 2×17, she uploaded a picture of herself in a promo still to social media, earning her some Castifi Swag and a few other goodies!
Caroline works on both sides of the camera. Her experience as an actor and a filmmaker feed into each other, giving her an edge. Or could it be something else, maybe a little “je ne sais quoi” from her French roots? If we piqued your interest, keep reading!
I believe that you are French originally? Was this helpful for your career in Los Angeles?
I am originally from Normandy, France and moved to the Coachella Valley when I was very young. I still live in the Palm Springs area. I can say being French has helped me in a sense that I have had more contact with different cultures and, by extension, it has afforded me a greater understanding of people.
As different as people are, in their truest forms, people are the same everywhere. In every culture, there are differences in behavior and communication norms but beyond that, people are motivated by the same emotions and respond accordingly. I believe the more you travel and the more cultures you come into contact with, the more you realize we aren’t all that different from one another.
In acting, I can tell the character’s story through behavior, feelings, or motivations… it depends on what the role calls for. Some roles are more intuitive for me while others can be more technical. A technical role would be one that calls for an accent or knowledge in a field unfamiliar to me… something I would need to study or practice. An intuitive role is one that purely relies on my emotional history and the ability to communicate it.
Can you tell us about your experience with Castifi?
My experience with Castifi has been great! Seal Team was my favorite set to be on but I’ve been on a couple of web series and Demi Lovato’s music video last year. Castifi has been good to me!
How was working on Seal Team? I believe you ran into David Boreanaz?
Seal Team was fun and the cast & crew were great to work with. Typically, on any set, if you’re a Background Actors, it’s not a good idea to talk to or bother the principles. One day, I was paired with one of the regular Seal Team members and I had a question about a phrase in the script. I asked my scene partner what it meant and he didn’t know. He, being on set with David Boreanaz often, had no qualms about calling him over to ask. David was very down-to-earth and chatted with us for a bit. That was cool!
You are an independent Filmmaker. Does background acting mix well with this? Do you ever run your business from Background Holding?
I run my business from everywhere… including from the bathtub! I’m always working! I would recommend doing Background Acting work for anyone who is serious about working on bigger productions. It’s important to know what all departments do. You can observe a lot from being an Extra.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors and filmmakers?
I would tell anyone that is interested in making a film to start with a story, a few friends, get a camera or phone or whatever, and just make the movie. True, it might really suck but the experience will be invaluable. After that, make another movie and it’ll probably be better because you’ll know more and you’ll have more confidence. I say, if you want it, just go for it.
Acting is a grind: make connections, be ok with some non-pay gigs in the beginning, get your footage, make a reel, and most importantly, smile and stay motivated!