FAULT Magazine In conversation with Carlie Craig

While Carlie Craig has played the part of many clueless and carefree characters on screen, not much is known about the years of hard work Carlie spent training and learning her craft to be able to pull off such performances. Racking up 1 million views on Youtube and earning a role on MADtv Reboot, FAULT wanted to find out exactly what it takes to score a role on such an iconic show and future plans for such an exciting performer.


MadTV was such an iconic show for many and they’ve been pushing for a reboot for so long, does that but a lot of pressure is on you as a member of the new cast?

It can be a lot of pressure to level up to the MADtv All-Stars that come back, but it is important to tell myself “hey, I deserve to be here” so that instead of getting anxious, I can own it and focus on the work. It has helped that the alums coming back like Will Sasso, Mo Collins, Nicole Sullivan and Debra Wilson, have been beyond supportive and encouraging to us newbies. It eases the jitters.

How great did it feel to have Nicole Sullivan personally give you her blessing and pass the torch down to you?

Nicole is delightful and it’s especially cool to have her blessing because she was my age when she booked MADtv. Because she understands this experience for me on that level, it is truly flattering for her to publicly give me this encouragement. To have her go out of her way to declare that the show is in “beyond good hands” with us makes me feel invincible and fully equipped to make some great comedy. I admire her so much.

Despite it seeming like you had overnight success with a viral video you actually worked behind the scenes on other YouTuber’s projects really learning the ins and outs of the industry. How important was that time in figuring out the direction for your own projects?

I could write a book about my experiences behind-the-scenes and how I am able to apply these lessons to my own life now that I am stepping into the spotlight. Being Todrick Hall’s assistant for two years plus was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Todrick is a brilliant, creative force so watching someone like that perform everyday was great for finding my own style as an actor and singer. The assistant side was a crash course on the industry that I equate to a Master’s Degree. I’ve worn every hat in a guerilla-style production environment that you can imagine, so not only does that make me grateful for every person and job associated with a full-on production like MADtv but I also picked up little tricks. To name a few: How to spot a quality wig, how to book a theatre, etiquette around important people, how to produce a viral video in less than 24-hours, how to run yourself like a business and most importantly, how to associate yourself with driven, talented and quality people in order to be successful.

How much prep goes into your impression videos?

Practising and perfecting my impressions took a few years and lots of feedback from my followers on instagram. As far as the actual production of my Celebrity Impressions video, I took two days to gather wigs and costumes from all around town and had one full shoot day from 8am to 6pm. The editing took the longest because I tend to be a perfectionist so it took at least twenty editing passes for me to finally be happy with the result.

Behind all the comedy impressions is a really powerful vocal. Was the dream always to use it for comedy?

I grew up doing theatre, so I always sang in musicals but never really thought beyond theatre about how to utilize my voice. However, when I started experimenting with my impressions, I realised that other impressionists don’t usually sing and that could be the quirk that sets me apart.

How much input are you allowed to have over the different characters you play on the show?

The most beautiful part of the way MADtv is run is that it is an open-door policy with the writers. The cast can walk in at any time to pitch an idea or character and they will write sketches based on those. I would love to segue into becoming a writer-performer on the show one day.

Who are your biggest comedic influences?

My main influences are Carol Burnett, Steve Martin and Amy Poehler. All three performers are truly fearless which is definitely my mentality. You cannot be afraid or self-conscious about your choices or even something as little as what you look like. I admire each of them for their own special reasons, but their relentless courage is what connects all three for me.

What is your dream gig?

MADtv is the dream gig, truly. But looking to the future, I would love to be part of a live TV musical.

What is your FAULT?

My fault is that I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. That can be a good thing since I have always thrived under pressure, but on the same token caring too much can hinder the true creativity. I am working on letting that part of me go and freeing my spirit a little more so I can produce my best work in the future.

Photographer: Gilles Toucas
Stylist: Marni Seabright
Hair: Michael Kanyon
 Madison Blue
Makeup: Molly Greenwald