Born and bred in the Lasalle/Windsor area, Dani Michie is a 19-year-old Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting major at UWindsor! You might have spotted her around the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre, where she spends most of her days rehearsing and devising her own original work. Good news, gentlemen: this cutie is single!
What made you want to be in the acting program?
I discovered theatre very late. I did choir when I was young, and I was very, very shy. I was very reserved and awkward and uncomfortable with myself. But then I started doing choir, and that was awesome because I got to perform but in the safety of an ensemble. Then, my local director recommended that I audition for the local arts high school Walkerville for the singing program, and I was filling out the form and it said you could audition for up to three programs, and drama was on there. I’d never taken a drama class or done theatre, but I was like, “Oh, I guess I’ll try it!” I went to the audition, and I got in! I was just kind of doing it on a whim… I started in grade ten and by the end of grade 10 I kind of knew that it was something I could really see myself getting into, so I transferred schools and I threw myself into it in grade 11. It’s been awesome. I have so much less experience than most of the people in my program, which was really scary at first… even in high school, the people in my arts program were doing community theatre since they were like, babies, and I wasn’t. I had done one show before I joined the program, but the awesome thing about it is that if you’re fully committed and you just go for it, it doesn’t really matter how much experience you have. And the other thing I really love about theatre and acting is the innate sense of community that forms so quickly within any production or program. You don’t really have an option – you have to build relationships and get to know people, which is awesome.
So what year are you in?
I heard that’s a crazy year in the BFA program.
It’s going very well. It’s very crazy, but somebody in fourth year said to me, “It’s crazy and it’s scary and it’s hard, but it’s also the most theatre you’ll ever do in your life in one short period of time. So you have to really relish that, because you’re never gonna have this much work.” (Laughs) So it’s a really awesome opportunity to test your absolute limits. And our whole class is just trying to remember that this is fun, and this is something we want to do. So even though it’s stressful, it’s stress that we’re very willing to go through.
What’s your one goal for second year?
I talk a lot with my professors about taking risks, and that’s something that is kind of constant. So I think taking risks in acting and taking risks in my personal life [is my goal for the year]. Meaghen Quinn [a sessional instructor in the Drama department] said to me, “If you’re uncomfortable, go even further and be more uncomfortable.” And that’s something that is so terrifying, but it’s also thrilling when you go to the other side of that extreme. So that’s something that I’m trying to do in all aspects of my life this year.
Who is your favourite person right now? Is it someone you know or don’t know? Someone you aspire to be like?
I’d have to say that right now it’s my best friend. We’ve been friends since childhood, and she’s so inspiring to me because she’s such an ambitious person. Ever since I’ve known her, you know, I’d be outside playing in the park and she’s, like, playing piano, and she’s five levels ahead in math… she’s just so driven and finds joy in all things. She’s in a dentistry program, and it’s really funny because when she wrote her application letter, she wrote this whole story about how ever since she was a child she wanted to be a dentist, and when she read it over she said, “This sounds so fake, but it’s true!” I just had coffee with her, and she’s just started taking ballroom dancing. She’s the kind of person who just goes for things and just enjoys everything, and enjoys even the most stressful, really intense, scary aspects of life. She’s really good at finding a goal within that and just going for it.
Are you a feminist?
Absolutely, I consider myself a feminist. The cool thing about feminism that not everybody knows is that it really is for everybody. And I love that within the definition of feminism there are so many other movements that have sprung up. And I think the cool thing about any kind of social justice movement is that you can’t really be a feminist and not support other causes, and vice versa. I think that if you’re a feminist and you don’t support queer rights, are you really a feminist? There’s such power in allying yourself with other movements and other groups of oppressed people. There’s a lot of power when we realize that even though we’ve all got our own struggles, if we could all work together just as people from within those movements, we’ll accomplish so much more.
If you had to listen to one song on repeat for an entire day, what would it be?
It would be “Hot Knife” by Fiona Apple.
Fiona Apple! That’s such a cool choice.
It’s such a fun song.
Pictures provided by Dani Michie.