What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I think the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was from a manager at a TV station I worked for while in college. His name was Don Johnson (no relation to the actor). He told me, “Never let anyone make you think you’re not smart. They may have more experience than you, but that doesn’t mean they’re smarter than you.”

What does winning a Backstage Readers’ Choice Award mean to you?

Honestly, I was absolutely stunned when I was nominated. When I won, I felt a tremendous amount of gratitude to Judy Kain, that she had faith in me to take on the 4–6-year-olds and later the teens; to the parents who entrust me each week with their children; to my mom who has always supported my dreams; and to my husband who made it possible for our family to move to Los Angeles six years ago. And I’m grateful that God has made a way for me to pass along the joy of acting to the next generation as a mentor and instructor.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?

My advice to all people seeking a career in this or any other business is to just do what you have a passion to do! You are uniquely made, so follow your instincts. If you don’t know where to start, seek wise counsel from someone who does what you would like to do and ask them how they got there. Take good notes, and go for it!

Donna has more than 20 years experience as a professional actress and broadcaster.  She is a former TV News Anchor and Television Show Host and has been seen in more than 100 commercials and Industrial films, most recently for clients such as Sara Lee, Suave, Curves, Farmers and Merchants Bank of California and Reliant Energy.  Donna can be seen in the Ben Affleck thriller Gone Girl” and has a lead role in “The Periphery” now winning awards at film festivals.  Recent television credits include Criminal Minds, Revenge and the new ABC series “How to Get Away With Murder”.  Donna has extensive experience working as an acting coach for kids and teens.  She says “I so enjoy my career and find it both a thrill and privilege to mentor the next generation as they reach for their dreams.”  Sign up for one of Donna’s classes at Keep It Real Acting Studios.