Fierce Females: Danielle

Danielle

What is it that empowers you most?
Being onstage. There’s nothing in the world I love more than running out to a cheering crowd and getting to perform for new people and share our music. I feel the best when I’m singing, like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
When I was in elementary school, people used to make fun of my huge eyes. One kid called me “owl eyes.” It’s funny how something I hated is probably my favorite thing about myself now. My eyes are huge, yeah, but they’re unique and usually the first thing people notice. I’m also extremely persevering– you can tell me “no” or “you’ll never be able to do that,” but if I feel strongly about something, I’ll keep working for it. Life’s too short not to fight every single day for what you want.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Gel eyeliner! I always do the “cat eye” look, and I like to play around and add dots near the wings. It makes me feel very put together and sort of… fierce! For some reason makeup gets a bad reputation– it was created to enhance natural beauty, but it can also be an amazing way to express yourself. As long as you aren’t hiding behind it, and it makes you feel beautiful, then wear it however you want!

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My mama. I’m really lucky that I had extremely supportive parents growing up– they let me move to New York City and study acting in college, knowing I would come out with a performance degree and a whoooole lot of loans, but they wanted me to follow my dreams. My mom has been at every single performance, play, talent show, concert– always there to cheer me on. She has taught me to be patient and to always give people second chances. I have been through a lot of disappointment and heartbreak, but she will listen to me cry to her on the phone for two hours if that’s what I need to do, and then she’ll tell me that I have to keep going, no matter what. She sees the best in everyone and it’s something I hope I can someday pass on to my kids too. If I can be half the woman she is then I will have lived a really good life. I’m blessed to have her.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I LOVE Stevie Nicks. I think she has an incredible voice, she’s a brilliant songwriter, musician, performer. I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac with my parents– I remember hearing “Landslide” in the car when I was really young and being like mom, her voice is so cool! Stevie has been through some crazy life experiences, but has always emerged stronger. Plus she’s a total badass and has killer style. She’s truly inspiring to me!

 

“I would want to give up because I was so frustrated or heartbroken, but I didn’t.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Hermione Granger. I’m the nerdiest when it comes to Harry Potter (before I was doing music, I worked at the Harry Potter exhibit in Times Square and essentially got to dress up as a witch every day), and I think she is such a crucial part to the story. Harry is awesome, but he wouldn’t be half as successful without Hermione to think everything through beforehand or bail them out when they’re in trouble. She makes being smart cool, and I love that.

What is your biggest life goal?
To win a Grammy, and to have a #1 song on the pop chart.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Probably watching our song being performed on Glee. I grew up a theatre kid, and Lea Michele is a legend in the musical theatre world, so the fact that she was covering our song on national television was such an incredible feeling. We didn’t know if the song was actually going to be in the episode until the day before– they really kept the suspense going! When the episode aired, I remember kind of just staring at the screen thinking, there are millions of people watching this right now, hearing our song. It was so crazy.

What is your favourite quote?
I have two. The first one is an Emily Dickinson quote my mom always says to me, and I ended up getting it tattooed on my leg. “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” I went through some dark times in college, and she would send me these little cards with that quote written in it. Hope is always alive within us, and it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes.
The second one is (obviously) from Harry Potter. Dumbledore says it to Harry in the Prisoner of Azkaban. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
To keep going, that the hours I spent every day practicing were worth it. There were so many times when it took me forever to nail a particular chord on the guitar or I didn’t get the role I desperately wanted in the musical, and I would want to give up because I was so frustrated or heartbroken, but I didn’t. I would tell my 6th grade self that someday, it would all pay off.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means loving and accepting yourself as a woman. I’m a girl in a boy-dominated industry, and I just lived in a van on tour for six months with dudes, sharing beds with them, hearing their gross jokes, listening to them fart. It was so important to me to go get my nails done or online shop just to remember that even though I’m surrounded by guys, and sometimes I act like a guy, it’s totally okay that I’m a girl. I think feminism is also about supporting other women, finding reasons to love yourself and your body, celebrating who you are, and doing things to make you happy. It has a bad reputation because guys think women just want to kill all the men and take over the world, but to me, feminism is about accepting everyone, regardless of gender, and celebrating why we’re alike, why we’re different, and realizing that no one is better than anyone else.​

Danielle is a vocalist in the band Oh Honey from Brooklyn, New York.
Connect with Danielle: Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Fierce Females: Danielle

Fierce Females: Michele

Michele

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me is knowing I can be who and what I want to be everyday. I can wake up and have the ability to go out and achieve all my hopes and dreams.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my ability to find humour in almost any situation. Laughing really is the best medicine.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I am dancing on stage. When the lights hit you and your heart practically leaps out of your skin and you are taken over by the movement and for those few minutes nothing else in the world matters.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My role model is my mom. She has the biggest heart and wants to do everything she can to help others even if putting herself last.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Someone like Mia Michaels is definitely up there for me. She is a choreographer who doesn’t look like your typical dancer. She has a curvy figure and doesn’t pretend not to. She owns her movement and creates pieces that connect with your mind, body, and soul. She is a legend.

 

“When the lights hit you and your heart practically leaps out of your skin and you are taken over by the movement and for those few minutes nothing else in the world matters.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Maybe Elphaba from Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the west. She is a character who is willing to give up her success for something she believes in. She is a different then everybody else but that doesn’t stop her following through on her dreams.

What is your biggest life goal?
I want to have a steady musical theatre career.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Winning The Young Choreographers Award and Best choreography in the same year.

What is your favourite quote?
“Great dancers aren’t great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Spend less time worrying you don’t look like everybody else and more time focusing on the things that make you different and therefore make your stand out.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me Feminism is the belief men and women should be given the same rights and opportunities and have their gender not enter into any equation. Not that one gender is better than the other it’s about equality.

Michele is a actor/choreographer/dancer/singer from Toronto, Ontario.
Connect with Michele
: Twitter

Fierce Females: Michele

Fierce Females: Caity

Caity

What is it that empowers you most?
Meditation. The best thing about meditation for me is that it has given me access to the infinite resources within myself and the knowledge that whatever I need I already have and whatever I want to be I already am. It’s also a practical skill I can use to bring about change in my daily life. I was intimidated by the prospect of meditating for a long time until I tried it and instantly realized every meditation is new which means you are always a beginner and that everything you experience is entirely perfect so you can’t get it wrong.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
My inquisitive nature. I struggled with this a lot growing up because i felt alone in it. I didn’t hear others around me asking the same questions and I wondered why I couldn’t just let things be. I’ve come to realize only recently that my insatiable desire for exploration and understanding is propelling me on an exciting and ever-changing journey. Now my questions are an adventure, answers are a bonus!

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Self expression. When I allow myself to be open and vulnerable in front of others, especially creatively. When we share our truths together and reveal our hearts. There is nothing that feels more beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Gosh I really can’t pick just one. My wonderful friends, family and strangers alike – anyone who dares to live with truth, courage and an open heart. Someone who cries in public, who dances by themselves, who breaks the rules. Anyone who isn’t afraid to be themselves, or better yet who is but does it anyway.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I’m constantly inspired by people I know…my friend Jenna is a Melbourne based artist who works under the the title Musings From The Moon. Not only does she make beautiful art and writes poetry she has just started a course in yoga teaching. What inspires me most about Jenna is her willingness to share her journey, to inspire others with her honesty and the gifts that come from her living her truth everyday.

 

“whatever I need I already have and whatever I want to be I already am.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Actually, I would be Brad Stevenson from the movie A Family Stone. I’m not all that interested in him as a character so to speak but he gets to kiss Rachel McAdams** and hang out with Diane Keaton and Claire Danes. **Rachel McAdams is my Hollywood wife.

What is your biggest life goal?
To live in clarity, truth and love.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Acting with compassion and love in the face of challenges.

What is your favourite quote?
“The only one I meet is God, the only street existence.” – Emily Dickinson

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
I love you, you’re perfect.

What does feminism mean to you?
Equality.

Caity is a musician (Acoustic Guitar / Keys / Vocals) with the band Playwrite from Melbourne, Australia.
Connect with Caity
: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Fierce Females: Caity

Matt Epp

Matt Epp

I saw this beautiful specimen, Matt Epp, when he opened for Serena Ryder in Winnipeg and he is incredible. The singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba has released seven albums and collaborated with artists such as Eliza Gilkyson, Rose Cousins, Serena Ryder, Amelia Curran and others. Epp began his career with the release of his first album in 2005, he was nominated for awards on Sirius Radio and even lived in Granada, Spain while he toured Europe and made a solo acoustic album Never Have I Loved Like This.

Epp’s discography includes You’ll Find Me Alone (2005), Love in Such Strong Words (2006), Orphan Horse (2008), Safe or Free (2009), At Dawn (Matt Epp and the Amorian Assembly) (2011), Valentine -Single (2012), Never Have I Loved Like This (Germany only) (2012) and Learning to Lose Control (2013). He played “This Old House” while opening for Serena Ryder and I absolutely loved the song, not to mention he made us sing along and I always love that.

He was also incredibly humble when my sister and I practically attacked him after the show for a picture and autograph…

Matt Epp

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