Artist Spotlight: Cara Rose DiPietro
Over the past few years, there has been a renaissance on social media with theater creators to reach new audiences and shift how performing arts are perceived and we are all here for that! 2022 was a big year for theater artists and creators on social media, especially for actress and content creator, Cara Rose DiPietro.
Cara DiPietro’s whirlwind year really started in March of 2022 when she took on an amazing role in Catch Me If You Can that was performed at Arena Stage in DC, which we were lucky enough to see firsthand. Recently, we caught up with Cara to discuss her busy year, and her advice for performers auditioning for their next role and prioritizing staying authentic to themselves in their work!
Scroll below to see her helpful tips and find out what exciting projects she’s working on…!
Tell us about your journey into becoming a performer…what inspired you to do this as a career?
So my parents actually met in college because they studied theater, they went to Boston College, and were both theater majors there - that's how they met. But they went on to do other things; my mom went on to teach, and my dad went on to go to law school, but my brother and I were just kind of like raised on it. Like I joke that we were raised on “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”, “Godspell”…So we were really just brought up in a house that was exposed to so much theater. When I started dancing when I was three, my parents said they always knew and I was very very lucky to have two parents that knew I wanted to do this and support me. I was lucky they never questioned it…my parents were really involved in the community theaters in our area and it was just kind of like…I was born into it and I’ve always known.
We had the pleasure of seeing you in Arena Stage’s production of Catch Me If You Can, and you had an amazing rest of 2022, what were some highlights of the last year, your 2022 was insane!
Insane! Literally absolutely insane! So after Catch Me, I got back to the city and I had never spent a summer in New York before so I was super stoked. It was so funny because all during Catch Me I was auditioning and auditioning and auditioning and I didn’t book any work for the summer. I was like so disappointed in myself and mad at myself, but looking back I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t because I truly had a summer that not only changed the trajectory of my career, but also just my life. It introduced me to people and opportunities that have literally changed my life.
So when I got back to the city, I performed at ‘54 Below’ a lot in the summer, and I was really lucky! My debut was in the Barbie show.
Mark my words…I will be there at one of the next ones because I want to see it so badly!
It’s going to be so fun, we’re doing it two more times in the spring! I got to go to the Tony Awards with my friend, Eli Rallo, which was…so exciting! That was literally the best night of my life..like no words.
I was dying at your TikTok when you talked about doing your vision board and the photo of you came up on Pinterest because that happened to me! I was choosing photos to print for mine and the photo of you came up and I almost started crying, I was so proud.
Oh my god, I was crying. I was like, “oh my god, this is a sign!”
All I did was type in Tony Awards into Pinterest and you were one of the first images to come up!
That’s what I did! I will never forget that!... I almost threw up in a Barnes and Noble seeing that I was featured on Vogue that night. But anyway, that happened and I got to work last summer and fall with so many artists and writers on their works, their developmental shows. It’s been so exciting! It’s been the craziest year of my life and I’ve never been happier.
Tell us about some of your favorite roles you’ve performed since beginning your journey!
Oh my gosh, okay so I would say that probably my favorite role that I’ve ever played was Brenda in “Catch Me If You Can”. I got to play her in 2019 at the New London Barn Playhouse and it was the first principal role I ever played in an equity house and it was so special. It also was the last show that my grandmother and my mom ever saw me perform, so it’s like a really special place in my heart. I proved to myself that I could do a lot of the things that I was scared of. I love Amy March in “Little Women”, she is so fun! She was a role I had no idea how badly I wanted to play until I started!
I say this all the time, but my favorite you’ve been in is Catch Me because I think it is one of the most special musicals ever, I think for people involved in productions of it and those that get to see it, it just always holds a special place.
It’s so aggressive… if you’re gonna be in Catch Me you really all have to be in it together! I’ve been on all sides of that show. I’ve played Brenda, where you could not have an easier track, but I’ve also been in the ensemble.
It already was one of my favorite musicals but having seen it at Arena Stage, I fell in love with it even more- that production was so special.
It was a special one for sure.
So you are very outspoken about your journey with recovery and mental health on TikTok, with 2023 just getting started, what is something you hope others take away from your content in terms of mental health and keeping yourself healthy?
I saw a quote once that said, ‘in order to create live art, you first have to live’ so in order to be a performer and do what we do, you have to first know who you are. And you have to not be afraid to explore the passions that make you, you. My goal when I started making TikToks was to be the person that I needed growing up. I needed to see someone going through the good, bad, and ugly. I needed to see someone going actively through recovery, not on the other end of it, who is still fighting to be a part of this business. If I had seen that when I was younger it would’ve changed so much for me.
The biggest thing I want people to take away is that you have to know who you are in order to be the best artist you can be. There was a time in the last couple of months when I took a break from auditioning and it wasn’t intentional… looking back at self-tapes from before and looking at the ones now and the ones I’m doing now feel like me. I’m not trying to be someone I think casting might want me to be.
There’s this hustle and grind culture that if you’re not working yourself into the ground you’re not working hard enough, and if I can tell anyone anything it’s that that is a bold-faced lie. You can’t run on an empty tank.
Who is your favorite artist(s) and why?
Oh gosh… Katy Geraghty, Little Red in ‘Into the Woods’, I am such a fan of her! Not only is she incredibly talented, but she’s one of the only actors on Broadway that I’ve seen. I'm sure that there are more who are incredibly outspoken about her health, her mental health, and being a fat actor on Broadway. And she’s also just so talented. And I watched a TikTok of hers about her journey to Broadway…her journey is so unique and individual.
This is my favorite question to ask, I love asking if you were to be asked to do Miscast at MCC Theater, what are your dream performances?
I for sure wanna sing Goodbye from Catch Me. I hear that song and just have an asthma attack. I really want to play Enjolras in Les Mis, if I could genderbend a role, don’t ask me why it’s that one specifically, apparently I’m just coming for Aaron Tveit’s track. Oh, My Petersburg, I wanna sing My Petersburg [from ‘Anastasia’]
Oh, that would be so good, this is just Cara into the Aaron Tveit and Derek Klena pipeline.
[laughs] Literally! I’m coming for their tracks!
What do you have coming up that we can keep on our radar?
I start rehearsals for a concert version of a new musical called ‘RUTKA’, it is an indie-rock musical that’s based on the diary of a young girl named Rutka, who grew up in the ghettos of Poland during the Holocaust. It’s a beautiful show. I worked on a developmental reading of it and so now we’re doing a concert version at Lincoln Center, so that is on January 23rd. Then the 24th I’m going to be in 54 Sings Teen Angst - gonna sing some Heathers, some Mean Girls! And on the 25th, I will be at 54 Below in the Noor Theatrics Presents: Our Broken Hearts Club and I’m very nervous about that one, I’m singing a song that’s like “Oh this is gonna be a hard one but I really wanna sing it!”
Aside from what you do, what is your arts addiction?
I wouldn’t call this like art, but I love true crime podcasts and true crime tv shows, and murder mysteries. Those are my favorite! I’m also a huge knitter, it’s a very random thing that I’m very advanced at for no reason at all. I also love acoustic covers, that’s my guilty pleasure!
Written by: Jillian Hayes
RCA's Social Media Manager