Articles by Danny:
Again, We Say Never Again.
Going The (Social) Distance
“If the last two years— I mean two months, just feels like years— have taught us anything, it is to be open-minded to adapt to things out of your control.” – Danny J. Lee
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photo credits: Bradford Rogne
Danny J. Lee is an LA based TV host, commercial actor, sportscasting personality and voice over artist. Send Danny a message.
Danny, thank you for joining us today at VQS. Take us back in time to how you first got into performing and entertainment.
I have always enjoyed entertaining. For me, each day involves working towards the fulfillment of a dream born out of my formative years.
Throughout my nascence, I wrote, played drums and percussion, and did pretend play-by-play of my ill-fated athletic exploits. I had an inkling that a career in THE business— one of them, at least— was always in the cards. I can remember being in the fifth grade and we had a journal-writing exercise. Others in my class would talk about home life, mundanity like what they ate for dinner, how they hated Mondays. I just wrote sportscasts about the previous night’s games across the sporting world because the Suns beating the Lakers the night before is as close as I would get to being emotionally “woke“ then. It became so kitschy— remember this was before the internet became a thing— that all the other schoolyard sprats came to expect my summations on a daily basis.
Don’t get me wrong, I was the shyest kid in school. Making eye contact wasn’t an easy task. But, I knew if I wanted to entertain, I had to work on myself in all facets. Imagine telling people through high school and college about your high-odds pursuit of an on-camera career with these less-than-glowing attributes.
I’ve spent my entire life battling those demons, as well as people telling me to take the more paved road in the job world to some variation of needing a winning lottery ticket to thrive in the field. Oh, and don’t forget the shyness that could make a monk on a vow of silence jealous.
Soon after college, I got to work on my sportscasting pursuits, eventually accomplishing my goal of appearing on ESPN before the age of 30, and other major networks subsequently. I even traveled the world calling sports of all forms, including the World University Games in Russia, where I was in the building with none other than Vlad Putin.
These days, the once-smitten, twice-shy kid from the San Fernando Valley is overcoming once seemingly impervious obstacles by doing commercial work, voiceover— people used to copy my voice in a Chief Wiggum or if you’re old enough, Edward G. Robinson slant— and hosting gigs.
I am in constant pursuit of new challenges, which may or may not include playing daddy daycare to a 10-month-old as of this writing.
What 3 core values do you believe are necessary for success?
The constant self-audit required of any creative-minded person to see if you are doing everything you can to better yourself.
Always be prepared. Whether it’s having your lines down pat and knowing the character like you are that character in acting or having all the backstories down in sportscasting to something like knowing a company well before a job interview, being prepared is a virtue that puts you in position for the part.
Be open to change. If the last two years— I mean two months, just feels like years— have taught us anything, it is to be open-minded to adapt to things out of your control. Don’t get rigid in your ways. If you can roll with the punches, you’ll be better able to think on your proverbial feet. Like John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Who have been some of your favorite people/projects to work with?
I’d have to go to my sports days with the World University Games, which sent me to Russia, Italy, Spain and South Korea, as well as the Paradise Jam, a yearly hoops tournament in the USVI that I called. Always nice to get a paying job in the Caribbean.
What future opportunities would you like to be involved with?
I’d love to keep getting hosting and voiceover/commercial spots. Fun work if you can snag it!
Articles by Danny: Again, We Say “Never Again” | Going The (Social) Distance