We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Shaked and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
What i love about starting my own business is that several businesses could be born from my current acting business. I like the possibility of fulfilling other interests of mine by using the tools in acting and applying them to the new businesses. Using my acting, which i love, to spawn other interests of mine and diversifying my wheelhouse, is definitely exciting to me.

The skills that i’m using right now in my acting career: the scene work, developing relationships with directors, producers, writers, the mental self-care and work on myself daily to get through tough days, and balancing personal and professional life…. all of these aspects of my acting business could fuel other things I’ve always wanted to do in my life Be a therapist, direct and product, be a travel blogger, creative direct for companies, join a bowling and tennis team i mean the options are endless!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m proud of the fact that I’ve given myself the opportunities to work in all sorts of mediums and with all sorts of personalities.. Sometimes its even more interesting to work with tough and difficult personalities because it then teaches you more about yourself than if the situation was smooth. Then no one project will seem insurmountable to me.

Adapting and chameleonizing myself has helped me test how nimble I really am. Working on web series, shorts, features, tv shows, live theater, I’ve become aware that each meiudm has its own life, its own personalities, and if you learn to find things you live in each one, then your treasure chest and repertoire becomes full and rich.

I”ve also learned the difference between being right and getting what you want. And often, getting what you want takes some compromise I recently learned a cool technique that will help me listen more. Its called floating tongue. I try and keep my tongue floating right between my teeth and tongue without it touching, while another person is talking. This has helped me immensely with interacting professionals during stressful times. and really taking the time to hear them. Then I can better assess how to move forward with my needs and for the whole project to get the best result. Communication is key.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start with breakfast at Beachwood Canyon Cafe. I love that little area tucked away in the Hills because not only is the diner-style restaurant great, the little pocket where its established is one of my favorite spots in LA.

I would stop at the The Trails in Griffith Park to grab a coffee so that my friends could get a feeling of Griffith Park while enjoying a cool beverage on the benches. Also great people to meet there!

Then we would stop at the Old Zoo Picnic area right by the Zoo. Also a gem to hang out in nature and also catch up! Maybe even go to the zoo itself?

Then I would drive to Silverlake and park at the top of a hill on a side road. The views from there are beautiful and evoke a quintessential essence of east Los Angeles.

We would stop also at the Echo Park Travel Mart, a cool, weird store that would tickle their brain.

If it’s fall, I would drive an hour or so east of Los Angeles and go farm-hopping. There is beautiful apple and cherry picking in that are and it would be great for my friends to feel that earthy, local feel that Los Angeles has, but doesn’t necessarily have in the city itself.

If we go downtown, I would take them to the Bradbury Building because it is a staple of downtown and would give them a feel of what downtown los angeles, preserved, feels like. We would eat at the Grand Central Market.

One day we would walk around Little Tokyo and Koreatown. So much to see, check out the plazas, outside performances and sculptures enjoy all the intricate things I find in stores there.

We would drive to Malibu, park on the Pacific Coast Highway, grab food from the Malibu for Mart and take it across the streets and sit in front of one of the houses. its peaceful and beautiful.

I would then check what film festivals are going on in the city, and then be sporadic and spontaneous and go to one of them regardless of where they are. I like the feeling of not knowing where we are going sometimes and having an unpredictable night where we don’t know what movie or short program we will see. And then discuss it over some good sushi or lobster roll in Santa Monica.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank my parents for putting up with my meshugas (craziness in yiddish). And secondly I want to thank all of the friends that I’ve relied on in times that feel murky, whether its through the fact that I can call them and they give me a pep talk, or to those friends of mine that have let me lean on them, while its letting me stay with them, or by including me in their life over a dinner or activity. I can’t stress enough how much having a support system is the glue that fills the potholes along the way so that the road can feel a little bit smoother. Special shoutout to Kathryn Kates, a fabulous actress who was a major part of why I am acting, who passed away last year. A special shoutout to Lola Cohen, my teacher at The Lee Strasberg Film/Theatre Institute for guiding me throughout all the years and for sparking something in me I couldn’t see myself while I was studying in college, and propelled me to continue to pursue acting.

Website: www.danshaked.com

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Image Credits
Thomas Brunot

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