Dakota Raen - Be an Original
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Balance

Another thing I learned this year, and still learning.. is Balance. I have never realized how important this is until this past year. 

I have a very obsessive personality, so when I find interest in something... I go a bit overboard. For a while I was working 7 days a week. I couldn't handle having nothing to do. My days started at 5 AM and ended around midnight. I reached a point I was so completely exhausted, I had pushed many people away. I wasn't able to sleep because I was too concerned about getting everything done the next day.

Trust the moment.

"You need to be in the moment." 

Anyone who has been in Richard's acting class has heard this over a hundred times. It's the number one lesson he teaches, how to be in the moment and trust it. In reality, we don't plan out our conversations word for word, we feed off of the other person. So he teaches us to trust the moment, and just go with your gut. 

In January I knew what he meant, and in my scenes I trusted it. It has improved my acting a lot, and I know how to switch it up with every person I read with.

Comfortable with being Uncomfortable.

One thing I learned this year is not to give up, and to push through the moments of doubt. Today really proved it to me. I didn't want to get up today, or go into class. I wasn't doing good mentally, and I felt like I was going to be off in class. 

Once I got there I let myself go, and just focused on the character. I thought about what she wanted, her goals, her problems. Then I went on stage and did the scene. It wasn't perfect, but it was way better than the last time I did it.

Tree of Life

Back in January Dakota took me on a hike to the Tree of Life. At the time it was intense. We started just by climbing up rocks, and i struggled so much getting up there. I didn't think I could make it to the top. We were both tired, and thirsty... but after an hour we made it to the Tree of life. Which is basically a tree on top of this mountain that people leave letters under. I left a note mentioning it was my first week living in California for Pilot Season 2015, and that I had hoped not to return to Chicago.

Peter Pan

You know those people who have such a great smile, it makes your day? Or the people that are so incredibly talented you can hand them any instrument and they could learn it and play it beautifully? Or the person who asks how your doing, and will listen to you talk before they even think to bring up themselves?  This person to me is Kevin Quinn. 

I met Kevin on set of Kids & Ghosts last year, and we stayed in touch when we moved to LA. I knew he was a great actor when I worked with him on set, and I saw him on Chicago PD shortly after.

Crave

"We met at Crave" I remember Dakota saying as we were lying on the bottom bunk in our old apartment. "I was so smooth, like crazy smooth." I couldn't imagine it, Dakota? Smooth? If he says so. He went on and on about this girl he had met two months before. "We didn't even mean to spend everyday together after that." 


Her name is Yasmine, and she is beautiful, carefree, talented, and unique. She looks at things the way Dakota does. They are the couple that you can feel it in the air how much they love each other.

Bear Hugs

Now, I don't know him as well as I wish.. but I do know that he is the type of person who can brighten anyones day. I met Bobby back in March, but he didn't really start hanging out with our group until October. He is basically a fourth roommate. The couch has kind of became his bed. 

Bobby is that person who always has something to say, and its never negative. 
One day I wasn't having the best day, nor feeling well at all. So he sent me a picture of a bunny with a pancake on its head.

I met my Best Friend

March 29, 2015 has now become  date I will never forget. I was hanging out at the apartment when Dakota asked if i wanted to go to the beach. It was about 6pm at that point. "Why do you want to go to the beach?" 
"Tara asked if we wanted to go. I guess they are going." 
So we went. It was pitch black out by the time we arrived with all of our glow sticks, snacks, and blankets. By the time we all got there I turned to Tara, who at the time I barely knew, and said "Dude I've gotta pee so bad.

"This isn't LA"

September 2011, I was wearing a pair of ripped jeans, black converse, and a lace top I hated but my Mother loved. We were standing outside of an agency in St. Louis. My mom struggling to work the key pad. "Here let me help you." We hear as a petite woman with short blonde hair walks up the stairs. She approaches the door and opens it, "This isn't LA." We laugh and walk inside with her. As it turns out, that was Susan Nickels... my Manager of almost four years now. 

I am writing about her because I am thankful that I found such a hardworking, caring, open, and beautiful manager.

#PeanutButterAddict

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE peanut butter. Like, I will admit that I am obsessed. I am basically considered a peanut butter addict. You know.. the kind that keeps a jar in her nightstand, and has two in the kitchen cupboard along with peanut butter to go in her purse. That kind of peanut butter addict... I also follow many pages on Instagram that have to do with peanut butter.. like Buff Bake, Wild Friends, Muscle Butter, My Peanut Butter addiction.. At least I admit it. 

That is something that makes me, me.
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