Christy Scott Cashman
her January 1999 cover shoot for
Imagine Magazine. An Imagine photo
by Michael Naimo
Bring up the subject of her
three consecutive Imagine covers, and Christy Scott
Cashman becomes a bit uneasy. To borrow a catch phrase
from WAYNE'S WORLD, the up and coming Boston actress
feels "she's not worthy." Cashman explains, "I was
flattered when Carol Patton asked me to pose for the
past three January covers, but I also felt like I
didn't deserve it as far as what merits being on the
cover of a magazine. I don't feel as though I've done
enough yet in this industry; I'm still in the process
of achieving my goals."
Although Cashman feels she
hasn't "done enough," she certainly has done a lot
over the past decade to become the who she is today:
A sought-after local feature film actress who also
managed to squeeze in time to get married and have
Born and raised in North Carolina
with nine brothers and sisters, Cashman began her
journey in the entertainment business when she was
19 years old. Like so many other starry-eyed young
women with cover girl looks, she packed up, headed
off to Hollywood and eventually got into modeling.
"I was approached by a few modeling agencies who helped
me put a portfolio together, but nothing really panned
out. A year later, I went to a convention where I
was approached by two modeling agents - one from Germany
and one from New York," said Cashman. The German agent
insisted that working in Germany was the best way
to get jobs in New York. "The New York agent said,
'If you want to model in New York, the best way is
to go straight to New York.' He offered to represent
me and pay to put me up in an apartment on Madison
With this carrot dangling,
Cashman headed off to New York, where she was shocked
to find that her Madison Avenue apartment wasn't exactly
Madison Avenue chic. "I walked in and was horrified.
The apartment was filthy and extremely tiny, with
a narrow hallway, one bedroom and a 'living area'
with two sets of bunkbeds." To make matters worse,
she had to share the small space with four male models.
The scene that summer was straight out of MODELS INC.
- 16 year-old models coming and going, staying out
all hours, being propositioned by older men, drugs
at their beckoned call. "There were guys offering
to take me to Paris and drugs were everywhere," says
Cashman. "You end up becoming jaded because nothing
surprises you anymore."
Christy and son Jay
Despite the temptations, Cashman
managed to stay focused. "If you get sucked into it,
I think it's because you have a tremendous void in
your life. Luckily, I was in observing mode and my
void was being filled with daily adventures of my
life." She ended up modeling in New York for a successful
three-year run. Her highlights included working as
the "house model" for Vera Wang for a few seasons;
doing fashion shows on the Geraldo show and Good Morning
America; and appearing on the cover of Women's Wear
Daily, the industry's premier pub.
Her career path took an unexpected
turn when she attended a party for the King of Sweden
in Manhattan. "I met some Hollywood people who encouraged
me to move to L.A. and try my hand at acting. They
suggested I start out by reading scripts and gave
me some leads into Paramount." She took their advice,
packed up once again and headed back to the West Coast.
Once she arrived, she took odd modeling jobs and began
her foray into acting. She enrolled at Janet Alhanti
acting studios and landed a job as a script reader
at Paramount studios. "I read scripts like THE PHANTOM,
THE SAINT, JADE and SHOWGIRLS. It was interesting
to see the scripts I had read go from paper to screen;
it taught me a lot about what works and what doesn't.
At this point, I had the acting bug full force, but
I didn't know how to follow through on it."
Christy outside her
in Boston's Back Bay.
Although she never got her
big break in Hollywood, Cashman did manage to get
some acting experience under her belt by doing extra
work on films and commercials. But after two and half
years, she "got tired of the whole L.A. thing" and
headed back to New York.
There her life took another
unexpected turn. She met her now husband Jay Cashman
who is in the construction business. "We were in the
throes of dating; I was doing odd jobs here and there,
not really looking hard for anything. It was then
that Jay said to me, 'If acting is what you want,
then do something with it.' So I went ahead an wrote
a short called THE LITTLE THINGS." The film ended
up being her baptism-by-fire film school. With no
technical film knowledge whatsoever, Cashman threw
herself into the project and shot the film in six
days using New York actors, a Boston crew, and her
husband's apartment. "I had no idea what I was doing,"
explains Cashman. "I was cavalier about it; just going
through the paces as if 'anybody can do this.' I learned
so much about the anatomy of film. You start out thinking
it's art, but it's really such a technical business."
The film, which focuses on the little, annoying day-to-day
things that can break up an otherwise solid relationship,
screened at 20 festivals and won a merit award at
the Long Island film festival.
After this first taste of
filmmaking, Cashman partnered up with Ed Slattery
to produce and star in THE CARRIE WHITE SHOW, a television
pilot along the lines of Saturday Night Live and Gary
Shandling. The pair shot three episodes in East Boston
and took it on the road looking for distributors and
financing. She got some interest from a studio in
New York who promised to help finance the show and
air it in the tri-state area. However, every time
she was told the show would air, it never did. Cashman
eventually found out that evangelists owned the studio
and that the show was much too racy for their tastes.
She decided to shelve the project, but is happy to
report that there has been renewed interest in the
Christy and her dog
Nowadays Cashman is focusing
her time on being an actress because, as she explains,
"if I'm ever going to do it, now's the time. As far
as age goes in this business, I can't really afford
to wait ten years." Fortunately for Cashman, she's
had no trouble keeping busy. She started with NIGHT
DEPOSIT, a short film directed by fellow North Carolinian
Monica Mitchell in 1999. According to Cashman, "Monica
is one of those people who sets her mind on doing
something and then does it. This was a refreshing
change from L.A., where a lot of people sit around
coffee shops talking about what films they're going
to write or make, but never actually do anything."
In the film, Cashman plays
the lead role of Claire, a woman who secretly saves
sperm from her various lovers and sells it to female
buyers. The film won the audience award at Slamdance
and screened at festivals around the country, including
last year's Nantucket festival.
According to Cashman, "It's
a great piece for my reel because I look different
in every scene. I don't have a lot of dialogue, which
was a great lesson for me. If you can make your movie
more interesting by having the actors be silent, then
you know it's a good movie." Cashman received a lot
of positive feedback on the film from festival-goers,
although she believes it's difficult to develop a
character in a short film. "In a short film, people
tend to look at the concept of the film more than
the actor; it's more of a director's calling card."
This past year Cashman played
a small speaking part in the Hollywood film WHAT'S
THE WORSE THAT COULD HAPPEN, starring Danny DeVito.
The scene she was in was shot in her and her husband's
house in the Back Bay. The film is set for release
June 1, 2001.
Her first opportunity to play
the lead in a feature film happened when Cashman was
5 months pregnant on SERIAL INTENTIONS. The thriller
was written Mark Grant, a first time filmmaker and
full-time software reseller, and directed by Brad
Jacques who shot the film on a 13-day schedule last
September. According to Cashman, "Grant is another
person who sets his mind to doing something and gets
it done. Just being around these type of people is
an inspiration." Cashman plays a police rookie who
gets the chance to partner up with a more seasoned
FBI agent on a serial killer case. Post-production
just wrapped and the film screened locally on May
15th. Currently, Grant is seeking distribution.
And as if that role and being
pregnant wasn't enough, Cashman managed to simultaneously
work in a lead role in BARSTOW 2008, a comedy directed
by Bob Morrow. She played the role of a daughter who
never wanted to marry a dreamer like her mother did
and instead dated men who have life "figured out"
- namely, men of nursing home age. The film co-stars
Mindy Sterling (the German frau from AUSTIN POWERS)
and Paul Wilson (CHEERS), who was awarded Best Actor
honors by Billy Crystal at the Aspen Comedy Film Festival.
Cashman followed up this performance
with a lead role in a series of shorts called STOCKING
STUFFERS, directed by Angel Connell. She refers to
the project as "the hardest job she's ever done because
we rehearsed the heck out of every scene. It's really
a testament to Angel, because he took his job very
seriously and encouraged me to stretch as an actor
and look for subtext." The project allowed Cashman
to play a Marilyn Monroe-type character, as well as
the female lead in a "silly" love scene and a murder
In between projects, Cashman
managed to take time out to have her first child who
is now 3 1/2 months old. And without skipping a beat,
she's back on the set playing a reporter on THE STRANGLER'S
WIFE, a murder mystery/thriller, executive-produced
by Roger Corman in conjunction with CityScape studios.
Cashman manages to keep her
prolific film career going by having a full-time babysitter
and the attitude that "if I keep pursuing what makes
me happy, I'll be a happier person and a better mom.
The truth is I have 12 fewer hours in a day than I
need. I'm juggling it all, but not exceptionally well,"
she explains. And through all the twists and turns
that have led her to now, Cashman has learned to accept
one thing: "Whenever there's a transition in my life,
often what I get out of the transition is not what
I expected at all. I never thought that I'd be married
or have a baby right now. I never thought I'd be working
more as an actor here in Boston than in L.A. So now
when I feel a transition coming on, I say 'Okay, I'll
hang on for the ride.' If I open up and allow it to
happen, I can end up going down a much more interesting
and successful path."
As for the future, Cashman
hopes to tap into her physical comedy skills and play
the female version of Jim Carrey. "In general, I love
being in front of the camera because every time it's
a challenge. I'm not a Meryl Streep/method acting
type performer. Instead, I'm usually just being me,
but another part of me. And I'm always working on
how to stretch those different parts of who I am."
is the creative director of Nitrogen Marketing, a
new advertising and branding agency. When she's not
writing for print, broadcast and the Web, she's working
on her various screenplay drafts.
Gretje Ferguson Photography.