Acting is an art form and is more than just learning lines.
We spoke to Dani Masterson, model, actor and current Ms Worldwide, about her creative process and why she acts.
“I’m an only child, so growing up, I loved expressing myself through drama and working with friends. I started doing drama from a young age and knew I never wanted to do anything else.”
Finding a passion so early on in life is enviable. Dani went on to train in the University of West London and working in Film, TV and Theatre. She has worked on many productions including An Irish Story, Streetdance 3D and The Great War Diaries. Her most recent film, Landlords Gone Bad is a comedy depicting the current housing crisis in Ireland.
With such varied roles, how does Dani develop her character portrayal?
“Every role is different so I would not have a set way of creating a character. For some characters, I’m probably type-cast and fit into the role naturally. For others, I have to do a lot of research and combine some acting practitioners techniques. I would then break down the script in detail and the subtext.”
Her process is clear, and creativity is core to her method.
“Creativity is a huge part of acting. It is what acting is all about. Most people assume it’s just learning lines and trying to convey the emotions and script. However, you have to create and develop the character. As an actor, you must create your character’s way of speaking, movement and reactions; rather than just delivering lines the way you assume you are meant to. It’s a creative and collaborative process between the director, other actors and yourself.”
Not only does Dani act, but she has started writing.
“I’m writing my first short film (Lovelorn) at the moment, which is set in Tudor times. I’m near completion and hoping to shoot in the next few weeks.”
Inspiration can come from other people, and Dani follows female directors, writers and filmmakers with fervour.
“I worked with RADA's Maureen O'Connell on a number of films. Her most recent film to be released is Spa Weekend which she wrote (along with Karl Argue), directed and produced. I really admire people who create their own work and make their own goals happen.”
What’s her advice for budding actors and models?
“For budding actors I would strongly suggest getting as much training as you can and never stop. You should be constantly learning and growing as an actor. For models, go straight to an agency. For those who just love to create; go for it! Don't wait around to hear anyone's approval. Keep creating and enjoy the journey.”
Words by: Sasha Kinch