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Inside the Academy Alum’s Studio: Season Finale of Criminal Minds

Mickey Casab Academy of Art University MFA alumMickey Casab, Academy of Art University MFA alum from the School of Motion Pictures and Television in 2009, was cast as the bank teller Shawn Harper in the Criminal Minds season 7 finale titled “Hit” that aired on May 16. In the show, Mickey’s character Shawn is tangled in a tense and unfortunate hostage situation.

“Building a character is very important,” Mickey explained. The 9 to 5 grind and being an average American was some of the inspiration for his character Shawn in Criminal Minds. “How I executed this idea was that I gave my character a life. I knew what music he listened to, what he did for fun, his past jobs, etc. I hashed out details so that I knew exactly who he was,” Mickey said.

It was also important that the Academy alum broke down the script. He knew Shawn’s wants and actions for each of the scenes. “You need to know who your character is, you need a clear want for every scene, need to know the purpose your character serves in the show or movie. Every detail adds a new layer to your character,” Mickey said.

“I was able to get involved with Criminal Minds through a process. I started by working to get a decent agent and a good acting class. Then I started marketing myself to casting directors by meeting them in workshops. That is where I met the casting director for Criminal Minds. He liked my work in the workshop and so he called me into the audition through my agent. I performed two scenes for them and the rest is history!” Mickey explained.

Mickey also credits Executive Director of Motion Pictures & Television and Acting Diane BakerMickey Casab Academy of Art University MFA alum for influencing his desire to always strive to be better and instilling the drive to be successful in the acting business. “Her wealth of knowledge about acting goes beyond what a normal class could ever teach you. She truly is an inspiration to me,” said Mickey.

Recently, Mickey started a production company called Possum Fossil. He plans to complete his first 3-5 minute comedy short by July of this year. The Academy alum has many more scenes in the works, and advises his audience to stay tuned!

“My future plans are to keep working every day at my dream,” Mickey continues. “I have goals that I set and re-evaluate all of the time. I have a job that pays the bills, and then I honestly put in an average of 30-40 hours a week into my acting career. I love acting and it really doesn't seem like work, especially when I am on set.”

“My advice to other actors is to take everything you do seriously. The sooner you realize that acting is a business the better off you are. You have to have a strategy for marketing yourself, be a great auditioner, great actor, good with money, and know what you want. If you don’t know how to do all of that then use the resources, classes, teachers, etc. at the Academy of Art University to get it. Think of acting as starting any other business from scratch,” said Mickey.

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