Dani Guevarez is best known for her role in the hit BET+ original series “First Wives Club” as the ex-wife to Tyrell, played by comedian/actor Affion Crockett. Some of her earlier credits include, “Inevitable” (DIM Productions/Innerlocked Media), “At Mamu’s Feet” (Best/Star Maxx Media), and “Inner Demons the Thrillogy” (AM4F/ScriptWork Productions LLC). Dani has also found success as an author, writer, director, and owner + sole acting coach of Acting for Beginners; the latter is where she spends most of her time outside of performing. Coaching is dear to her heart as it is a way of passing the baton to new and uprising creatives. As a working actress and coach, Dani shows no signs of slowing down with several projects in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond.
Who is Dani Guevarez in five words?
Determined, ambitious, and limitless woman.
What inspired your interest in acting and entertainment?
I took an elective called TV productions in High School in my senior year, not because I was interested in acting, but because I enjoyed performing. I had a role in a student film, and I remember standing in front of the classroom TV, watching the final product getting emotional as I watched my nonspeaking performance on the screen. Along with many other experiences I’ve had as a child, this one also impacted me.
You recently launched your acting career with a hit show, “First Wives Club.” Can you share what this experience was like for you?
The experience was amazing! It was my first time on a high-budgeted set, having a trailer with a fireplace, TV, and shower. This made the process of waiting to film much more relaxing. I could finish work, rest on the couch, watch streaming sites, and enjoy craft services while studying my lines.
Did you meet any of the other leading ladies of the show (Jill Scott, Michelle Buteau Bree, Ryan Michelle Bathe)? How did this filming experience impact your career?
I was unable to meet any of the three original leading ladies; however, I was able to meet the dynamic Michelle Mitchenor, who plays Jayla Wright on the show. She was introduced in the second season and is the latest leading lady of the series. It was a privilege to know she was pregnant before the general public. Her being pregnant was not part of her character’s storyline, so I witnessed how production can hide pregnancies with wardrobe and blocking. The world knows she is pregnant now, so I’m not spilling beans. It was cool to have the exclusive.
Professionally, this experience has made a significant impact on my career. For starters, it’s a great addition to my demo reel; having recognizable footage on your IMDB portfolio is always a plus. I was able to make genuine connections and work with actors who’ve been working for quite some time. On a personal level, it feels good to have some credible answers at family holidays when asked, “what are you working on?” or “what have I seen you on?”.
Tell us about your character Nina.
Nina is a confident businesswoman who wants to support her estranged husband. Part of their marital issues was that her husband wasn’t receptive to her suggestions regarding business matters. So she goes out and accomplishes them herself. Nina is a go-getter with an “I told you so” attitude.
What obstacles have you faced as an aspiring actress? Would you change any part of your journey if you could start from the beginning?
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced as an aspiring actress was being my worst enemy. I had to learn patience and that what is meant for me will be for me. Once I began to work on other things while doing the necessary work for my acting career and mindset, opportunities started to roll in.
I wouldn’t change any part of my journey because I use every mistake I’ve made to coach others on how to do it correctly. Some may believe I made a mistake by not going to school for drama, but not going to a performing arts school allows me to be a walking vessel of success whether you go to school or not.
One unique fact is that you have two cosmetology licenses. Do you ever find yourself pulling out your cosmetology hat?
It’s funny that you ask that. To bounce off the previous question, another obstacle I faced was figuring out how to bring in income with flexible work that allowed me to meet audition deadlines and take off when I needed to be on set. In addition to coaching, doing hair on the side gives me the flexibility to meet these auditions and filming dates. Being a cosmetologist, I can also do my hair and makeup if there is ever a set that doesn’t provide it. That’s one less expense for me!
Tell us about your coaching program; with over 63k members, how do you balance your acting and coaching careers/endeavors?
It’s not hard to balance at all. When I coach, that’s a substitute for me attending an acting class. I find myself learning new things I can apply to my career.
What are the core values of your virtual academy?
I coach on having the right mindset to pursue acting, a necessary skill for any endeavor. I teach about being yourself and knowing you are good enough. You do not have to change who you are to be the best in what you do. There is a role for everyone!
You recently jumpstarted your workshop for aspiring actors; was the first successful, and what can people expect from future ones?
The first workshop was a success; it warmed my heart for people to come out! Students can expect much of the same plus more with some fine-tuning. These workshops are designed to help actors get started in the industry, providing them with the information and tools to audition and book properly.
What would you consider the highlight of your career thus far?
Definitely, First Wives Club. Being able to act with actors I have watched as a fan and love the final product of our work has been THE highlight. This will open the door for future career highlights.
What message do you hope aspiring actors take away from your career and experiences?
From my career and experiences, I hope aspiring actors learn that they will flourish once they discover and nurture their purpose.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A Pretty Woman Who Hustles looks and feels good while hustling. Pretty will internally and externally illuminate.