We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Daniels and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I know it sounds cheesy, but one of the most important things that my career has taught me is to never give up. It’s a lot easier said than done. SO much of this business is surrounded with rejection, and pushing through those low moments can be difficult. It’s never easy to not get the part you really wanted, or to mess up an audition, only to think “if only I did *this* instead.” There have been a few times in my career where I felt discouraged and thought that nothing was going my way. But through the years, I have worked on really pushing through those moments, which often end up leading to something I never would have expected. Many times, the part that I was dying to get is not the part I was meant to do at the time. Either because something came along that ended up being so much better for me, or that I was able to make a certain connection to someone in another show that ended up leading to something else, or even that I would go on to play that same role later in time when I actually was better suited for it. One of my favorite mantras is that everything happens for a reason, so I try to trust in that and continue forward. Showing up, giving your all in everything you do, and never giving up I think are the secrets to a successful, and happy, career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself a lover of all kinds of art forms. My strongest passion lies in musical theater, as it is a combination of my most favorite things- singing, acting, and dancing. I have always loved to sing, so being able to tell a story through a song is one of my favorite things to do. In addition to performative art, I also love physical art. I am an embroidery artist and run an Etsy shop in which I sell musical theatre inspired embroidery pieces. I love to craft and have become obsessed with my Cricut cutting machine. I love to scrapbook. I love photography. I love to sew. Basically, you name it, I probably have dabbled in it. The art of creation is such a central part of my life. Seeing any kind of art being created and formed in front of your eyes is probably as close to magic as there is. I am so proud of where I’ve come and work hard every day to keep pushing forward toward my goals. Even though the road has been bumpy at times, as most artists can relate, I have learned to trust in myself that where I am is where I am meant to be. Everyone is on their own path of success. Some have a few extra turns on their path that they must go through first, but I believe that as long as we are supportive and loving to our fellow artists, there is room for all of us to succeed.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I come from Surf City USA (aka Huntington Beach, California) and there is a heck of a lot of stuff to do down here! In non-pandemic times, I think some of the best places to go would involve food! It’s a must to go to downtown Huntington Beach for a beachside breakfast. I used to love going to Ruby’s Diner on the pier, but it has unfortunately closed down due to Covid. There are plenty of other great places to go though! I recently checked out The Park Bench Cafe in the Huntington Beach Central Park and it was so fun! It had cute, outdoor dining with the best food AND many dogs to look at since they are very pet friendly. A trip to the beach is a for sure activity as well. Can’t go to a beach town without seeing the beach! Some other places I would recommend to go would be obviously a trip to Disneyland! I am lucky to be very close by, and so that would be a definite place to go visit for a day. Downtown Disney is also very fun, and feels very much like Disneyland without the admission fee. Los Angeles is just a 45 minute car ride away, and there are so many fun activities to do there too! I recently hiked the Hollywood sign, which was beautiful and I highly would recommend. I am a sucker for things that are tourist-y, so I love visiting the fast paced Hollywood Boulevard and always stop to look at the Hollywood stars on the pavement. But I think it’s always nice to come back down to the OC for a little less hustle and bustle. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe much of my success to my parents for their constant, unwavering support of me and my career. They have never doubted my ability to succeed in this crazy business, and have been there every step of the way. When I was little and wanted to try acting, they drove me to every audition. When I wanted to join a singing group, they signed me up. When I said I wanted to major in Theatre for college, they never questioned it. There has never been a moment where I have felt unsupported by them, which has allowed me to be free and uninhibited when it comes to my passion for the arts. I trust them so much to help me on my path, and always value their opinions. Their love for me and their faith in my career is one of the driving aspects that makes me work hard to make them proud. But I know that they would be proud of me no matter what, whether I’m on Broadway or singing for them in our living room.
Other: My Etsy shop for my embroidery can be found at etsy.com/shop/42ndStreetStitches or you can follow my Instagram page at @42ndStreetStitches