This week I met up with a good friend from high school, Courtney. It is always a good time when you are with Courtney, so I was honored to get to see her while she was in town! She is an actress who lives in New York, and she let me ask her a few questions. I also met her aunt Rev. Marilyn, who was wearing a beautiful caftan-style dress. I would love to have a dress like this because of the freedom of movement it allows. She purchased it at the Black Clergy Woman Conference. (A picture is posted below.)
Name: Courtney Daniels
School: American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). New York, New York
Major: Musical Theatre
When did theatre begin to interest you?
It all started when I was 8 years old, and my father gave me the Grease VHS. The minute I saw it, I wanted it 70 times in a day, literally I watched it for 12 hours. Rewinding and pausing, rewinding and pausing. And that is when my parents decided that I wanted to do something with the arts. So, they decided to
give me all these Gene Kelly and Fred Astire MGM and Turner Classic movies. I watched all of them and learned them.
Then, I began doing community theatre, and then school plays and musicals. Shortly after, I started doing internships and the Play House Square Center. Anything thing that had to do with art, I picked it up. When I was 8 years old we went to Disney World. While other kids wanted Mickey Mouse’s autograph, I brought my own “headshots” and resume, which was paper with a heart drawn on it and said “hire me”, but no references on it.
So instead of receiving an autograph from the Disney characters, I gave them my headshots and resume hand made by me. That’s when they knew that I wanted to be in the spotlight, that was the spark.
While attending AMDA, did you perform in anything?
Yes, I actually broke the rules. You are not supposed to audition the first three semesters at my school. I auditioned the minute I got to the city, which meant that my first job was a workshop. This is when you are working on a new musical. It was called “Disenchanted: Bitches of the Kingdom,” and I play Princess Tiana. I left school and came back. Then, I booked another show in school, and had to leave and come back.
I would say I booked four shows within my time; it took me four years to graduate a two-year conservatory. I recently finished a 10-month contract with Disney cruise line on one of their newest ships, called the Disney Dream. I played the characters Rafiki and Ursula, if you’re familiar with those.
What was your favorite part of being on the Disney Dream?
My favorite part was the completion bonus that I just received.
What has been your favorite show so far that you have done?
I would say The Drowsy Chaperone at Flat Rock Playhouse in North Caroline. I played the role for Trix, the first black aviatrix. I loved that show so much because I got paid a lot to do so little.