Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started out with ambitions to dance with the New York City Ballet and on that path, auditioned as a dancer for a professional children’s theatre production when I was 12. I ended up completely bombing the routine, but the director saw something in me and asked if I would humor her and read for a speaking role. I ended up booking the role and never looked back!
A few years later, I discovered I had a passion for performing comedy when I landed the role of Olivia in “Twelfth Night.” I auditioned for Viola (the lead) and was trying not to be disappointed to be cast as Olivia (the second lead), because of course so many people would have been thrilled to be in my shoes. Olivia is a very fun character and I started to really enjoy bringing her to life, and through playing the truth of the scenes, began to get big laughs in rehearsals. There was something about those laughs that was addictive – I started pursuing comedic roles much more intentionally after that.
When it comes to modeling, I was 5’10” by the age of 14, and it was a career that came to me more than anything, in the beginning, which I recognize is a very lucky thing and something I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. Ironically, I was so concerned about the stigma around the “model-turned-actress” that I hesitated pursuing it at all!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
It’s very interesting to me how small of a world it really is, in entertainment. Several years back, when I lived in LA, I was at an awards show after party with a friend, and we ended up spending some time chatting with a very well-known showrunner. A few years later, after I’d moved back to New York, a different friend introduced me to a producer she knew in the city, as she knew we’d get along wonderfully. About a year into our friendship we ended up discovering that this producer is best friends with the showrunner my other friend and I had been hanging out with, and beyond that, had been his (platonic!) date that evening. We laughed that she had most likely seen my friend and I with him and rolled her eyes, writing us off as fangirls.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Be a whole person. It’s common in the arts to get tunnel-visioned on “success,” however each individual defines that, and spend most if not all of your time and energy pursuing a singular goal. At least in performing, being a well-rounded person with a variety of passions, interests, a personal life, and a community around you is not only critical for your mental health, but makes you a more interesting and dynamic performer. The more life experiences you have, the more you can bring to each role.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My mother, first and foremost, for never trying to talk me out of a career as an actor or in any creative field. When I was a minor, she was the one taking me to auditions and go-sees, accompanying me on set, paying for my headshots, et cetera, always with encouragement and positivity. As a young person, that level of unconditional love and unconditional support is crucial. As I got older, I had the privilege of studying under some amazing coaches who not only helped me tap into elements of myself that improved my craft, but who are just interesting, incredible people.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Outside of my career as an actor, model, and sketch comedian, I also have a lifelong passion for philanthropy and advocacy, especially around women’s rights, children’s rights, and animal rights. At age 12 I went door-to-door raising money for the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. In my early 20s, I co-founded IBG Inc., a foundation that raised money for underfunded causes and microcharities across the globe by uniting philanthropy and the arts with fan-focused events.
Additionally, I served for 18 months as a lead volunteer organizer for Hillary for America, I’m a founding member of Kirsten Gillibrand’s Young Leaders Council, and a member of: New-York Historical Society’s Women’s History Council, DNC Young Professionals Leadership Council, Eleanor’s Legacy Innovation Council, Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Council, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York’s Young Visionaries, Robin Hood Foundation’s The Forest Junior Board, UNICEF USA’s NextGen Committee, UN Women Metro New York’s Young Professionals Committee, and the New York Junior League.
I formerly co-chaired the Ms. Foundation’s Young Professionals Advisory Committee, and I currently co-chair the Clinton Foundation’s 2030 Leadership Council, serve on the board of directors for Students Disrupting. I’m a District Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
Many years ago, I remembered reading an article, and Helen Hunt said that “f*** regret” is something that she, at least at the time, lives by. I took it to heart, as that idea of rejecting regret helps me focus on the positive aspects of something, learn from the negative aspects of what went wrong, and see everything as an opportunity to find what is meant for me. For example, if I don’t get a role that ends up being in a wildly successful project, I see if there is anything I can learn from the audition process and ultimately realize that not being on that job means I’m free for what IS meant for me.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@caileighscott on Instagram!
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
No, but other references/online presence that might help:
1) IMDb.me/Caleigh Scott
Also in my free time I’m an archer, equestrian, dancer, and bookworm!