In 2005, Dani competed at IMTA and won many prestigious awards including: 4th Place Junior Actress Of The Year, 1st Place Commercial, 2nd Place Soaps, 2nd Place Commercial Print, 4th Place Cold Read, Finalist in solo singing and dancing, and honorable mention for Team Sing. She was in the May month's issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine on page 175. Other past projects include a promotion for American Idol, a national Coke commercial, guest spots on Matters of Life and Death, Early Edition, The Disney Channel New Year Special and Payback.
At the age of 7, I was walking around the mall, when I was approached by someone from the Barbizon agency who said I was beautiful and asked if I ever considered modeling. After following up on that, I started the classes. They then realized how outgoing I was and asked me if I wanted to act. After being on set for the first time, I fell in love. I automatically knew that's where I was meant to be and I could never stop doing it.
How did you hear about IMTA?
I was in the classes at Barbizon and overheard what IMTA was all about. Then I begged my mom to let me do it and she agreed.
What was your IMTA experience like?Well I went 3 times. Once when I was 8, then 13, and lastly when I was 17. All three times I had the most amazing time of my life. I can remember every detail of every time I went. Meeting with so many casting directors, agents, managers, and producers all in one room, it's like a dream come true.
What happened to your career after the IMTA?
After my last experience there when I was 17, I flew out to L.A with the intention to do pilot season. I ended up relocating permanently to L.A after the season ended. Because of IMTA, I signed with a great agent and manager who helped me to get where I am now.
What advice do you have for new Contestants attending the next IMTA?
Don't get discouraged and don't give up. There are so many people there, but you have just as much of a chance and everyone else there. Take advantage of your opportunities while you're at IMTA. Nowhere else can you get agents, managers, casting directors, very influential people in the industry, all in one room. IMTA can open many doors for you. Work hard, do your best, and just be yourself.
Tell us about your agent/manager.
Right now I'm signed with Buchwald Talent Group in the youth division and am currently looking around for a new manager. I have a lot of good opportunities in the works for that. There are so many options out here, it's just about choosing and agent and manager that fit you well and have a passion to take your career to the next level.
What has been your favorite booking so far?
Definitely my recurring role on Dateline NBC's “To Catch A Predator”. Not only did I get to act on a very popular television show, but in the process caught 40 pedophiles in 3 days. It also got my face out there, and I had the opportunity to do a new show produced by Oprah and made by Harpo Productions and had an article in the May issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine.
What is a typical working day like for you?
Get up around 5 am, drive to set, have breakfast while waiting for make-up and hair, do the blocking for the day and check the “dailies”, and after a few hours start filming. Usually, I'll end up filming 14 hour days depending on the project. But it's definitely an amazing experience.
Who has been the most interesting celebrity you've met so far?
Mel Gibson. I filmed with him when I was 11 on the movie “Payback”. He was probably one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He took pictures with me and autographed a headshot for me. He was just an all around great guy.
Any final words of wisdom to add?
Having the look and the talent is only a small percentage of the business. Work ethic and learning the business side of things is most important. So many people will tell you your flaws and pick at everything that's wrong with you. In the end, the best thing you can do is embrace it, and use it to your advantage. The more you believe in yourself, the more other people will believe you.
Stay tuned for more from the very talented Dani Miura!