Casey Wilson has come a long way from a stage in her backyard in Alexandria. In December, she will star in a show that she has written and produced with friends. That show is in New York.
From early on, Wilson said she has always loved performing. “I remember when she was five or six, we built her a stage in the back yard,” said her mother, Cathy Wilson. “It was one of those stages that you could leave outside and it had curtains that we were able to buy from some school auditorium.”
From there, it was on to voice lessons, acting lessons and performing in school productions at George Washington Middle School and finally at T. C. Williams High School.
“I remember many nights during rush hour driving her to Falls Church to voice lessons,” said Cathy Wilson. “Now that I look back on it, I still can’t believe that I did that during rush hour.”
At T. C., Casey and another student directed the school’s musical production their senior year. “I can’t believe that anybody let us do that,” Casey said. “The things we didn’t know are unbelievable. Still, looking back on it, it wasn’t a bad production.”
Her talent got her a coveted place in the Stella Adler School of Dramatic Arts at New York University. “After all of those voice lessons, I couldn’t believe that she wasn’t going to do musical theater,” Cathy Wilson said.
At school, Casey excelled, selected as best dramatic actress in her class. “My teachers kept telling me that I was funny,” Casey said. “For a while, I didn’t take that very seriously because I didn’t think comedy was serious acting. I’ve learned a lot.”
AT NYU, Casey met June Raphael. “I grew up on Long Island and my parents always took me to see shows in the city,” June said. “I’ve always loved performing and it’s even better when you get to do something you love with people that you love.”
After graduation from NYU, Casey and June moved into an apartment in the West Village, continued taking classes and started auditioning. “It’s very hard work,” Casey said. “One minute, New York is terrific and the next it is terrible. Everyone I know works hard most of the time. We all know that if we want to succeed, there really isn’t time to hang out and do nothing. We attend classes. We contact directors and we attend auditions. Hopefully, we also get roles and work.”
Casey and June have been lucky. Both of them have had roles in shows. Now, they’ve written their own sketch comedy.
“We did some improvisation with each other and people said we worked well together,” June said. “That gave us the idea for the show.”
The show, "Rode Hard and Put Away Wet," was written and will be performed by Casey and June. “It’s a series of short sketches about different characters,” Casey said. “We’ve drawn the characters from our own experiences.”
ONE SKETCH is about two church ladies. “They are all about God but don’t like to sit through a church service,” Casey said. “They want to hang out downstairs during the service and prepare the food.”
Another sketch is about two actresses who are competing for the same role. “They find out that both of their names is Gloria and, in the end, the casting director comes out and tells them that he’s decided to go a different way and neither of them is right for the part,” Casey said.
They are working on a sketch about Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky “They get stuck in an elevator together and end up appreciating each other’s points of view,” Casey said.
THE SHOW will consist of live sketches interspersed with video sketches. “We have performances scheduled in December and we will see how that goes, refine the good sketches, discard the ones that don’t work as well and bring it back in the spring,” Casey said. “It’s very exciting.”
Exciting for Casey, but what about her parents? “When Casey was a little girl we decided that we were going to support her in her acting,” Cathy Wilson said. “That meant making an emotional and a financial commitment. We’ve always known that was our commitment and now we are living it.
“We understand that if Casey is going to succeed, she needs to be able to go to auditions and to continue to take classes. That doesn’t leave room for a fulltime job. We are very proud of her and believe that she will succeed. We are looking forward to the show.”
For those who plan to travel to New York in December and want to catch a show or for those who might just want to travel to New York to support an all grown up Alexandria protége, "Rode Hard and Put Away Wet" will be at Sande Shurin Studio Theater at 311 W. 43 Street Suite 602 from Dec. 4—7 and at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting 31 W. 27 Street 3rd floor, from Dec. 9—13. For ticket information, call 212-254-5115.