Mercedes Blanche, TikTok star, social media influencer and actress shares her experience going viral and breaking into the entertainment industry.
Dani Kind: The Rupture Between Actor and Artist
In our meeting with Dani Kind, we immediately perceived the radiant hum of a life that has descended from those whose creative spirit transfigures our perception of the world. Even in brief conversation, we had the impression of endeavoring down a path that, lighted by such a compassionate and giving vision, included everyone and everything present, allowing the full potential of each moment to arise. To simply call Dani an actress would be reductive, as no one embodies the spirit and essence of an artist more than Dani Kind.
Although her obsession with acting is apparent, Dani uses the constraints and liberties of the medium to explore her curiosity and love for humanity – a pursuit which extends far beyond her interest in any one particular craft. It has led her to take on the role of director for a television series she has been a key cast member of since 2017 (Workin’ Moms) and direct an upcoming short film called Capsule.
How do you handle the business side of acting?
Dani Kind: I think learning the most you can learn about stuff outside of acting. Learning what the grips do, what the electrics do, what a producer’s job is, what a line producer’s job is like. Just perspective and like zooming out. There’s this weird divide between actors and then everybody else, which is garbage because we’re all doing the same job. But I think you should ask a bunch of nerdy questions: What is that? What are you doing? How does that work? You know, the crew is there before us and they leave after us. There’s so much to know.
How did you get into directing?
Dani Kind: My agent called me and said, “Have you ever thought of directing?” And that started me on this trajectory of learning and nerding out so hard about all of it. Then I just had a goal: I’m going to shoot a music video, I’m going to shoot a short film, and then hopefully I’ll keep asking and maybe they’ll let me direct an episode one year. It’s been seven years of asking, and they finally let me direct an episode this year, which was the best and the hardest.
She speaks about navigating the learning gap between these roles with a liberating and untethered curiosity. It is perhaps this curiosity that acts as the through line in all her work, the binding substance of her genius and a trait that seems to almost magically liberate her from the intimidating chatter of technical prowess and bitter judgment that can so often burden creative potential.
I ask, “Is acting painful for you?”
“No,” Dani replies, “I just love it so much.”
It is this love for art and more importantly, for people that we had the privilege of witnessing and engaging with in our time with Dani.
What excites you about filmmaking?
Dani Kind: You get a script and then you make the thing three different times. You make it in prep, you make it while you’re shooting, and then you make it in post. The evolution of that is so mind blowing to me. It just keeps layering and layering. That blows my mind about TV and film. It is so incredible that this evolution can happen from a script.
Right now, I’m most interested in learning this whole other language that the camera can do. We were shooting something on Workin’ Moms the other day, and I had to say a line. The director was not getting the results that they wanted and I wasn’t understanding the notes that were coming in. And then they tried slowly pushing in with the camera. And it nailed exactly what they were looking for. It added language. I just think that’s so amazing and I don’t know how that works yet. I think it’s limitless.
We addressed Dani in terms of being an artist, but upon further reflection, I believe that this too falls short of the mark. What stands out most about Dani is not any one particular skill, but rather the feeling of undefined space that lingers hopefully in pockets of the mind previously enshrouded in doubt and fear. From these spaces arises a potential previously unpermitted, enchanted by a nature which feels effortlessly in harmony with life. Engaging with Dani’s life or work feels like waking up into the eyes of another wherein the bounds of the self are reinvented into every moment.
Arising beneath the actor, the director, the artist, the student and the curiosity of heart is a nature that is pure and incorruptible. It is a love from which the core hope of all language springs forth and bursts open; creating with it a chance that from the cracks emerging between words, we may stumble a little closer to one another.
Thank you Dani, for continuing to rupture.
Written and Produced by:
Do you know a professional in the entertainment industry who would like to share their experiences & advice? Click here to contact us.