We had the good fortune of connecting with Taninna Oukacine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taninna, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is a very fascinating topic to speak about and discuss. For me risk taking is a huge, HUGE part in achieving success. For instance we all grow up and have our dreams, hopes and aspirations. The way we achieve our goals and accomplish them is by the amount of risks we are willing to take. A lot of people have the type of mindset where they think they should just always try to play it safe; to always “color and stay within the lines”. Now I can see how this type of thinking may seem easier, less risky, not as stressful but I am a strong believer that anything you set your mind to, no matter how risky it is one can achieve anything. It is all about the type of mindset you have and how much you are willing to work to achieve your dreams. Two of my favorite quotes are “Impossible stands for I’m Possible” and “Dream without fear. Love without limits.” I live by these quotes and take them account into my daily life. I am always ready to take a risk no matter how scary it is because we never know what possibilities it could lead to for the future. When I was 18 years old, I made one of the riskiest decisions I have ever made in my life. I moved from my home in New York to Los Angeles to further my acting career without any family, any friends, any familiarity; nothing to the things I was used to– and it was one of the best risks I ever took in my entire life. Four years later I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting for film and Television from New York Film Academy; Los Angeles, I have worked on countless awesome films and projects, I have met so many phenomenal people and made some wonderful connections, and I wrote, produced and starred in my own upcoming film called Every Little Moment. If I never took that risk I would not be who I am today. One of the most exciting things about being an actor is taking a risk with a role that challenges you. It’s always a hoot to be in a project that gets your brain and character juices flowing. Getting out of your comfort zone and breaking down the walls/stereotypes is such a satisfaction for me as an actor. Not only do I grow as an actor/performer but I grow as a person too. So at the end of the day a challenge or risk is welcomed. I am also so eternally grateful that I have a loving and caring family who supports me through thick and thin. My mom and dad taught me to chase my dreams and to always go for it. My advice is to always be kind, and never give up on the things you love to do. Live like today is your last, so go ahead and take that risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an American actress, comedian, singer and writer born in Manhattan, New York, NY to parents Nicoletta Mocerino Oukacine and Rezki Oukacine. I have been acting ever since I was 5 years old and it is my passion. Growing up in New York, it gave me many opportunities to explore the entertainment world and hone my skills. I began doing theater at a very young age at the YMCA Performing Arts Center, my community/high school theater and later on began to do more professional work in film, improv, TV, theatrical performances and stand up comedy. I love to make people laugh and feel all kinds of emotions through my art as an actor/filmmaker. Also comedy is a great way for people to forget about their worries and to just be in the moment. I believe that laughter can be a great and a wonderful medicine.
I think a major part that sets me aside from others is my positive mindset and thinking. I am a complete optimist and I am proud of it. I am a half glass full kind of gal and I know that whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve anything. Living in the moment and appreciating everything life has to offer is another one of my unique qualities. I also bring kind, warm, caring, joyous, and light hearted energy everywhere I go. One of my good friends stated that when I enter a room it’s as if the clouds and rain disappear and the sun shines brightly through. For me that was one of the most touching compliments I have ever received since I really do try to spread happiness and smiles. With a world that is filled with so much hate I think we need all the good and kindness we can get.
I knew I wanted to be an actor from the first moment I ever stood on stage at 5 years old. From there on my mom put me in countless acting classes/productions and aided me into developing my talents as an actor, comedian and singer. In 2011 I was a National American Miss Pageant participant as well as in 2012 The Event Orlando, FL Acting Workshops participant. These two major events were the turning point towards my professional career. In 2014 I started to take acting for film classes and knew I wanted to work on film and television sets. Later I moved to Los Angeles CA to pursue my acting career and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting For Film and Television from the New York Film Academy, Los Angeles. Through my years at New York Film Academy I got the privilege of working on the Universal Studios Backlot, doing different style types of Sitcoms and TV dramas, doing Classical Shakespeare/ Greek works, voice over work and many countless projects. In 2020 I commenced to write, produce, cast and star in my upcoming independent film Every Little Moment which will be released soon. I also got to work on an Amazon Prime Series titled Bad People Sweet Deals, some awesome Music Videos, some fun and exciting Zoom Plays and some really cool Feature/Short films. I truly look forward to the upcoming 2021/2022 projects that soon will be revealed and you can check out some on my IMDB profile. It definitely was not easy getting to where I am today. It took and still takes countless hours of hard work, networking, practice and perseverance. A major challenge that no one expected was a global pandemic that hit us all hard starting last year in 2020. There were a few setbacks but with faith, action and vision made it possible to overcome them and get things back on track. It was tough but hey that’s life right? A major lesson I learned was to appreciate everything and not take things for granted. Life is too short and we should always live it like each day is our last. We should all spread love and kindness and cherish each moment with one another. Another really valuable lesson I learned was that it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to not always be perfect. If we were, life wouldn’t have meaning and there wouldn’t be anything to look forward to.
I want the world to know that I believe in bringing people laughter, happiness and joy and I can change the world with my art. And that I hope my story inspires everyone from any age to always follow your dreams and go after what you love. It is never too late to go and grab your happiness.
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.
Funny you should ask since I am actually planning to have a visitor come quite soon!
A few of my favorite places are the AMC 16 Dolby movie theater, Griffith Observatory/ Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Melrose Ave, The Getty Villa, Verdugo/ Johnny Carson Park, The LA Zoo, Priscilla’s Coffee Shop and Red Maple Café. These are a few of my favorite places as well as all of the studio tours and amusement parks. Last but not least we can’t forget about the beautiful, sunny California Beaches!
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 would like to thank my mom; Nicoletta Mocerino Oukacine and my dad; Rezki Oukacine for always believing in me and for making my dreams come true. Without my wonderful parents I have no idea where I would be. I am so grateful to have the love and support of my family.
I would like to thank all of my close friends/friends who have loved and supported me through my journey. I am also super grateful for my wonderful close friends; who I have had the pleasure of being roommates with, who have helped me with my Self Tapes and Auditions.
I would extremely like to thank all of my colleagues and every single person I got the pleasure to work with for making my days filled with lots of love, laughter, happiness and so so so much joy.
MKR Studios- Mia Redwine Arina Andriushchenko Drew Hughes