Today’s Notable Young Professional is actor Dakota Daulby, whose commitment to being the best in his industry is a valuable state of mind many other young professionals can learn from. What was the inspiration for his career route? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
I’m a young, dedicated but impatient artist who wants to write, act and direct a million different stories every day. I’m a huge advocate of creating your own work; with that said I don’t believe any part is too small. I’m just happy to be working, but always want to work more.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
In a way, artists are their own business. We’re in the business of selling ourselves, and it took me a while to get to a point where I felt comfortable doing just that. My journey to this career started because I was a young kid with no friends, and I was in dark place. I thought that if I acted, people would see me and begin to like me, and girls would talk to me. As I got older, especially once I graduated high school, I let all those insecurities go and just fell in love with the business. I’m now proud to call myself a workaholic and I absolutely love what I do.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is being a total stalker on public transit or on the street, and being able to say it’s homework. What I mean by this is that it’s our job as performers to study the human condition; to see what ticks people off, or how people laugh, or what weird body twitches and movements people have when they’re on their cellphones or listening to their iPods. The hardest thing is not getting caught. All joking aside, I think the most difficult thing is to sit on transit with no cell phone, no newspaper or iPod to hide behind. To just sit there, listen, and interact with strangers. To know that people are looking at you and judging you and not being afraid of it. These days people are so afraid to interact with total strangers. They are so stand-offish thinking that everyone else is on bath salts or something, thinking that they are going to attack you just for saying “hi.” Just try sitting there in the shit of it, as they say, not caring. It’s kind of fun.
Where do you see your business going in five years?
That’s a question we talk a lot about in school. I remember one teacher went around class to each person one morning and asked us what we want out of our careers. Everyone’s answers were noble and honest, and really good answers. But I found that many limited themselves in the capacity of their dreams. They put a cap on their potential success. This is something that I’ve never understood. In five years I want to be the biggest star in the world. I want someone to be asking their buddy about the new Tom Cruise movie, and for buddy to answer, “Yeah, I don’t know, it’s with Dakota Daulby and that other guy, Tom… Cruise I think.” If you don’t believe in yourself to be the best at what you do, and that goes for anything, then why should anyone else believe in you?
What does success look like to you?
First of all, success is something that I will never achieve because I will always strive to do more, write more scripts, direct more films and help more people. At the end of the day I want the higher power – whoever you personally believe is up there – to know that my success was not in vain. That I am able to say that I took the gifts of success I was given and gave back to those who weren’t as fortunate.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable milestone of my career, so far, would have to be working on the Steven Spielberg-produced TV series Falling Skies. Without giving too much away, I have a recurring role in the fourth season, which begins airing this month. It was such an incredible experience to sit around a table full of hugely successful actors and to know that you earned your spot there; to read through the scripts with some of the performers you’ve watched growing up, such as Noah Wyle from E.R., Doug Jones from Hell Boy, or Will Patton from Armageddon. The list can go on and on.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
The advice I can give to young professionals like myself is for us to understand that it is not the size of the character you play that matters, but it’s the magic that you pack into that character. Even if you only have one line but you put something into that, make that character breathe and see and hear and touch and come off the page, those are the performances that matter. Those are the ones that get noticed. Oh, and make sure you’re happy with every take you do because you never know which one the editor is going to use – remember, this business is an editor’s medium.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I don’t have a charity of my own as of yet, but it’s on my “goal list.” I have been volunteering with the Arts Centre & Theatre though. It’s a community center for young artists based in my hometown of Maple Ridge. I also hope to get involved with the Boys Club of Templeton High School. My acting head, Phil Granger, who runs the acting program at the college I attend, New Image College of Fine Arts, volunteered for the club and I’ve found the work they’ve been doing is incredible. I hope to be a part of it soon.
What is notable to you?
The people I work with on a daily basis are extremely notable and inspirational. I’m a young guy, and I find the mistake most young actors can make is that they don’t follow through on the advice they are given from their peers and mentors. If someone gives me a piece of advice, I try to make a point of following it. Writer/director Ana Valine was just awarded a Leo Award for her work on a film I starred in, Sitting on the Edge of Marlene, which is set to release this year. Ana, who is also a friend, is a person who I greatly look up to. She got her own work going, created a job for herself, which is something that I aspire to do and am actively pursuing. Ana didn’t wait for others to control her career and in doing so she earned herself huge notoriety for her work with our film, including two Leos in total, and hopefully more recognition to come. For this reason she is notable to me, along with all the other artists that I work with on a daily basis who are creating projects for themselves and helping to develop our local industry.
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How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I pick things up and put things down – I also tend to lose to my dad at tennis frequently. The tennis generally just makes me upset so I go lift weights with my brother-in-law a lot as a stress reliever. While shooting the feature film Black Fly, which I co-starred in with my buddy Matthew MacCaull (who has a film with George Clooney coming out called Tomorrowland), I joked with him saying the production asked me to stop working out so much because he’s supposed to be my older brother in the movie and I was more jacked than him.