Check out our latest interview with Casey here!
Hey Casey! Welcome and thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! Could you give us a short introduction about yourself?
Sure! My name is Casey Burke. I’m an actress based in Los Angeles, and I am 15 years old.
I was wondering what your age would be. 15 years old, so of course this means that you still have to go to school. How do you combine school and filming?
Yes I go to a public high school, and they have actually been very cool about my job on The Middle so far. I am required to do a certain number of school hours on set, and the studio gives me a slip to show to my school. I just have to be sure to make up the work!
It’s great that your school gives you the space to be an actor! How do your classmates feel about seeing you on TV?
They are all pretty cool about it, they get excited when a new episode is on and they all text me straight after saying things like “You did a great job!” They are all really supportive, and I’m very lucky.
That’s really awesome! So you live in LA now, were you born there?
No, actually I was born in New York, but both my parents are Australian, so we moved to Australia when I was about 5, and we moved from there to LA. I also lived in London for a time, so there has been lots of traveling!
That is so cool! Why did you move to LA, was it because of your acting or just because your parents wanted to?
I was actually super shy when we moved. We moved because of my dad’s job, and I sort of fell into acting from there. I started with theatre to try and become more outgoing, and I just loved it more the more I did it.
That’s interesting. So acting never really was a dream of yours when you were younger?
Not really, I think I wanted to be a veterinarian for some time when I was little. I did always like to sing though. I remember performing in ballet productions as well. So I guess it was always there, I just never realized that I wanted it to be my life until we moved to LA.
I actually only know you from The Middle, but what are some other things you’ve played in before you were cast on this show?
My first TV role was a small part on Big Time Rush, which was so much fun. I have had leading parts in a couple of short films and independent movies, and as I mentioned, I have done lots of theatre. But The Middle has been my biggest part yet and it has just been amazing.
You have been on The Middle now since last season (Season 6). How did you get the role of Cindy?
I had been in to the office to audition for many different roles on The Middle, and I had taken classes with the casting director, who is a great guy, and they kept calling me in until we found a role that was right for me. It was very exciting.
So did you already watch The Middle before you auditioned for the first time?
I did, which made it even cooler when I learned I would get to be a part of it! It is one of my family’s favorite shows.
That’s so great! I think it’s such a unique show and the main cast seems to go so well together! How did the cast and crew welcome you when you were on set the first time?
They were so welcoming and everyone there is so nice. I was pretty nervous before I started, but I think on the first day I met Patricia Heaton in the makeup trailer and she turned to me and said, “Hi, it’s very nice to meet you, I’m Patty.” They are some of the nicest people I have ever met and it’s so comfortable to be on set with all of them. We laugh between takes and it’s a great time. I feel so lucky to get to work with all the cast and the crew.
That’s amazing! It must be very exciting to work with such fantastic and experienced actors like Patricia and Neil Flynn! Have they helped you in becoming a better actress?
Definitely. You can learn so much, not only from Patty and Neil, but everyone else as well. They have been on the show for 7 years now, and they are so comfortable with what they do, that they are free to try new things. You go to the table read and everyone is just immediately in their character’s world. It’s been a great experience watching how they all work together and they are all so talented at what they do, it’s hard not to be fascinated by them all.
Awesome!! How is the atmosphere on set? And how are the dynamics different from other sets you’ve been on?
You know, I have been extremely lucky to work on sets where everyone is super nice. Everyone is just so comfortable around one another, it’s just laughing all day long. I don’t think I have had a bad set experience yet. Even on Big Time Rush, the four boys introduced themselves and everyone was so kind. I am very fortunate. The more time I spend on set for The Middle, the more I feel like I am really part of the family. I mean, the producers and cast give everyone holiday presents! I am just so glad I get to be a part of it.
That is really cool! Anyway, let’s talk about your character on the show. I just love Cindy so much! She was introduced on the show as someone just as weird as Brick or maybe even weirder, how is it to play a character like that and what do you like most about playing her?
It has been really interesting. She is so monotonous in the way she expresses herself, sometimes it’s hard to know what she is thinking. I think the most challenging part has been the episodes where she has had to have emotion, because you don’t want to lose the straight-forwardness of the character, but you also want to portray the emotion that is written. I kind of like the challenge though. She is just such a great character, and it has been super fun to watch how the other characters react to her. I am super excited to see what happens for her next.
Haha yes!! I loved the interaction between Mike and her on Wednesday’s episode (Birds of a Feather, aired 13 January 2016). And I really laughed out loud when she kicked his car. You have been in a few awkward scenes with Atticus Shaffer as well. The one that comes to mind is the Valentine’s Day episode where Cindy and Brick share a kiss, it was so hilarious to see that. How can you keep a straight face when you are filming a scene like that?
That is the thing about comedy I suppose, you always come across scenes that make you want to laugh out loud. For me, the answer is that honestly you just have to hold it back until they call cut, and sometimes that is really hard. When Atticus and I were filming the awkward hug scene on the couch, I remember wanting to laugh so badly, and as soon as they would call cut both of us would just burst out laughing, along with the crew. I think that’s one of the best parts though, even the crew has to stop themselves from laughing sometimes!
That hug scene was great too!! So funny and awkward! So far you’ve played in 7 episodes, do you already know if Cindy will be in some more episodes this season?
We have filmed one that hasn’t aired yet, and so far I know that I am in at least one more for this season, so that should be exciting!
Yay!! That’s really great to hear 🙂 So are there any other projects besides The Middle that you are currently working on?
I am not sure if I am allowed to say, but hopefully there will be some fun stuff coming up in the future! 🙂
Haha okay! I’m sure there will be a lot for you to look forward to! What do you want to do in the future? Do you want to keep acting or do you want to do something else?
As of right now, I think that acting is what I want to do. That, of course, could always change, but at this point in my life any career I’m looking to involves some kind of performing, whether in TV and film or on Broadway, or something I haven’t discovered yet.
You’re still young so there is plenty of time to figure it out! Do you have any advice for people who want to become actors/performers?
Firstly, make sure that you really want to do it because you love it. Not because you want to be famous or make money, but because it’s your passion. If it is, then don’t give up or let other people define you. You are going to hear a lot of no’s from a lot of people, but someone will say yes eventually, and that yes could change your life. The most important thing you can do is believe in yourself. If you do that, other people will start to as well. If you do that, nothing else matters.
That’s really some wise advice! 🙂 Anyway, that was my last question. Thank you so much for doing this interview! I really enjoyed talking to you and thanks for your great answers. Good luck with all your future plans and I hope to see a lot more of you on The Middle.
Thank you very much for asking! Thanks for your great questions!! 🙂
The Middle airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC.