I’m not ashamed to admit that the first thing I accomplished in 2014 was binge-watching Scandal! Being a Grey’s Anatomy fan, I’m real late on this Shondaland train. But this reminds me that I have some photos of Caterina Scorsone when she spoke at an event last year (where I also met Enrico Colantoni — Keith Mars… it was a good day). Caterina played Amelia Shepherd, neuro-God McDreamy Derek Shepherd’s baby sister, on Grey’s Anatomy & Private Practice.
So yeah, I fangirled. What’s cool is that Caterina also graduated from University of Toronto! I especially love this story about how she moved to Hollywood after undergrad to pursue acting because of a show.
The bizarre story of my joining the cast began when I was in college. In order to stave off insanity and tears during finals, I used to take extended coffee breaks during all night study sessions to watch marathon episodes of a new show called Grey’s Anatomy. It was about a group fumbling yet attractive interns trying to make their way in a world of high stakes and adrenaline while navigating the emotional and professional obstacle course that is post-grad. The show was like the Umami of television — salty and sweet. Simultaneously funny and devastating. Completely addictive.
Though I’d been a professional actor as a kid, after undergrad, my new favorite show on ABC inspired me to give it all up and become a doctor myself. I went to a lecture series at the medical faculty for people considering enrollment in med school. I got to the end of the six-week lecture series and had a watershed moment. I realized that I wasn’t as inspired by organ tissue and suturing techniques as I had thought. It wasn’t the ‘miracle of engineering’ that is the human body that was filling me with a mad desire to live my days and nights in a pair of scrubs. The hard truth was I did not remotely want to be a surgeon. I actually just wanted to be on Grey’s Anatomy. So I packed my bags and moved to Hollywood… and in a meta-twist of fate, I ended up playing Derek Shepherd’s hellion little sister Amelia on both Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.
—Caterina Scorsone, A Letter to the Fans
I could relate—the fact that TV shows pretty much got me through undergrad and that as a student at U of T, it is a constant challenge to stay creative while being in an academic program (something I mentioned briefly in a previous post). So it is encouraging and reassuring that there is more out there beside your degree—I’ve always known that but it’s always inspiring when someone made it out the grind comes out and say it. Also, there’s no shame in being a fan.