There is an intriguing, sylphlike quality to London born Danielle Thompson, with a whisper of vulnerability dancing just below the surface. These are attributes that quite simply vitalize and enhance all of her performances. Solid British resolve and a firm belief in Kismet produce an energy and tender urgency that is hard to resist.
Ballet at the age of three, family singarounds and a natural flair for drama provided the initial impetus for the eventual journey she would take to the stages of the world.
In reflecting on her early years, Dani relates; "My childhood was wonderful from a professional standpoint as I began competition in ballet at four and piano from the age of six. Then verse speaking and voice (speech) competitions and always practicing - not much playtime at all and an extremely strict upbringing which at the time I thought was Victorian! I have very fond memories of my mother who was naturally funny and as sweet and giving as could be" Her life has all the essential elements of a fairy tale and perhaps it is, as the years unfold, bringing her closer to her dreams and aspirations. One senses a particular affection and admiration for her father, whom she describes as a "wonderful man". At the age of seventeen Dani lost her mother to illness and this event must have drawn her even closer to her father.
After attending the Royal Academy of Music (12 Years) She won a prized scholarship to the prestigious East 15 acting school to study with Joan Littlewood. Initially her father was against her accepting the offer. Deeply disappointed, she was astonished the following day when he announced, "Guess who I had lunch with today?" and she was even more astounded when he informed her that it was none other than Joan Littlewood. During the luncheon he had quite pointedly inquired of Littlewood, "Does my daughter have any talent?" He was assured that she did and the scholarship was awarded. Another step in the journey was accomplished as Danielle became absorbed in scene study under the tutelage of Littlewood. After two years there, Stanislavski was undertaken with Margaret Bury, movement with Jean Newlove and a BA degree in Shakespearean studies followed.
The British Repertory Theatre was next, starring in more than 75 plays and musicals, she subsequently co-starred in national tours of "Two For The Seesaw" (as Gittel).."Stop The World I Want To Get Off" (as Evie), "Come Blow Your Horn" (as Connie) and many others. As Dani describes it, "In England, if you have talent you will always work" and work she did!
The USA beckoned next, ("I always felt that America was part of my Karma"). Honolulu found her in modeling sessions and roles in various TV dramas.. She further honed her skills studying jazz with the late Ernie Washington, also some memorable big band gigs and service club engagements were part of her Hawaiian experience.
She soon began appearing in jazz clubs in Los Angeles and most recently (May 9th.) found her at the Cinegrill in L.A. where she received rave reviews for her one woman show, a true tour de force in every sense. Of late she has had supporting roles in "Flashframe" and "Babylon 5" as well as guest starring in two independent films "The Disturbance At Dinner" and "Disclaimer Date". These roles showcase Dani Thompson at her very best in both comedic and serious modes.
The late James Cagney, when asked for acting techniques, proffered this advice "Stand up straight, look the other guy in the eye and tell the truth"..... And Thompson accomplishes this while still exuding her natural ebullience and incalesence, not an easy feat.
Dani Thompson has graced the stage of the 66 California in Ventura, Ca. (June 9th.) and this writer witnessed a dazzling performance that captured the hearts of a very hard to please, very hip audience.
Possessing a sultry voice with a 3 1/2 octave range is an asset to say the very least and coupled with her ability to sing in French, Spanish and Italian, it embellishes her inherent talent even more. As a thespian Danielle has a gift that is incalculable, the omnipresent eye of the camera simply adores her.
It was a confluence of circumstance that led to the penning of this piece and as you, the reader, will note I am duly impressed with this fine artist.
The seductiveness of the female voice in song, courts the soul of any man who listens. It is the lure of the siren and the irresistible call of the muse, Euterpe..................
Some upcoming appearances:
The Cinegrill, September 13.
66 California, October 6.
66 California, January 12
Lunaria - TBA
Captain Pauls - TBA