We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Daniels and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Both of my parents are very cerebral people, my mother having a PhD and working in academia and my father having a masters degree and working as a construction manager. Education in a formal sense was very much encouraged growing up, so I went to university and studied pre-law thinking I was destined to be a lawyer. I soon realized that I have the exact opposite personality of any lawyer you’ve ever met and that I’d be miserable sitting at a desk reviewing documents all day. It was my last year of college and I was on a party bus (classy, I know) when I overheard a friend of mine mention that she wanted to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting. When I heard this, I can honestly say that I’ve never been so excited in my entire life. I mean major butterflies. I thought, “Okay, I guess that’s what I’m doing.” As soon as I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles, began to train with a reputable casting director, and the rest is history.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I lean heavily on comedy in my acting and writing. I feel more purpose in comedy than any other genre because I think there’s a lot of value in making people laugh. They say laughing for one minute boosts your immune system for 24 hours–and I read that on the internet so it has to be true. Although comedy is my thing, as an actress I have to be ready for anything the industry throws at me. I recently wrapped two episodes of a not-yet-released series on Lifetime and it’s not in the slightest bit comedic. In terms of challenges related to my work, I think I’ve faced the same challenges that every artist of every medium faces. Getting the right people on my team and having to compete with what seems like trillions of actors in Los Angeles can be difficult at times. Keeping my friends close has been a saving grace in dealing with that because at the end of the day, if you have good people in your life you’re going to be okay no matter what happens.
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.
As a coffee addict, I would take my best friend to every coffee shop in Los Angeles. If it were up to me, she would eat, sleep and breathe coffee during her visit. Aroma Cafe, Verve Coffee, Madison and Park, Solar de Cahuenga. You name the shop, we’ll be there. No, I don’t have a problem.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh, I have so many people to thank for their encouragement and support along the way, and I’m sure I will continue to have many more as I progress even further. My family has been very helpful, always loving and accepting me even when they thought I was chasing a fever-dream. I have found the best girlfriends I could ask for who both support me emotionally and in my career. My boyfriend has been my biggest cheerleader and has helped me develop the confidence to really go for it. My first acting coach, casting director Katt Shea, Lesly Kahn, and Upright Citizens Brigade have all helped me develop the skill I need to be competitive in this crazy industry!
Hiram Michel Sanchez