We had the good fortune of connecting with NaToya Danielle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi NaToya Danielle, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Well… Two things happened. The first is, I saw the movie “Purple Rain” I fell in love with the energy and sound of Prince and the enchantment of Apollonia. I didn’t understand all of what I was watching, but I felt like this was just magical perfection! The next thing to happen was Whitney Houston. From the moment I heard “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” I was on a mission. Lol. So if you ran across me as a child you would always hear me telling anyone who would listen that I was going to be an Actor, Singer, Model, Dancer. I wanted to be a star honey!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’d like to say what sets me apart from others is the fact that I’m me. I never try to emulate or compete with anyone else. I believe everyone has their own special blessing and it’s enough room for us all. I’m excited about the fact that I know what’s for ME is only for ME. And as long as I have the ability to, I will always keep trying fill the space that is mine. I got to the point where I am today because of my personal motto #NoBrakes I always tell people to never give up, never stop. Even if you do one little thing every day, you still are making progress. It was definitely not easy to get to the point where I am today. I started off very slow and very unsure if I was even doing any of it right. But once I gained emotional maturity, I realized that I have to be my own number one fan. You won’t always have someone to believe in you, or for you, like you think they should. And that is something that always brings me comfort. Because I know the talent that I have. All I need is an opportunity to showcase it and get that next chance. I’ve had people tell me how lucky I am or how blessed I am. I’ve had people tell me that it seems like everything I do comes easy to me. I want people to know that is definitely not the case. There have been many times where I’ve considered just giving it all up or trying to do, as they say, a regular job. But that is something I just can’t do. No matter how long the hours on set, no matter how many late nights I stay up memorizing lines, no matter how many auditions I have to go on, no matter how many times I start writing that script and get writers block.. I will never stop because this is truly my passion. I feel like I am working towards my kismet. I’ve learned that every opportunity is not for me. But the ones that are, fit perfectly! If you take anything away from my journey, be encouraged and know that we are all on our very own time clock. Make the most of each second, minute, hour and beyond.
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.
My city tour would start with mornings at Kaffeine Coffee on Almeda Rd. Then we could go check out some stores in the Galleria to see who has a good sale! A good lunch would be at OMG Seafood in Third Ward. We could check out some of the art walls in Downtown, Midtown and Third Ward for mini photo shoots. Happy hours would be at Daiq’s, 5015 or The Spot EDO. And of course if any of my peers in entertainment have any shows going on we would have to check them out!
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’d like to Shout-out Nakita, Niesha and Takila. My sister’s. I really started pursuing the arts when I moved to Houston. I was writing, auditioning, doing showcases, doing makeup, braiding hair and always working a full time job. During these times they ALWAYS encouraged me to keep trying, keep pushing, keep practicing. They were my street team, sounding boards, motivators, and sometimes only audience members. But I know for sure by having them believe in me they way they did, played a big part in me never giving up. #NoBrakes
Harold Jay Trotter, QShotYa, 5th and Sole, Point and Click Photography