Danielle is a phenomenal actress. She was recently a series regular on the show “Deputy” and played the character “Junie” in Winter Dunn’s short film, Junebug.
Danielle grew up in South Sacramento as the first of four children. As a child, she faced many family issues, including drug addiction. But her mother was a beautiful example of resilience and her father an example of reconciliation. She was brought up to be a fighter and survivor.
Danielle Shares her inspirational story with the editor-in-chief of Afroelle Magazine, Christabel Telewa.
I always say that the arts saved my life. Growing up in the hood sometimes only presents one path but singing and dancing made me want more and dream for more. It was my escape from the dysfunction in our household.
When I was a young girl my mom was approached by a man in the parking lot of the grocery store. We were going through a rough time and the man encouraged her with scripture.
Then he looked inside the car and asked if me and my siblings were her children. He told her that we were all very special. Then he pointed at me and said “This one right here. She has many gifts. She will touch the world with her gifts”.
My Mama has told me that story many times and it has inspired and encouraged me along my journey.
Mentors Helped Along the Way
Most of my mentors came from college. One was Dr. Linda Goodrich. She helped cultivate my love for Black theatre. As a teenager, I was a part of a summer project called Positive Directions and it had a profound impact on me. There I developed the mindset that I could do anything I put my mind to and could achieve my dreams.
Lessons Learned From the Entertainment Industry
I think one lesson I’ve learned is that you have to find a way to not internalize the opinions of others.
You can’t put too much importance on what people think of you. Whether it’s good or bad. Because when you do, you give others the power to influence the way you see yourself and your value.
I’ve also learned that failure is a myth. There is really no such thing as failure because each perceived failure is only aiding you in reaching your ultimate goal.
The only true failure is desiring the appearance of success and setting goals in a way that doesn’t stretch or challenge you. With all that said, if you’re not failing, you’re actually not succeeding at all.
I plan to produce and direct. I have a web series I’m writing that I want to shoot in the near future. And I plan to be working on projects that challenge and inspire me.