Growing Pains – Family
Dana grew up in Hockessin, Delaware, with her amazing parents and 2 weird older brothers. The same year Dana was born, her dad suffered a stroke. Coincidence? ..maybe. He went from being a teacher and middle-school principle to a “stay at home dad.” Her mom (also known as “Momma J”) took his pants (hypothetically, thank god) and worked very hard to support the family all by herself. Having a disabled father was life-changing for the-entire-family. Luckily, Momma J actually meant it when she said “through sickness and in health,” and although Danas dad was very ill most of her childhood, her mom loved him deeply through all of it –teaching Dana a kind of love books can’t. His illness became her biggest blessing.
Yeah, he was sick most of her childhood, but he never missed a game or practice or opportunity to tell her how much he loved her– whether through lunchbox notes or coming into school to pull her out of class and tell her himself. He also never missed a chance to wake up at 3am to mow the neighbors lawn. A true “heart of gold” is what anyone who knows him calls him. (Especially Don, the neighbor). Some people made fun of him, and some didn’t know what to make of a grown man with a limp, stutter, and desire to help. Some thought he was drunk! Dana, however, (Taurus sun-Virgo rising-Scorpio moon) quickly learned to embrace it, cherish it, and love it –especially after school as she jumped in the car with him to go home. Local businesses called him “the Dumpster Diver” ..what? Tom knows a good box (or 50) when he sees one. He recently asked Dana “Do you know how hard it is to get out of a dumpster!?” ..BOOM. Point made Pops.
Where the family lacked serious health, they gained love, humor, and hockey pucks. (He had a thing for those too at one point) So, while Momma J worked full time to support the whole family, Dana was raised at home by all guys– therefore turning into one. Its like she went Bruce before Bruce went Caitlyn. In all honestly, her difficult childhood was and is her biggest blessing. (And also why she has high testosterone levels –therefore clearly deserving equal pay, and massive loads of monayy).
She graduated high school with straight A’s while taking all Honors/AP classes, and from there studied Business and Communications shortly at University of Delaware. It wasn’t long until she was scouted by over 40 modeling and acting agencies around the world (IMTA competition) and decided to move to Los Angeles. She then studied at AIDA (Australian Institute of Dramatic Arts) for 3 years, improv at UCB, and finally found what she is most passionate about: COMEDY. She studied Stand up Comedy with Greg Dean, and advanced acting courses with Michael Cohen, Todd Todoroff, Scott Sedita, and multiple coaches at the SAG Conservatory. She continues to take classes, and always will–you should never stop learning!
Class Clown – Comedian
Comedy is what comes naturally to Dana since she was a little boy/girl. She has directed and written sketch comedy, acted in several pilots and series, and continues to pursue acting and performing. She loves laughter, and has performed stand up comedy all over the world– like Scotland (Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016), Ireland, Germany, Amsterdam, Hawaii, and all over the USA. She even filmed a documentary (still being shot) while touring Europe with a Vegas comedian (John Gilligan) in 2016.
Dana is in love with self expression, kids, traveling, people, writing, painting, nature, and her own personal growth. Psychology and Spirituality are two things Dana has passionately studied for years. She is now a certified NLP Practitioner and Therapist (Neuro-Linguistic-Programming) by ‘Niurka’, and also a certified Practitioner of Supreme Influence. She has traveled the world through her work and projects, and because of these amazing opportunities she has gained a perspective on life she values more than anything.
Glow in the Dark
Dana came to LA with a deep desire to make a difference through laughter, working with children, and travel –and integrating those things into TV and Media. She is an acting teacher/coach, mentor, involved with several non-profits, and currently working on her DREAM PROJECT (which involves travel, giving back, and adventure.) –MORE TO COME–
Todays society, especially children, need leaders that can inspire them to be brave because (lets face it) the world will teach you to question all you know to be true. Mistakes (gifts) are the tools (lessons) needed to build a life of meaning. Compassion, understanding, and courage create the love and inspiration we seek in life. Lastly, it is LOVE that is needed to shed light on those darker things to gain understanding. It all starts by looking within ourselves. Kids will learn this if we as adults lead by example.
Never scared to try new things, Dana is known for trying it ALL ..and usually being pretty damn good at it. On top of her extensive athletic (all-state and record holding) background in physical fitness challenges, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, field hockey, and figure skating, she ALSO took intensive training in LA for Stage Combat, Kick Boxing, Karate, and Martial Arts. She loves sports and is retardedly competitive. She was even on TV shows like Fear Factor (with Joe Rogan), and a finalist on ABCs show ‘Wipeout’ (and almost won!) Now she loves skiing double black diamonds, rock climbing, hiking, yoga, surfing, riding motorcycles, dirt bikes, and anything adventurous or challenging. She also shot a movie in the Philippines (Monsters Without, coming out 2018) where she plays April– a badass and funny lesbian who is the “bodyguard” and beats up all the bad guys.
When she was young, Danas mom thought a good solution for her awkwardly tomboyish daughter would be “etiquette classes” because she was “too much like her brothers.” Dana started at Barbizon, joined the agency, and before she knew it she was scouted and living in Los Angeles at 18 years old with a modeling career. Unfortunately, she still is openly fascinated by her very own bowel movements. She was a semi-finalist for the show ‘Americas Next Top Model’, competed and was top 4 on ABCs show ‘Wipeout’ (as the “one word model”), interviewed at LAs Fashion Week on the Chelsea Lately Show, and was a model on one episode of the show ‘Project Runway’.
One of the biggest lessons she learned through her modeling career was her own journey in re-defining the word “beauty.” The modeling industry taught her more of who she wasn’t, and the importance of expressing her own (and others) inner beauty.