Photographer: Birdie Thompson. Hair/Makeup: Allison Noelle
How is it that you found a love for acting living in New Jersey? Did you travel to NYC for classes or did you study in NJ?
I think I started to act because my sister was doing it. She loved to perform in musicals in community theater when she was younger and I always admired her, so I think I kind of followed in her footsteps. We would perform in shows together in New Jersey, but sometimes take workshops with different acting teachers in New York City. Then, after being signed by my agent in NYC, I started auditioning professionally.
What is your number one love when it comes to acting? What don't you enjoy about being an actor?
My number one love is just falling in love with a character. There are certain characters and storylines you feel connected to and it’s just such an exciting feeling. What I don’t enjoy is the rejection. There’s a lot of rejection when it comes to auditioning and it might not have anything to do with your talent, but sometimes you just aren’t right for the role. You really have to learn to take every single audition as a learning experience and grow to love it in that way.
Please let us know about your upcoming role this year.
I am reprising my role as Edith in Despicable Me 3, which will be out in theaters June 30th. She is back and as fearless as ever. What is your character like? She’s the middle child of the three sisters. She’s got a really spunky attitude and is a huge troublemaker, but I think that’s what makes voicing her so much fun. Even though she’s a tomboy, she definitely has a softer side and loves her family a lot. She even has a protective side when it comes to Agnes.
How long does it take for you to remember lines? Do you have a trick to share? For voiceover, I don’t have to worry about memorizing my lines which is nice. Since I was young, I’ve had a really good memory which is certainly helpful. For auditions and the onscreen work that I’ve done I just try to think about the story. If you are less focused on trying really hard to memorize the lines, you will remember the story and your character so the lines will come more easily to you.
What do you call your personal style?
I would call it comfy…I’m not a spike heel and high fashion kind of girl. I like big cozy sweaters with a cami and jeans or leggings.
What things inspire you?
Music inspires me. If I hear a really awesome song, I immediately feel motivated. My family also inspires me. Everyone in my family is really ambitious, driven, and go after what they want. That definitely makes it easy to feel inspired.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
At that point, I will have graduated from UCLA and would love to be working on a TV show.
What would be your dream job as an actor and why?
My dream job is to be an actor because nothing else makes me feel more alive than my passion for acting. After I come out of an audition, my mood is immediately elevated. There's nothing else like it. I also have a big passion for film in general. Working in the film industry is something I aspire to do because it has had such a strong impact on me since I was little. I used Movies and TV to escape the pain of being bullied and it actually made me feel better. You can’t underestimate the power of a good film or show.
Where can fans reach out to you on social media and do you have any other projects that we should know about?
They can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @danagaier. In terms of projects, I also worked on an independent film that will be coming out soon called The Ice Cream Truck. My role, Brie, is small but important and it was an incredible experience as my first onscreen role.