Spotlight | Danielle Doiron
Danielle and I met in 2014 while we attended the Pre Professional Training Program at Neptune Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is vibrant, stylish and someone I now call a dear friend. She lives in Toronto now and keeps my feed alive with her adventures.
How would you describe yourself?
Oh man....well, I’m someone who is very giving, and I like to do things for other people. I’m determined. I’m strong. I’m funny and strange, and weird (in a good way!). I like to be goofy. Sometimes I can be shy and anxious too. I think a lot of people don’t realize that about me at first. Well, maybe the shy part, but not the anxious part. I’m a small girl, with big dreams!
How has creativity manifested itself in your everyday?
I’ve definitely found over the years that creativity is a way for me to centre myself. If I’m feeling stressed, or tired, or even excited. Being creative is a good way for me to express myself. A couple years ago I read the book The Artist Way and it really changed the way I view creativity. I find a big thing for me is giving myself the time to be creative. I get cranky if I don’t have enough time to express myself.
Currently, you are in Toronto, what is the atmosphere like there?
So far people have been pretty amazing here. I’m lucky because I have some friends from Halifax, and a lot of friends from when I used to live in Montreal who now live in Toronto too. So they’ve kinda taken me under their wing, which I really appreciate. I’ve heard that it takes a year, and I’ve heard it takes two years, and some people say they are just feeling like they are getting a handle of the city after five years. I’m excited. There is so much happening here. I’m constantly overhearing conversations in the street or just while I’m out, of other performers talking about shows they are doing. I like to listen and see if I can learn anything from their experiences. There are tons of open mics and the improv scene is INSANE! So, so good! So far the improv community has been really welcoming to me too, so I really appreciate that. There’s definitely higher stakes here, but I like that. I like that there is room to grow.
You became such a dear and solid friend during our year in the Neptune Theatre Pre Professional Training Program. In reflection on that year together what is your take away from what they provided us there?
Awe, thanks girl! You are very dear to me too! I was certainly grateful having you there along for that ride! PPTP really taught me a lot about how to prepare, how to be there for myself as an artist. I was working a part-time job at the time, but it was really the first time that I just got to focus my energy just on acting and performance and creativity. It was such a blessing. I’m so grateful to have had that time to just be. On the first day, and you might remember this, Chuck, the school director talked to our class and said, “you will never get time like this again. Don’t F*** it up!” and that always stuck with me. It was so great to have that time, to grow and just be. The first semester was all about process, not product and that was a real switch for me. A lightbulb moment I guess, because it really taught me that it’s important to try things, and make mistakes and just to spend time on doing and exploring, rather than trying to make it perfect the very first time.
Can we just reflect on how crazy it was that we were two of three girls in a class full of young guys?? What are your thoughts on how gender played a role in that year.
Omg...yes, that was very unexpected! Again, it’s such a blessing that you and me and Sarah got along! In some ways I feel our class was less competitive...but who knows if that would have changed had there been more girls in the class. I found it a big harder to get to know the other classmates initially. But in the end, I love those guys so much! I know we didn’t really have any drama, which was awesome!
You have played various roles in your acting career thus far, which has been your favourite?
Ooo good question! It’s hard to say. A stand-out for me is probably the roles I played in Spring Awakening, the musical. At first, I was disappointed because I wanted more singing roles, but in the end, I had such a blast playing those characters. It was the first time I really played adult characters too. I played Fraulein Knuppledick, Frau Gabor and shared the role of Fraulein Grossebustenhalter. I just remember not wanting the run of the play to end. I wish I could have kept playing those roles for sure. It was fun because all three characters were so different and we really had room to play around and find the characters.
Your Fashion Blog continues to inspire me, how did fashion and personal style become one of your mediums?
Haha, thanks girl! Apparently I used to dress myself pretty crazy as a kid and my older sisters were always getting on my mom to not let me leave the house in what I was wearing, but she would just say that I liked what I was wearing. I remember my sisters putting a very strong emphasis on matching haha. But being a younger sister, I got a lot of hand-me downs. So I’d get a lot of new to me clothes often, and there was usually pretty cool stuff because it was sometimes clothing meant for a slightly older age. My mom is also a seasmstress, so she’d make us all clothes too! We’d pick out a pattern and fabric, and she’d make something for us! That was really cool! Growing up I was in jr. High, getting my older sister’s clothes (who was in high school). She had really good style and would lend me clothes or give me stuff that was sometimes barely worn!
I think being one of 5 children, fashion just was another way for me to express myself and stand out a bit. I didn’t always have a lot of money, so I’d have to search the sales racks and figure out how I was going to make several outfits from one top. I also used to watch “What Not to Wear” with my dad! He has really good style too! So I learned about what sort of shapes look good depending on your body type/style.
A big inspiration for me was when I spent a Summer living on exchange in Montreal when I was 17. It was the first time I had a consistent job and I bought so many clothes! The fashion in Montreal was and continues to be so inspiring to me. Once I lived in Montreal again, I started to get inspired by vintage clothing, because you could often find it for cheap and it was well made.
So I guess it’s just my way to express myself. And then after much peer pressure from you (jk!) I started the fashion blog. Originally I didn’t think I was qualified, but then I realized that it can be whatever I want it to be and that I don’t have to know everything in order to do the blog and that I can just focus on what I do know and am interested in.
Danielles Closet Blog
You were and still are a member of 'The Creatives' group that meets here in Halifax, what kept you coming back every month?
Oh man, The Creatives are the best! I miss them! For me, I had a hard time coming back to Halifax. Even though I was born there and grew up there, I moved away when I was 20, so moving back I didn’t know a lot of the community and I found it challenging at times to make friends. I remember you inviting me to The Creatives wine night and I went, and immediately felt at home. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. And for me I really loved listening to the other women sharing their experiences and ups and downs with creativity and life and it was really great for me to have a place where I could talk openly and candidly about my struggleswhile feeling so much support! And of course, then I became friends with most of the people in the group, so eventually it also became a place for me to see some awesome ladies who were now my friends! It was really fun...oh and the wine and treats didn’t hurt either!
Do you have any morning or night routines that centre you?
It comes and goes. I love doing yoga in the mornings, but I go through stages of when I do it. I’ll do it for a while, and then life will get busy and I’ll stop, then I’ll start doing it again. The last few months I’ve been in such transit, I’d like to find a little more routine to my days.
If you were to pass on any advice/knowledge/wisdom to other creative seeking spirits, what would you want to say?
Find your people! Especially if you’re living in a new place, or starting a new creative endeavor. You need people who will inspire you and who will be there for you on those tough days....and there will be tough days! Listen to your gut and your intuition. Go to events alone if you don’t have anyone to go with. Introduce yourself. Make stuff. Remember, it’s just someone’s opinion. My former acting coach used to say “You are stronger than you think you are!” and it’s so true! Focus on what you want to do, not what everyone is telling you “you should do.” GOOD LUCK!