I wish someone had told me that you audition for one thing and sometimes end up getting something completely different. This has happened more than once. One time I auditioned for this TV show, and they liked me so much, but I was not the right fit for that part on the show. They sent my tape to other directors who were looking for someone for a feature they were working on. The director and producers loved me. That is how I booked my very first horror movie.
As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mason McNulty.
Mason McNulty was born in Southern California and got his start in the industry at 3 months old in a PSA for the state of Utah. Since then, he has landed numerous television and film roles. As a young child, Mason’s career took off when he booked a recurring role on the long-running daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. That was soon followed by roles on such hit shows as Modern Family alongside Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, Glee with Jane Lynch, and Melissa & Joey starring Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart. His next big recurring role was on Sequestered with Jesse Bradford and Patrick Warburton. Most notably Mason can be seen in the recurring role of Toby Murphy on Schooled, a spin-off of The Goldbergs, starring Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen His next project is the Lionsgate film Catch the Bullet alongside Jay Pickett which will be released in the fall. When not working, Mason enjoys giving back to his community by volunteering to help those less fortunate. A typical teen, Mason enjoys hanging out with his friends, watching movies, playing video games, or making Tik Toks.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a family of 4. My family is very supportive of me in my career path. A funny story of when I was growing up, two days before a major audition I was riding up and down our street on my bike and I wiped out on my bike and destroyed my face. My mom had to come to the rescue with her magical cream to minimize the damage, so I was able to book teen wolf. “Luckily I’m an action star even off-camera”
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started my career when I was 3 months old. I have grown to love and have passion for my career choice in acting even if it was not my idea at 3 months old. I really enjoy the opportunities to play different roles such as playing the goofball Toby Murphy on Schooled and working with the incredible people on set. I have actually enjoyed every character that I have played.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One of the most interesting things that have happened to me was when my mom and I were at Universal Studios and there was this girl from France who walked up to my mom and asked her, “can I talk to your son”? My mom said that was fine. She came up to me and asked me if I was Caleb on Teen Wolf. When I tell you my eyes lit up, they really had lit up! I looked at her and proudly said “Yes!”. Then she asked if she could take a photo and post it on Instagram, she tagged me in that photo. That photo is still up to this day, and we are still friends.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The biggest mistake I made was hilarious. I had an audition and I happened to have my mom and sister with me. I’ve played sports but I don’t know the terminology like the back of my hand. The audition was for a baseball player role and the guy asked me if I ever played baseball to which I said yes. The casting director asked me what position I played? With confidence, I answered “Homerun!” My mom and sister heard my answer and could not stop laughing. To this day they have not let me live down that I played “Homerun!”
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am working on raising charitable funds to honor my friend Jay Pickett, who recently passed away. He had played my dad in the feature film “Catch the Bullet” which was released in select theaters and VOD on September 10, 2021. I thought it would be special to donate to a foundation that he may have been involved with or to the American Heart Association.
Most young people your age doesn’t have to balance work and school. Can you tell us how you manage to balance your schoolwork, auditions, and time on set?
Most people don’t have a mom like I do, who has taught me how to manage my time and to understand the importance of school and work. To succeed and play hard you must work hard and get an education.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have had a team of support. My dad has supported me along the way in many ways. He gets up every day and goes to work and works hard for our family. On the other hand, I also have my mom who has dedicated herself to help me succeed every day.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s jump to the main part of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. I wish someone had told me there is going to be a lot of disappointment. But with that disappointment comes growth and achievement. I could have prepared myself for the disappointing part first. When I didn’t book this awesome reoccurring show but then I turn around and I booked this movie “Catch the Bullet” and had the opportunity to work with the -late- amazing Jay Pickett who taught me many things.
2. I wish someone had told me friends will come and go. The good ones will stick with you so. I would have made better choices in picking who would be in my friend group. I have had a few friends who have stuck by me throughout the years as have I have for them. I call them my “Right or Die Friends”.
3. I wish someone had told me no matter how perfect you think you are for a role you might not get it!! I have had this happen to me a number of times. But one time I can recall I was perfect for the role, and everyone said so and I even went far in the audition process. When it came time to booking the role, we heard nothing and someone else had booked the part. There are just so many different factors as to why casting, the director, or producers choose the people they end up booking.
4. I wish someone had told me that you audition for one thing and sometimes end up getting something completely different. This has happened more than once. One time I auditioned for this TV show, and they liked me so much, but I was not the right fit for that part on the show. They sent my tape to other directors who were looking for someone for a feature they were working on. The director and producers loved me. That is how I booked my very first horror movie.
5. I wish someone would have told me that when you’re the principal in the commercial, there’s a chance that when you’re in the commercial you might not see yourself. I was 6 years old, and I was cast in a Christmas commercial for a major theme park. The director had us looking at snowflakes. When we finally saw the commercial, they blocked me out with giant nutcrackers walking down the street. My parents were happy for me because I had made some money to put away in savings, but when you are 6, you just want to see yourself on TV and could care less about the money.
You are a person of enormous influence. How do you think you can use social media as a platform to be a positive influence to your fans, and for society at large?
Like my enormous influence, I have an enormous personality, I try to use my social media platforms in a way to show others it’s okay to be fun and be yourself. There just seems to be so much negativity in our world on so many levels that it is important we stop for a moment to enjoy ourselves and the things around us.
If you had the ability to choose to work on any TV show or film, or work alongside any co-star, or with any director, what or who would that be, and why? You never know who might see this article, especially if we tag them. 🙂
The one person I would love to work alongside would the famous director Steven Spielberg. Set aside his brilliance, and all of his projects from the horror movie “Jaws” to the thriller “Ready Player One”, all of his projects hit home for me and key points in my personality. And let’s be honest Steven and I would have a good time hanging out with each other.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Tik Tok @masonbyson
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!