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Meet Danielle Marcelle Bond

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Marcelle Bond.

Danielle Marcelle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born & raised in New Jersey but moved to LA as soon as I graduated as I always wanted to live here. I loved growing up in NJ and still get back east frequently for work and family. But LA has my heart.

I grew up loving singing, dancing, and acting. My parents were not for it, especially my mother. My Mom is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But she just doesn’t is not a music person. She occasionally would go to the movies with my Dad, but “entertainment” was just not her thing! So when I begged for voice lessons at age 7, she told me that I had to take piano lessons first. I was ecstatic to learn the piano! My mother was horrified that her plan backfired as she had thought all kids hate taking piano lessons. Taking piano lessons at an early age has been one of the best educational tools I have had as a singer, so thank you again, Mom!

While I did get the “Why are you still practicing? Why are you singing so loudly?” from the other room quite a lot, I was determined. I didn’t have many friends in elementary school, so playing & singing at the piano was a way that I connected emotionally to other people’s experiences. When you’re nine years old and wailing out Memory as if you’ve lived, you clearly have connected through the music–I had a lovely, easy childhood minus the lack of friends my age, but still could feel that life somehow in the song.

I eventually won my parents over to letting me to the Barnstable Academy for theater & music due to a very strong presentation replete with charts and research on the benefits of music to a developing mind. I was 10 and I was going to act and sing and conquer the stage.

Well, I’m still working on the conquering thing, but with every lesson, every college (thank you Indiana U, National Theater Institute & Arizona State!), every teacher, every success, every failure, and every performance, I grow continually as a performer and as a person. I am so grateful to have my childhood passion fueling me still. This week alone, I’m singing at LA Opera, preparing to go up to the Bay area to do Susannah with Festival Opera, finishing up an improv class at UCB, finishing a song that I’m releasing with a friend, working on a voice over for a corporate video and writing a few projects of my own.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh no. There are times when things feel effortless, but a lot of the time, it’s a challenge. But that’s a good thing for most artists. Do I wish there were things I knew ahead of time to prepare me more? Absolutely! Yet, I have to believe that my path as a performer is unique not because of simply what I have to say, but how much I’ve listened along the way- for better and for worse.

I listened to my parents to ‘get a real job’ and even though I was still loosely pursuing performing when I graduated, I actually had never thought of how to make money doing what I wanted. I had a very cool job in the music industry for a while doing soundtracks and pitching music for Warner Music Group. It was incredibly fun, interesting and I learned incredibly valuable business skills. But it wasn’t what I truly wanted for myself. I knew I needed to figure out a way to make performing my livelihood.

Especially in LA, there are a million ways to earn a money in our business. Yeah, most are not the ‘on camera being paid well’ type, but I have done some incredible things that are treasures to me in my own story. I have been a fit model for a movie that Susan Sarandon was in…Turns out we’re the same size if you stuff a much larger bra full of socks. I loved that giglet as I felt like I was playing dress up with friends at a sleepover. I sang at an event that had a 9 page NDA… I still can’t tell you what I did, but it was amazing. I’ve sung at LA Opera next to Placido Domingo, in Germany, sang the funniest, most operatically dramatic music for Taco Bell extolling the virtues of cheese (typecasting), I premiere operas, wrote the music for the Tempest at a Shakespeare Festival, am the voice of a judgmental refrigerator in a commercial, have a sketch podcast with amazing voice actors who I love and admire… Honestly, if I’d known what I was doing at a young age- the questions to ask, the places to go, the people to work with… I’d probably have a more “successful” career. I still want so much more for myself. But if I hadn’t had to hustle, I would have never had those experiences.

I think the biggest struggle for me has been being self-employed after a personal loss. The good thing is that you’re self-employed, so you can carve the time out to be there for your family and take the time to heal during grief. But the hardest thing for me so far in my career has been the recovery of being proactive enough to book new work. Getting back to the hustle is hard, especially when you had such a non-productive period. The resources I’ve gained from my own personal experience with this will hopefully never benefit me in the future as I’ll have everyone I love healthy & happy. But just in case something does go wrong, I’ll know how to manage my business better and set recovery goals in a meaningful way.

One of the best ways I’ve helped myself in the past year was to go to Ladies Who Do Cool Shit! My friend Serena Johnson started it back in November 2018 and I am at every meeting that I can get to! Accountability is key, but this group takes it up another level. Being inspired by such remarkable women has been incredibly motivating in such an unexpected way. I would have thought a new role that I could really sink my teeth into would be the thing that relaunched me, but it was the camaraderie of figuring our shit out in a positive, productive way that was the real trigger for me.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a singer-actor, specializing in classical based technique performances. I sing a lot of contemporary orchestral/operatic pieces, work with composers for new works, act in classical stage productions of Shakespeare and other early theater and opera, sing and act in film, TV, games, and commercials. I also teach voice and role preparation for singers who are working on developing themselves as actors in a specific role.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
While I love booking jobs for concert work, operas and acting jobs, I’ve been focusing a lot this year on creating my own content. We’re beginning work on season 2 of our Free Candy Van podcast, I’m writing an opera libretto, a web series and am planning a recording of a Shakespearean song album. I’ve also been volunteering with the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council’s Homeless Engagement Committee and am excited about that work as well. Oh, and continue working to conquer the stage.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Keith Ian Polakoff (Long Beach Opera, Macbeth), Keith Ian Polakoff (Long Beach Opera, As One), Rolf Bormuth (Opera Classica Europa) Doris Koplik (Long Beach Opera, Marilyn Forever), Richard Brusky (Opera Las Vegas, Cenerentola), Kelly Carroll

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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