Ms. McClain began her professional acting career at the age of 9. She has worked with respected directors such as Herbert Ross, Richard Benjamin, Marvin Chomsky and John Erman. Over the course of her long career she has starred in five independent films including “Soldier’s Heart,” “Home Movie” (released through IFC), “Alma Mater,” (nominee Golden Starfish at the Hamptons International Film Festival), “Simple Justice” (with Cesar Romero and Doris Roberts), and “Retreat” (Winner, Woods Hole Film Festival). Studio films include “My Favorite Year” with Peter O’Toole, and “Pennies From Heaven” with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters. Television credits of note include “Law and Order SVU,” “Cheers,” and “St. Elsewhere.”
During her 25 years living in New York City, Ms. McClain was a two-time Emmy winner and six-time nominee for her roles on “All My Children” (Best Juvenile, 1991) and “As the World Turns” (Best Supporting, 2004). She additionally enjoyed performing in historic theatrical productions Off-Broadway such as David Ives’ “The Red Address” at Second Stage, “Much Ado About Nothing” at Lincoln Center Theater, and “A Comedy of Errors” at the Hudson Guild. In addition to performing in a one-woman show of Wallace Stevens poetry called “Inventions of Farewell” at the Here Theater in NYC, she is particularly proud of a short one-woman play she wrote, produced, co-directed, and starred in called “Mona7,” which dealt with the after affects of abuse on a young woman through collaged video by Tal Yarden, surrealist word play, and Viewpoints movement she learned while studying with Ann Bogart’s Siti Company.
In 2018 she released a documentary about women who direct called “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct.” Interviews include Sarah Gavron (“Suffragette”), Anne Makepeace (“Tribal Justice”), Dorothy Canton (Mad Riot Productions), Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland,” “Mad Men”), Bethany Rooney (EP “Bull,” co-author Directors Tell the Story), Joanna Kerns (“Jane the Virgin”), Jann Turner (“Chicago Fire”), Jon Wells (“ER,” “West Wing”), Oscar winner Lee Grant, two-time Oscar winner Sarah Kernochan, Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”), and Betty Thomas (“Dr. Doolittle,” “The Brady Bunch Movie”). An Awesome Without Borders grantee and chosen by IndieWire as “Project of the Day,” it was picked up for educational distribution by Tugg Edu.
In April of 2017 the 28 minute version of “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct” received a Jury Award at its premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Encouraged by various festivals to make it longer, a new 58-minute version received the Audience Award in August 2017 for Best Feature at it’s premiere at the SOHO International Film Festival. It has gone on to win four other “Best Documentary” awards and played at respected festivals such as the St Louis Film Festival, the Oxford Film Festival, and the High Falls Film Festival. Further encouraged by distributors to make the film even longer, she created an 84 minute version which premiered in the fall of 2018 at a the Heartland Film Festival and won Best Documentary Pro Action at the Artemis Women in Action 2019 Film Festival. McClain produced and edited all three versions, as well as shot, lit, and did sound on almost all of the footage.
“I am of a mind that I cannot ask others to do something I have not been willing to do myself. Having some practice and understanding of the key departments involved in film makes me more able to communicate with insight into each craft involved and, I believe, a better producer and director.” – Cady McClain
Other directing credits include the short film “Butterflies” (Winner Best Short Film and Best Actress in a Short Film at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Kew Gardens Film Festival, Nominated Best Editing, Best Cinematography at Kew Gardens Film Festival) ; “Venice the Series,” (two Daytime Drama Web Series Emmy Nominations for Directing: 2017 and 2018); “Switch” (Winner of the NYWIFT festival in partnership with GoIndieTV), “The Missing Piece” (Winner Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actress at the Movies by Kids Awards at FOX Studios); “The Last Day” (nominated for Best Short at the Kids Awards at FOX Studios) for Kids in the Spotlight; and the full length narrative “Paint Made Flesh,” an original play written by Howard Meyer which she produced, directed, and filmed multi-camera live in NYC with support from Sotheby’s in 2018.
Earlier directing work includes the short film “The World of Albert Fuh,” which premiered at the SOHO International Film Fest (Winner Best Comedy Drama Short at the Indie Gathering Festival.) “Fuh” was also an official selection of the LA Indie Film Fest, was awarded an Honorable Mention for Best Director by the Los Angeles Film Review, an Honorable Mention from the SaMoIndie FF, and an Award of Merit by the Best Shorts Film Festival. Her first short film, “Flip Fantasia,” enjoyed acceptance into the Macon Film Festival and gained a remarkable FB cult following of over 80K. She also created an original online character in 2013 called “Suzy F*cking Homemaker,” which was picked up by Prospect Park for additional promotion of it’s online distribution of “All My Children.”
In the fall of 2018 she produced “Lost Girl’s: Angie’s Story,” a narrative film directed by Julia Verdin in conjunction with the Not for Profit organization Artists for Change to help create awareness around the epidemic of sex trafficking in America. The film stars Randall Battinkoff (“As Good As it Gets”), Cherie Jimenez (“Pretty Little Liars”), Jane Widdop (“The Kicks”), Anthony Montgomery (“Star Trek Enterprise”), MC Lyte (“Girls Trip”) and Amin Joseph (“Snowfall”).
Other producing work includes the short film Val-en-tina, directed by Araeia Robinson; “Ghost Light: The Haunting,” an Asian/American piece of experimental theater in New York directed by Penny Bergman, and an L.A. based Diverse/Gender Equal short film festival at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA titled, “One Night Only”; all of her short films; “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct”; and the filmed play “Paint Made Flesh.” Her first producing experience was as an Associate Producer on the festival multi award-winning film “How We Got Away With It,” (distributed by Devolver Digital Films) and as a producer as well as just about every position other than director or actor on the short film, “Discedo,” (including special effects makeup, script supervisor, and production assistant.)
As a writer, her memoir, “Murdering My Youth,” is an in-depth look into life as a child actor and her struggles to survive an alcoholic family system. It was released in the spring of 2014. As a result she was featured in TV Guide and invited to do a feature interview with Cameron Mathison on Entertainment Tonight. The book has received wide acclaim and 113 five-star reviews on Amazon. Always interested in contributing to the wider conversation about topics ranging from women’s issues to national tragedies, she has written articles for The Good Men Project, HLNTV, Policymic, Ms Cheevious, Ms in the Biz, AND Magazine and live blogged the People’s Choice Awards and the Golden Globes.
McClain also is the voice for several audio books, winning an Earphones Audiophile Award and recognition from Entertainment Weekly, Audiophile Magazine, and Publishers Weekly for her reading of Emma Cline’s debut novel “The Girls.”
“Reader McClain is phenomenal, evoking the older Evie’s mature retrospection and struggle to analyze her own emotional state and the motivations of that tumultuous time, as well as the younger Evie’s yearning for acceptance and love and adventure. McClain also creates authentic, memorable voices for the other characters, including the lazy drawl of Suzanne and the seductive madness of Russell. A perfect marriage of text and narrator, this is the kind of audiobook that stays in your mind long after it’s finished.” ~Publishers Weekly
“Narrator Cady McClain is extraordinary here, her diction perfect, her performance of every sentence thoughtful, unforced, yet hyper vigilant.” ~Audiophile Magazine
Education includes formal acceptance and study at NYU, SVA, and The New School for Public Engagement. Studies included international literature, fine art drawing and painting, art history, and writing.
Nationally, Ms. McClain has been invited to discuss how narrative stories can impact social issues at the PCI (now PMC) Entertainment Summit in Washington D.C.. She was later interviewed by Charlie Rose at a recorded live event as part of her work for RARE. Cady joined this award winning nonprofit organization by taking a trip with the heads of the “As the World Turns” production staff to help local St. Lucian’s develop radio dramas to promote social change. Cady has enjoyed hosting the Palm Beach International Film Festival and the WEHO Women and Leadership Conference, where she discussed the process of being a female filmmaker with guest filmmakers Marianna Palka, Finola Hughes, Li Lu, and Grace Lee.
McClain was pleased to have served on the board of The Chimaera Project, a not-for-profit that grants funds to visionary women filmmakers, and worked to create partnerships with film festivals as Chairperson for Festival Outreach with the Alliance of Women Directors in Los Angeles. She also was happy to have served on the Jury for the 2018 Hell’s Half Mile Film Festival and to participate as a mentor for Women in Film Los Angeles.
McClain has been featured in Salon, IndieWire, Film Threat, PBS SoCal, KNAU and MPB (NPR affiliates), Broadway World, Women and Hollywood, Good Morning Texas, CBS KCAL 9, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, TV Guide Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Daily News, The Boston Herald, Time Out NY, Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, Times Picayune, The Palm Beach Post, Mix Monthly, Newsday, AM New York, The Sacramento Bee, Brooklyn Papers, Agency Magazine, Tulsa World, Orange County Register, MidWest Beat, Imagine, Rocky Mountain News, The Jamaica Gleaner, Brooklyn Papers, Priority Girl Magazine, Girl Talk HQ, Film Inquiry, Ms in the Biz, Newport Beach Magazine, and Country Weekly.
Born in Los Angeles, CA, she is a 9th generation Californian and is of Mexican heritage on her father’s side.
She is married to actor/director/writer Jon Lindstrom and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.