This week we chat with actress/singer/dancer/writer Danielle Bouloy. Danielle spoke to us about her numerous, numerous jobs, her association with FitVentures, her cameo in “The Fire Project,” and not settling in her life or career. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Danielle Bouloy:
The Daily Quarterly: How did you hear about thedailyquarterly.com?
Danielle Bouloy: Same way I hear about all incredibly vital news organizations: Facebook. Some time in the not-so-distant past, I noticed that my handy-dandy Facebook Home Page was slowly becoming cluttered with ubiquitous posts by my childhood friend, Brian DiMaio. That was my first inkling there was a new, hard-hitting news periodical clogging up the interwebs.
TDQ: How excited were you that The Daily Quarterly asked you for an interview?
Bouloy: My excitement was remarkable. I can even use a little copy and paste action to reveal my exact quote: “omg!!!!! i have been holding my breath waiting for the day when you would ask for my interview! truly, i had recently moved from the “blue man” phase to “oompa loompa” status. i was beginning to scare my mom. (actually she was scared way back at the “smurf” stage.) sooo, go ahead, and send away. i have no idea if i am an interesting subject for your readers or if i will even be able to answer all questions that are posed, but i will give it my best boy scout try!” I’d say my excitement’s evident from this passage. :)
TDQ: Choreographer, comedienne, actress, writer; really, can’t you just pick one already?
Bouloy: Well, first, I’m not sure how accurate that list is. Technically, I don’t get paid to write or choreograph (yet). These I do because my heart can’t contain them. And second, you’re missing a few. If we were accurate, we would have to add dancer, singer, teacher, artist and Lara Croft impersonator. Oh yeah, and then throw on top of those the random contracted jobs I’ve found myself doing between gigs, such as updating software on the computers of a major auto dealership in West Palm Beach (I’m nowhere near qualified for this), or designing lights, programming cues, and running tech for a dance show on the spot when I was injured (not my usual skill set), or explaining how “our company’s cloud-based software is used as a robust platform to train your employees and provide in-depth customizable data for you to pinpoint weaknesses in your training programs” (What?) And then there’s one of my favorites, the “party facilitator” where I worked with a DJ to get everybody up and dancing at social functions (ok, maybe that’s not so far off). And, no, I can’t just pick one. Just can’t seem to. It’s not really a good thing, believe me. But I guess I’m just a super-adaptable person who takes direction well and can learn just about anything pretty quickly. And if I’m scared of something, I take that as a personal dare to myself to do it. Because of these traits, I find myself in some unique situations taking on tasks I’m entirely under-qualified to do. It almost always turns out well. Wink, wink.
TDQ: You went to Florida State University. How was the theater program there?
Bouloy: FSU’s known for a top notch theatre program and producing very solid performers, theatre managers, and design/technical professionals. I have great respect for a majority of the faculty I trained under, and I received a solid foundation to build upon. I was definitely challenged to grow in ways that taught me to continue to challenge myself. Many of my fellow students are now doing very well within several performance genres and are really making a name for themselves. I guess we learned something while we were there, besides the fact theatre students ALWAYS throw the best parties. :)
TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?
Bouloy: Well, I seem to have a difficult time simply answering a question straight out, and it’s really hard to pin me down to favorites of anything. But my answers are probably fairly typical. When I was very young, I loved “Annie” and “The Sound of Music,” then came “Dirty Dancing” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” (I was in love with Patrick Dempsey when he was a gawky teenager with a big nose). I also loved most of the other typical 80s fare, but another one that stands out is, “Stand By Me.” It really resonated with me.
TDQ: Who was your favorite entertainer growing up?
Bouloy: Since I don’t think you can qualify Debbie Gibson or Kirk Cameron as entertainers, I may have to skip this question. I did love watching the classic musicals of the 30s and 40s on TV with my Dad. He would tell me all the little-known facts about the film and relive the details of where he was along with the date when he first saw it. I loved all the singing and dancing and cozy time with my family. So I had a secret joy in watching some of the great entertainers of my father’s era such as Gene Autry, Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, and Gene Kelly. And I can’t forget those Bob Hope Specials. Many, many years of Bob Hope specials. I also loved Carol Burnett, and don’t think anybody will argue her status as a true entertainer. Her show was one of my favorites. I think my style as a comedienne tends to mimic what I innately learned by watching her. I’m all about the funny voices and wildly physical characterizations.
TDQ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Bouloy: I was recently reminded on the streets of Key West by a random stranger of my affinity for a certain piece of advice. In passing, she quickly quipped some wise words to myself and the group of 30-somethings I was with, “Don’t settle.” I feel as though I’ve always lived by this particular motto. Maybe that’s why I seem to be perpetually single. But I also believe this advice rings true in many areas of my life. Perhaps my unshakable commitment to this adage is what’s kept me continually struggling to attain some rather idealistic goals in each facet of my life. It’s often difficult for many people to understand why I persevere on my path, but maybe I just gave away my secret. Hmmmm.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
Bouloy: The art I create (not just for a paycheck, but as a means of expression) isn’t really based off anybody else’s prowess or career. It springs from my particular experiences, unique perspective on life and my desire to communicate empathy for the human condition with others. Because of this, my influences tend to be people in my life with characteristics I wish to emulate, rather than larger-than-life people with whom I have no direct contact. We’re all influenced in some way by the great men and women of our time, but sometimes the truest life lessons are very small and come from the guy sitting across from you in the waiting room. In that way, I’m influenced in small and large ways by everybody I come into contact with.