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Caitlin Gold

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Caitlin Gold works hard. The Toronto native checks BackStage.com for casting notices every day and submits herself for every character that even somewhat matches her description. And she often auditions up to 10 times a week, sometimes going to four calls in one day. Last summer she saw a notice that particularly sparked her interest, for a half-hour comedy Web series called Winners.

"I'm fascinated by the way the media is changing and all these new avenues are opening up for actors thanks to the Internet," says Gold, a nonunion actor. "I thought a Web series would be both exciting and new but also a great opportunity for further exposure." The series was averaging 30,000 hits per episode.

The audition, part of a rolling casting call, was held last August. Gold read from sides that she knew weren't anything like the scripts she would perform if she were cast. But she left the audition feeling fairly confident, based on her on-camera experience in student films, independent movies, and shorts. Still, the weeks wore on without a word. "I thought I had done a decent job with the material," she says. "That confidence waned since I didn't hear anything. But I'm pretty good with brushing those things off and moving forward."

Then in October, Gold got an email informing her she'd landed a guest spot on an episode in the show's second season: the role of Elizabeth, a wholesome girl who keeps her boyfriend on a tight leash. Her scenes were shot in November in Connecticut. Jon Saks, a writer on the show, remembers Gold as a consummate professional. "Not only did she pitch a perfect comedic game," he says, "but she also showed a keen eye in knowing when to use her improvisational talents to help build the scene."

In addition to hard work and perseverance, a healthy dose of perspective helps Gold deal with the waiting and rejection. She moved to New York a little more than two years ago to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in a rigorous, condensed program without breaks, not even for summer. That experience drilled her in the art of staying focused on auditioning as a process, not a result.

"I look at each audition as an opportunity to perform, not a potential job," Gold says. Currently she's filming another Web series, The Basement, in which she has a lead role. "One critical thing I have learned is not to sweat the things that are beyond my control. So many factors go into casting a project, and talent is just one of many. I've learned to just trust in my abilities and let go of the rest."

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