Updated: Jul 14
Atlanta Film and TV chatted with Actress Dani Guevarez, who can be seen in films such as Water For The Root, Summer of Seven, and What Does Sallie Mae Look Like, amongst many other projects. She is the founder of Acting for Beginners, which has over 20K aspiring actors worldwide. Lastly, Dani is an Author and one of three Hosts for an upcoming talk show titled US Talk.
Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Dani relocated to Atlanta, GA in 2008 for dance, and after going to one audition, decided dance wasn’t for her. Later, while searching on CraigsList, Dani found an audition and booked a role as Cheryl, in the film, You Are Not The Father.
“One night after a film showing of You Are Not The Father, a lady prophesied to me and said, 'you’re going to Hollywood, and you’re going to be great!' I didn’t know this lady, but she believed in me. I needed to hear what she had to say because her words encouraged me to continue auditioning for roles and to not give up. Throughout my career, I’ve taken breaks because of finances, and if you’re not a series regular, in a big hit movie, or an A-list actor, then you’re not getting paid. Eventually, I went back to school to get my cosmetology and instructor license. I am, however, currently enrolled in school, and the difference now is I found how to balance acting, making money, and marriage, all of which happened during my acting journey. It’s been a long road, but along the way, I’ve learned a lot. And, I tell those I currently coach that ‘if you want to pursue acting, don’t quit your job and move to Atlanta, LA, or New York, without any sources of income because it gets hard.' There was a time, where I didn’t have a place to call my own because I was chasing ‘The Dream.’ But, now I can say that I am an actress.”
- Dani Guevarez
Atlanta Film and TV: At what age did you first fall in love with acting?
Dani Guevarez: “I fell in love with acting at 21 and was in the film, You Are Not The Father,’
and it wasn’t until someone told me I was good at it. However, when I was younger, I didn’t know I was acting when I would watch movies and reenact scenes in the mirror. One time, a friend and I wrote all the words to Clueless and reenacted the film. In high school, I was in TV productions and did some on-camera work, and I remember watching myself on-screen and getting emotional. So, I guess acting has always been inside of me.”
Atlanta Film and TV: Did your family recognize your gift of acting early on? If so, how did they nourish it to facilitate your growth?
Dani Guevarez: “I don’t think my parents knew about the acting aspect until I presented it to them. But as far as being put into dance, my mother (because I was an only child and my mother, a single parent) needed a babysitter. She would take me dance lessons and realized I was good at it. Growing up, I was heavily involved in my church and was in the Easter play, and it never registered that acting was something that I would eventually love.”
Dani shares what she does as an acting coach, and some of the free advice she shares with beginner actors.
"I am an acting coach in a group called Acting For Beginners, and the bulk of the community is on Facebook. In the group, I provide beginner actors with free classes because most of them have no idea where to take acting classes, and a lot of times they'll say to me, ‘I want to be an actor, or I want to be on TV, tomorrow!’ I will, however, walk them through the process and let them know that nothing happens overnight and that I have been on this path for ten years! As a beginning actors coach, I teach how to self-tape, what an actor's resume should look like, and headshots. We also provide free group classes, where we have acting coaches teach, which I believe is good for both coaches and students to connect."
- Dani Guevarez
Atlanta Film and TV: You have a book you wrote titled House Rules. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book and talk to us about your experience as a voiceover artist.
Dani Guevarez: "House Rules is an audiobook about two couples who come together for a game night, and secrets are revealed. It isn't your typical audiobook, where you'll hear a single reader narrating the entire book because I cast people to be a part of the project. Most of the actors cast weren't in Atlanta. So, we recorded our voices via Zoom, and the audio sounds amazing!"
Atlanta Film and TV: Can you share about US Talk Show and how you became a host on the show?
Dani Guevarez: "I was on a live post on Instagram with one of the creators of US Talk, Wine Connoisseur, Deborah Smith. While on the live, we chatted about her wine and what we do in business. Afterward, Deborah reached out to me and told me she had an idea for a talk show. Later, I met up with the third host, Angel McKenzie, and we all meshed. Filming began in January, and hopefully, the show will air at the end of spring, before summer.
Most of the guests we interview are entrepreneurs and can be anywhere from fitness to photography. The interviews we conduct are not virtual but on-location, and we’ll have conversations about relatable things. US Talk is also an entertainment news panel show, where it’s just the three hosts having discussions about real-life situations."
Atlanta Film and TV: Can you talk to us about some of the guests you will interview on the new talk show?
Dani Guevarez: “Most of the guests are entrepreneurs, which could be anything from fitness, to photography. We don’t conduct the interviews via Zoom, but on-location, and we have conversations and talk about relatable things. US Talk is also an entertainment news panel show, where it’s just us three hosts having discussions about real-life situations."
Atlanta Film and TV: COVID has brought about a paradigm shift over the past year, and technology is being used in the entertainment industry in ways we hadn’t imagined before. Due to how content is now being created, produced, and distributed, in your opinion, how is this advantageous for those in the film and television industry?
Dani Guevarez: “I see the paradigm shift as a blessing, and it has opened the eyes to those who were stuck on in-person castings, only working with those who are local. Now, with the technology and COVID, casting directors are online finding talent. I tell everyone I know who is either in the film and tv industry, or beginning, your laptops and cell phone are your best friend! You’re stuck at home, so you may as well create your own content. Do monologues in your house, create your set up, and go live on Instagram and Facebook, and network with people from around the world.”
Atlanta Film and TV: Building on the strength of the aforementioned paradigm shift, what things can black creatives do to further dismantle the systems and mechanisms that have historically kept them out of key leading positions in film, television, and theater?
Dani Guevarez “I think black creatives should create content to tell our stories and a great example of someone who has done that is Issa Rae. We have our phones, access to cameras, YouTube, and people have gone viral on Tic Toc.”
Atlanta Film and TV: Where do you see the Atlanta Film and TV industry within the next five years?
Dani Guevarez: “I see the film and TV industry in Atlanta growing bigger than Hollywood. Tyler Perry opened the door for outsiders to see what’s going on in Atlanta. What he's done is lit a fire underneath other production companies. Now, a lot is filmed here, and we're able to tell the story of what's happening in Atlanta.”
Dani shares a piece of advice for those in the Atlanta Film and TV industry.
"If acting is something you want to do, don’t give up. Continue networking, and don’t burn bridges."
To view our conversation, click here.
You can connect with Dani Guevarez on Instagram @dani_guevarez. For interview inquiries, reach out to Encore Entertainment Groups, and for castings Actors LA Agency. Lastly, if you’re a beginning actor, join Dani’s Acting For Beginners Group on Facebook.