You have recently starred in quite a few movies directed by Jared
Masters [Jared Masters interview -
click here] - so how did those collaborations come about, and how
did you two first meet to begin with?
We first met when he cast me as Joan in Slink.
I must have applied online because I remember getting a call from
him telling me that I had the role and that they were building the set.
The day that we shot must have been over 100 degrees, but luckily
Jared and cinematographer Tim McCombe work fast.
The sets were awesome. We
shot in Julia Faye Westís house at the time, which looked like a
magnificent gothic mansion. Jared
told me that Joan was originally an overweight monster type of character,
but that when he saw me, he thought that Julia Faye West, the star and
executive producer of Slink, could really be my younger sister.
That was really a compliment, as Julia is gorgeous!
collaboration with Jared Masters usually like, and what kind of a director
is he? And what are your shoots with him usually like?
films are always well-organized and fun to work on.
Jared does all of the budgeting and pre-production himself, and he
also writes, directs and edits his films.
That is how he can make his movies on a lower budget than most
filmmakers. He also shoots
fast, with very few takes. He
knows exactly what he wants the scene to look like and sound like, and a
lot of us have worked with Jared before so he knows that we can deliver
what he needs. I am also
Jaredís publicist, and he makes the job easy because of the quality of
the work he produces. All of
Jaredís films since Slink
have won awards.
I handle the awards and film festivals, but actually, Jared is
really his own best publicist since he shoots so many quality films every
year. Thereís a new article,
story and/or press release almost every week.
talk about each of the films in question and your characters in them in a
little more detail:
Dawna with Art Roberts in Slink
played the evil purse designer Joan in Slink.
Slink had a wonderful, very twisted plot, and I think that
Joan is one of the best characters that Iíve played for Jared.
Jared is very much a perfectionist, which is one reason why his
movies are so great. He took
pictures from when I was Ms. World and framed them for the walls of my
designer purse store called Virgin Leathers.
He also took his grandmotherís purses and hung them on the walls
of my shop. Iím hoping that
there is a sequel to Slink
and that my character somehow comes back
to life. I also had a great
connection with Art Roberts, who plays my husband Dale, even though he
ends up killing me! Jared won
an award for Best Horror Film for Slink
at the 2013 EOTM Awards at
the Pacific Design Center.
Day had its World Premiere at the 2014 Mockfest Film Festival and was
nominated for the Best Picture Award.
I played a mother named Naomi Perkins, and I was honored to win a
2014 Mockfest Film Festival Best Actress Award for the role.
The film was beautifully shot and colorized by Tim McCombe and the
hairdresser on the set did a great job on my hair.
It was a really fun role to play.
Jared asked me to find someone to play my date so I brought in a
great actor I had worked with before, Lejon Stewart.
Lejon and I had so much chemistry that Jared wrote a scene at the
end of the film for us! Jared
just called me to say that Teacher's
Day is going to be on
Netflix, as well as on Redbox and Amazon.
cast me as a record producer named Gladys Kang in Deadly Punkettes.
It was a small role, but a great character.
The set by Adam Trash was awesome.
The film was shot at Hollywood Casting and Adam hung gold records
on the wall since I was playing a big-time record company executive.
Andy Dick had a hilarious scene at the beginning of Deadly Punkettes.
just had its World Premiere at the Galactic Film Festival on
August 9, 2014, and won the Festival Favorite Award.
I won the Miss Galactic Film Festival Contest, and am very honored
trailer for Club Lingerie is hilarious, and it looks like it will be
a really funny film. I was
sick during the shoot so I could only work on the last day of the film,
but that day was awesome. I
played a pageant winner named Shelby Gator, whose partner is a
transvestite, played by the incredibly talented Richie Lillard.
He was so funny that he had me cracking up the whole day.
All of these beautiful young girls were running around in lingerie
on the set, and my friends Domiziano Arcangeli [Domiziano
Arcangeli interview - click here], Maria Olsen [Maria
Olsen interview - click here] and Lejon
Stewart were also cast in the film. Billy
Hendrickson designed a puppet especially for the shoot, and the star of
the film is cult favorite Bouvier [Bouvier
interview - click here]. Club Lingerie
is an Official Nominee of the FANtastic Horror Film Festival
in October in the horror comedy category.
Dawna with Jared Masters at the
Galactic Film Festival
As far as I know, you'll also be in
Masters' upcoming Carny Girls and Ballerina Massacre.
Anything you can tell us about those yet?
is still looking for financing for Carny Girls and Ballerina
Massacre. I will be playing
Cassandra, the fortune teller, in Carny Girls, and C.J., the head mistress
of the ballet school in Ballerina Massacre.
Both of them have great scripts and will be incredible movies!
future projects you'd like to share?
the future, Iíll be playing Michelle Willoughby in Past Due, which
will be directed by Robert Conrad, and The Snake Woman in Circus of
Dread from Mark Savage. Iím
currently filming Natural Born Filmmakers from Grunder-Oakley
Productions. Book of
Choices is also currently filming Ė I play Honora Turner in the third
story called Salvation of One Ė and then the film will enter the
film festival circuit. I
expect it to win many awards. I
will also be playing Alice in Phil Condit and Maria Olsenís Happy
Ending [Happy Ending
interview - click here], which will be a wonderful horror comedy.
I also just got a part in a film written by Luc Bernier called Bad
Illusion. Next year, Iíll be
playing the Outlaw Crego in Texas in Jezebeth 3: Guns of El DiabloĒand I am playing Stella in
Mouthpiece from Longshot Productions.
Creep Creepersin [Creep
Creepersin interview - click here] has an interesting television project that is in the
process of being greenlighted and Iím crossing my fingers.
Iím also going to play a wonderful part in a spectacular series
of fantasy/adventure films that I canít talk about yet!
What got you into
acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about your education
on the subject?
always enjoyed performing, and have taken ballet all my life and was a
cheerleader all through school. I
have an A.A. in Drama from Fullerton College and took acting and chemistry
classes at U.C. Berkeley. Iíve
studied with Sal Romeo of the Friends and Artists Theatre, Mark Majarian,
Dean Stockwell, June Barfield and have taken acting workshops with Tim
Russ and Richard Hatch. I also
took a summer workshop at South Coast Repertory, where my husband and I
now have season tickets. Sal
Romeo is the acting teacher who Iíve worked with most and who made me
believe that I could make it in the film industry.
Can you still remember your first time
in front of a movie or TV camera, and what was that experience like?
played Cleo the Snake Dancer in the last episode of Magnum P.I. and it was
an incredible experience. I
had a boa constrictor around my neck and the trainer was just off-camera,
in case the snake decided to choke me!
making movies, you have also done quite a bit of theatre - so how does
performing on stage compare to acting in front of a camera, and which do
you prefer, actually?
I was with Sal Romeoís Friends
and Artists Theatre Group for many years and I played Liat in a dinner
theatre production of South Pacific.
I am a dancer so playing Liat was wonderful, but I was also cast as
Mei Li in a production of Flower Drum Song.
I really wanted to play Linda Low, but the girl that was cast could
sing and dance better than me. Mei
Li has two really difficult solos so I took singing lessons to prepare for
the role. I did my best Ė no
one can ever accuse me of not giving my all on a project! Ė but I got
killed on my singing in the reviews. It
was sad because I thought my acting performance was really good.
think working in theatre helped me a lot because it taught me to speak
from my diaphragm and to make everything bigger.
Itís easier to tone down for the camera than to have to make
everything bigger. I learned
tons doing theatre work, but I really love the film industry.
One can't help but notice
that especially of late you're drawn more and more towards the horror
genre - a mere coincidence, or is horror a genre you're really fond of,
and why (not)?
been very lucky to make friends with the people I work with and many of
those talented people are in horror. Creep
Creepersin interview - click here] gave me my first role when I returned to acting three years ago
as his wife Lady Goldfist in Fingerbang and gave me my first lead as
Pamela Forker in Fork You opposite Domiziano Arcangeli [Domiziano
Arcangeli interview - click here].
I started working with Jared Masters [Jared Masters
click here] in Slink and have done
four films with him. I did Pond Scum with Mark Savage and hope to work on his
Dread soon. When I started
doing More Horror in Hollywood for Seth Metoyer and covered Shockfest,
Mockfest, Shriekfest and the R.I.P Horror film festivals, I got
to know even more people in horror. The
horror community is a very supportive and tight-knit group and Iím proud
to be part of it. Iím
presenting an award at the FANtastic Horror Film Festival in San Diego in
October and I just won Miss Galactic Film Festival on August 10, 2014.
Besides acting, you have also done quite
a bit of modelling, right? So what can you tell us about that career of
yours, and how does modelling compare to acting?
actually a swimsuit model and Iíve worked for Ujena Swimwear, Venus
Swimwear and Catalina. Iím
now doing photo shoots and covers for Bikini Magazine and I love shooting
on the beach. Itís incentive
to stay in shape. Iím also a
pole dancer now and love those outfits too.
course also have to talk about your involvement in Eye on Entertainment
for a bit!
Cox and I have done our television show Eye on Entertainment for the last
nine years. I was a marketing
director in technology and I missed show business so much that we would go
to Hollywood after work (12 hour days!) and on weekends and do interviews
with actors, directors and producers.
I met many of the horror stars through my manager at the time, Matt
Chassin, and I will always be grateful to him for that.
How would you describe yourself as an
actress, and what are some of your techniques to bring your characters to
I would describe myself as very
well-trained as I have an A.A. degree from Fullerton College in Theatre
Arts and took acting at U.C. Berkeley and South Coast
I was also with a theatre group for many years and have taken
recent acting workshops at Irvine Valley College with Tim Russ and Richard
Hatch. I can tell when my
performance is real when I feel it inside.
I have certain triggers I use when I have to feel different
emotions. Itís easy for me
to cry and I use my Dadís death as a trigger for sadness.
Chandra Gerson worked with me for a year on my performance as
Honora Turner in Salvation of One, the third story in Book of
Choices and I feel like it was a real turning point.
The character was so complex that I worked with Chandra and acting
teacher June Barfield on every line and every emotion.
I also used a devastating experience that I went through involving
divorce and the well-being of my children as a trigger Ė thatís all
Iíll say for print. I was
drained after we filmed Salvation of One, but it was such a
fulfilling experience. I feel
like I can play any role now and I canít wait to see Book of
Choices in film festivals!
Book of Choices
Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?
very much admire Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin
Spacey, Robin Wright and Billy Bob Thornton.
And I loved Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Sybil Danning [Sybil
Danning bio - click here], Ursula
Andress and Raquel Welch, just because they are so beautiful!
Theyíre all actors who command your attention Ė you canít
take your eyes off them when they are onscreen.
The camera loves them, as they say.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Silence of the Lambs,
Philadelphia and Sixth Sense are my favorites and I am very proud that my
uncle Tak Fujimoto was the DP on them.
I also love Shawshank Redemption and The Hunger Games movies.
I also just got hooked on the series Twin Peaks.
The character of Bob is so scary!
... and of course, films you really
my husband and I donít like a film, we just turn it off after the first
few minutes. This shows me how
important the beginning of a movie is, and Jaredís movies all have great
intros. Iím so used to
working on films with very small budgets that I believe that thereís no
excuse for making a bad movie with a huge budget.
are your future goals?
My primary goal in acting is to do
larger parts and more leads in the next few years.
I want to do demanding roles in quality films that will make me
grow as an actress. But itís
still fun to play sexy roles and prostitutes while I still can!
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!