At CYT, nobody celebrates the success & talents of our kids like their own parents. They pack the audience, wrangle backstage, chauffeur to rehearsals, & applaud like crazy when it’s all said & done. Turns out, just because our kids grow up & graduate from CYT, that doesn’t mean their parents stop applauding…or that we stop celebrating!
Recently, one such CYT parent, Kathy Kendrick, mentioned that her son, Daniel, was working in LA & Brazil and recently attended the 2015 Golden Globes! Say what?! We instantly reached out to Daniel to see if he’d be willing to let us feature him in an upcoming CYT blog post & he joyfully replied, “Thank you for reaching out! I would LOVE to be featured.” Turns out, not only is Daniel an exuberant & talented CYT alum, he’s also quite a funny guy! Enjoy out our Q&A with Daniel Stellan Kendrick (psst, he captioned the photos, too):
What was your involvement with CYT?
I was in CYT from my first Our Gang Class in 1995 until my last show, (CYT San Diego) Central’s OLIVER! in 2008. I went to camp twice, competed in Improvathon once, and ate many a Denny’s meal with CYT. It was my main scene growing up, and I met many lifelong friends during my years at CYT. In the end, I think I was in 15 shows.
Which CYT affiliate/area did you perform or work with?
SOCO (CYT San Diego, South County) was my home base. I did most of my shows there, starting with THE HOBBIT in 2003. I also dabbled in (CYT San Diego) East County and (CYT San Diego) Central, and made some awesome friends in those areas too!
Please, tell us about what you’re doing in LA?
I’m a literary manager at Chatrone LLC, a production company for Film & TV. A literary manager is very similar to a talent agent, but we get to wear jeans. I represent writers, directors, and artists in the animation industry. Some of my clients have worked on Spongebob, Robot Chicken, and Futurama. It’s tons of fun!!
(Click here to check out Daniel’s webinar, which he hosted, titled, “Writing for Animation; What ACME Doesn’t Tell You…”.)
Your proud mama tells us that you were involved with the Golden Globe nominated animated feature film, The Book of Life. What was your involvement?
Chatrone LLC produced The Book of Life, along with Guilermo Del Toro and Reel FX. When I first came to Chatrone, I was an executive assistant to the producers on the film. It’s a really incredible experience to see a film go through the phases of production all the way into theaters!
We also hear that you actually got to attend the Golden Globes! That must have been awesome! What was it like?
It was AMAZING! My amazing boss, Carina, took me as her guest since The Book of Life was nominated. To sit there in the audience among other executives from all over town, rooting for a film I was involved with, was a lifelong goal realized. It was surreal and awe inspiring; not to mention a total blast and a good reason to put on a tuxedo!!
Any good stories from the Globes you’d like to share with us?
The hor’s deurves were delicious, the women beautiful, and the celebrities clumsy. Particularly, the persimmon salad was delish. I recommend it.
What about the after-parties?
Okay, okay… this time, I got one for ya! So I was at the Warner Bros after party — just standing there — talking to my bosses and some D-list celebrity or something. And I feel a hand grasp my left elbow. I turn to face the culpit. And — woe-is-me— I find myself gazing into the blazing blue eyes of a nightmare dressed like a daydream. Taylor Swift. Making eye contact with me. ME! And Lorde is standing right behind her. We gaze deeply into each other’s eyes; our souls intertwine for a brief second. She parts her sweet, scarlet lips, and she says, “Excuse me, we’re trying to get to my friend.” She then shoves me out of the way and keeps talking to Lorde. It was a brief interlude in my career, but I like to think that in that singular moment, we lived a thousand lifetimes of love and passion.
Indeed, you did! Now, please tell us about Gaby Estrella, the show you are working on in Brazil.
Gaby Estrella is a Brazilian Telenovela that my boss, Carina Schulze created. It’s a fun little musical show about a girl from Rio who moves to the country and rediscovers her heritage and musical roots. It’s a total hoot, and a huge hit in Brazil. Hasn’t really made it’s way stateside yet, but the soundtrack is on itunes! It’s been nominated for an Emmy too! We find out next week about that one!
And, how did you wind up working in Brazil?!
I ended up working in Brazil with Chatrone mostly through UCLA. When I was a senior at UCLA, I thought to myself, “Gee, I ought to get ready to graduate and find a job.” So I put on some pants, went outside, and found an internship listing at Chatrone. I worked there for about three months, and then ended up at ICM, a major talent agency in Century City. After 6 months at ICM, I graduated, began to search for a job, and landed an executive assistant position at Chatrone! It’s been a lot of fun since. I’ve learned Portuguese, traveled to Rio & Sao Paulo, and immersed myself in Brazilian culture!
Many of our CYT kids would like to work in LA. What advice to you have for them about bridging that gap?
For myself, I think that attending UCLA really helped smooth that transition. When you move to a new city, everything is scary. All of your friends are back home, it’s all unfamiliar, etc. But going to college in the city in which you would like to work, allows you to integrate into a social system that facilitates friends and a social network. So I would say go to college or school here.
Another tip is that internships are the gateway into the industry. Do an internship for 3 months in 3 different companies, kick butt for them, and impress them. You’d be surprised how much people like helping young up-and-comers out. Everyone works for free for a while to get their foot in the door, so be prepared for that.
Was there something in particular about your CYT experience that has helped you in your current career?
CYT was an invaluable training tool for me growing up. I attribute almost all of my creative pedigree to CYT. The amazing people in CYT taught me creative taste, confidence, and salesmanship. I would not be where I am or who I am without CYT.
In your opinion, what makes CYT unique?
What makes CYT unique is that it is they are the largest Children’s theater company in the world, and in my opinion, the best. When you have such a large pool of talent from all over the world coming together to create and perform amazing shows, the enhance each other and strengthen one another’s talents. CYT trains successful entertainers, and people know that.
What is your favorite CYT memory?
OH MAN. I don’t think I could pick just one. Hm… alas! There were so many fun nights that I recall so fondly. Some of my favorite shows: The Hobbit, The Jungle Book (in South County), Oliver!, Once Upon a Mattress, and so many more! Some great experiences at camp too. I was also a fan of the skit game at camp.
Though most of my favorite memories ended up with me getting into trouble, so I probably should not go into those details. Haha.
Thanks, for the info & laughs Daniel! We think you’re golden.