We had the good fortune of connecting with DeAnna Elise and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DeAnna, how do you think about risk?
When it comes to risk taking, growing up in the south sometimes it feels like a very hard task to take risks. Growing up in Georgia as and African American woman, a lot of times taking risks and doing thing out of the ordinary was not approved by the community and it was almost as if the people around me were afraid of me taking the risks I took for multiple reasons. The biggest risk I have taken so far is deciding for the rest of my life I want to entertain people, and that I would be moving from Georgia to Los Angeles to go to school and pursue the performing arts. I got so many questions about why I want to perform, if I really think I have what it takes to be an entertainer, do I think I can make a career out of this, and the craziest comment I believe I got was the, ” its a one in a million chance you’ll make it in the industry, and I don’t know if you’re that one.” Hearing things like that over and over again really did put a damper in my confidence and really made me question if this was the right thing for me to do. The summer before senior year of high school, I was watching YouTube, and I came across this YouTuber named Amber Scholl, and she said a quote that really stuck with me, and still sticks with me today, that says, “What if it doesn’t come true? Ah, but what if it does?”. This quote was the reason I decided to take the chance and go to LA and pursue acting. For me, the feeling of regret is something I do not like to feel. I have always thought it is better to try something, mess up, learn from your mistakes and try it again a different way than to be so wrapped up in fear that you never try at all and miss out on wonder experiences and opportunities. Overall, in my life risk taking is a must.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been around creatives my entire life and my world revolves around the creative side of people. Growing up, my mother put me in a performing arts elementary and high school, where I took a multitude of dance classes, singing classes, acting classes for on camera and stage, then I attended a performing arts college where my training continued and my love for the arts grew tremendously and I found a love for modeling. Being in front of a camera and being on a stage puts a rush through my body that I can not explain. The best and only way for me to describe it, is the feeling of falling over a water fall into still waters. The rush of adrenaline, fear, nerves and excitement all mixed up in one than a fast move into calm still waters. This is a feeling I have learned I do not find in anything else I do. Though I love acting and modeling, it has not be a complete walk in the park for me. Many times I found myself doubting my talents and abilities. I found myself questioning if I was talented enough, if I had the right body type and if I was pretty enough to be on camera. When you are surrounded by so many talented and beautiful people, it is very easy to compare yourself to those next to you. I know there have been nights where I laid in bed and cried of frustration from that little voice in my head telling me I am not good enough and it hurt knowing that I was not the person next to me. I would sit and think about this for a very long time until I realized a flower does not compare itself to the blooming flower next to it, it just blooms. That is when I realized I am the only me in this world and my all is the most beautiful thing I can give out. I never give less than my best because I know my best is what makes me happy. The biggest lesson I have learned on this journey is that my art comes from my body and I am the physical center point of my business. If I do not take care of my body, having that be physically, mentally, emotionally and or spiritually, I can not function the way I need to. I make it a huge point to ensure that others know how important taking care of yourself, in every form, is. The most important thing I want the world to know about me, is that I am a continuous work in progress and that I will forever put out the best of my abilities.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend coming for a week to LA, there are so many things I would want to do with them and I know a single week is not enough time to experience everything. A few things I would make sure they got the chance to experience is the beach, of course, but particularly a little spot my friends and I found in Malibu that sits at what feels like the edge of the beach and it’s quiet, but I would have to take them about two hours before sunset so they can see the sun set over the ocean. I would also take them to the Last Book Store. This is hands down my favorite book store that I have ever been to. The place is huge and full of books from around the world, different authors, different genres, there is art work on the top floor and hand made jewelry and some of the best picture moments I have ever seen. It is defiantly a spectacular place to go, and just another small reason to go is because the Hotel Cortez, from American Horror Story is down the street. Universal Hollywood would have to be on my list. I have had so many amazing and funny memories with friends at this park. This park not only has super fun rides but it also is packed with history of movie making and special effects, and let’s not forget to mention when we see the show Water World, we just might see some of my college professors playing some characters. I feel as if everyone has to experience Melrose Ave. and Rodeo drive, just to at least say that they have gone and taken pictures in front of the fountain or on the stairs and to get some really nice items from the stores. If they are as much into science and nature as I am, Griffith park and observatory would be a perfect place to take them as well. I had never done a real hike until I came to California and honestly the hike at Griffith was one of my favorites. The scenery was stunning and the surprise of the observatory at the end was the best part for me. It sits at the top of the hike and looks over LA. On the inside is everything a science lover could dream of, from a giant pendulum in the middle of the entrance to a hidden worm hole inside the observatory that sits on the steps. This place has to be one of the coolest places I have been. When it comes to food I would love to take them to this little café that sat next to my dorm called Café Del Sol. This is more of a breakfast/brunch spot but the food is amazing and worth the prices, which are not too expensive at all. I would definitely recommend the crepes to anyone who comes to town.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Choosing just one person to dedicate my shoutout to is such a hard decision to make but I have to truly dedicate it to my family. I was blessed with probably the most supportive family a girl could ask for. No matter how “outrageous” or out of the box my ideas and plans were they never stoped believing in me and I am 100% sure that is a huge reason as to why I genuinely believe I can do absolutely anything I mind to.
Alex Walsh (IG: @byalexwalsh) David Owens (IG: @eyeofdawud)