We had the good fortune of connecting with Caylee Cowan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caylee, how do you think about risk?
The biggest risk is not taking any risk. I’ve taken many risks in my acting career. For instance, taking a risqué role that might perpetuate a certain perspective about who I am as person. While I know it’s a character, some might have a hard time understanding that. I’ve also turned down roles, and that’s a risk too. As an actor, you audition a lot, and you’re hungry for work, but as an artist you have to really think about what you’re creating into the world. Artists are sensitive and they feel things deeply and express it in their movements, in their words, in sounds, and in paint and colors. Sometimes, it’s a burden to carry all these emotions – to be so sensitive. When my head’s too loud, and it’s hard to hear my heart; I do the thing I’m afraid of just so I’m not afraid of it anymore.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an actress, but I also sing, and dance, and paint, and write. I’m an artist. That’s what I am, and I think it’s what we all are deep down. I’d tell you what sets me apart from others, but there isn’t much that separates me from you. I got where I am today professionally because I never gave up, and no, it wasn’t easy. I read a book when I was a teenager called “the courage to create” by Rollo May – I have a couple thousand books in my personal library, but out of all the books I’ve read, this one is my favorite. It’s pages are highlighted and dog-eared to death. A quote that always stuck out to me was, “Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience.” Those are words to ruminate. Passion is not about feeling good. It’s about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same latin root. It doesn’t mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer. As an artist, you feel things very deeply, and that is a blessing and a curse. You feel the world around you, and empathize a great deal. It can be painful, but because of that struggle, you are called to create. That struggle births the desire to bring something into being that is ultimately about love and light in order to cast out the darkness. I’ve heard the saying, “good artists copy, great artists steal,” but I think that the people who say that are missing the point. Good artists copy, great artists steal, but real artists create.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s this little speak easy that play’s Jazz on Thursday nights called “Black Rabbit Rose” that I use to like going to, but it’s been closed due to the pandemic. A lot of my favorite spots like Samuel French, Amoeba records, and Cafe 101 have closed. Even simply driving down the streets of Los Angeles has changed. Small businesses are boarded up, and there are tents on Hollywood and Sunset blvd. The other day I had tears in my eyes when I saw a homeless man passed out on the sidewalk in broad daylight. How can anyone see this and not feel pain? Only the locals, who have become numb and desensitized, can walk past with a blind eye. This is my city and it’s my favorite place to be, but it’s changed. It’s not how it use to be. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Daniel Poplawsky, Chistopher Meyers, Zoe Rose Schwarts, and Devin Alpanian