Name: Danielle Mills
Profession: Performing/ Teaching Artist
What area of the BX are you from?: Castle Hill | CHP
Current location: The Bronx of course
IG handle: @general_milzy
podcast: Facts Only
Danielle and I met as dance majors at LaGuardia High School. When I tell y'all, she is hands down one of the funniest people ever, BELIEVE ME. Even though she's a Delta and I'm an AKA, I still got madd love for sis! (Skee-Oop) In all seriousness, she's dope AF. So do yourself a favor and subscribe to her podcast,
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Danielle Mills and i’m obviously from the Bronx! I’m a Taurus (gang, gang) we up next! As a child I was drawn to the performing arts and would often put on shows around the house. I began studying dance at the tender age of 5. I was fortunate enough to study and perform at some of the finest institutions around NYC. I expanded my horizons to acting and received my B.F.A from NCAT in 2011. In 2012, I was accepted into the University of Georgia on as an M.F.A candidate in performance. After graduating I worked with some of the top theater companies in Atlanta and then decided it was time to come back home. Since I’ve been back I’ve been teaching, auditioning, laughing, living my best life and working on my podcast entitled Facts Only!
What are your fondest memories of growing up in the Bronx?
Summers. Definitely the summer time. Being outside in the summertime was lit as a kid. Everything was so bright and alive; everywhere you looked there was something going on and I remember being excited because of that. Let me help paint the picture: Mister Softee was parked on the block, the sprinklers were on in the parks, music was playing, loads of people outside just living and having fun. Summertime hanging out in the big park (shoutout to Castle Hill), going to the chicken spot was IT! Lol Times were a lot simpler then... all it took was a beef pattie and cheese with cocoa bread to keep me happy lol.
Do you feel as though being from the Bronx has heavily influenced who you are today?
Of course it has. New Yorkers in general are special people because each boro is so distinct. You can always spot a New Yorker, but The Bronx in particular is by far the best boro hands down! We have a distinct sound, look, and overall vibe. That being said, I learned a lot growing up here and spent a lot of time in my community. I spent most of my my youth harnessing my talents between Harlem and the Bronx. I put the Bronx on my back whenever I go anywhere. If someone asks where I’m from I gladly rep. The Bronx. There’s nothing like it.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
The list is long but I can list some for sure. Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Phylicia Raschad, Debbie Allen, Misty Copeland, Oprah, Will Smith, Issa Rae, Donald Glover, Ava Duvernay, Ryan Coogler, and Lena Waithe.. Just to name a few. These days I’m constantly being blown away by my peers who’re achieving all the goals they set out to achieve and then some. Anytime I see or hear of an accomplishment they’ve made I feel like I have also won. I’m inspired by everyone especially people of color who are creating their own content and putting themselves on! That’s what gives me hope to keep pushing because I see people making a way out of no way despite whatever the odds.
What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment would probably have to be graduating with my M.F.A from the University of Georgia. Once upon a time attending graduate school was only a thought because we all know school is not cheap. The only way I was going to go was if it given a full ride. The stars aligned and I was accepted on a full assistantship to UGA. It was also a really tough program so I feel like an OG so coming out on the other side.
If you could, in what ways would you give back to your community?
Community is a big aspect of how I approach my work now. As an artist I want to inspire the youth to follow their dreams despite how grand they may seem. On a larger scale when my checks get healthier I’d like to create some scholarships for young artists coming out of the Bronx to support them on their journey. I’d also like to create some facilities that act as a safe space for the youth. Give them an escape to go to when life gets overwhelming or just a place to chill. We need more constructive outlets in our communities.
If someone were visiting the Bronx, where would you tell them to go?
If you’re into seeing the sights go to Yankee Stadium, The Bronx Zoo and maybe the Botanical Garden, depending on the season. But what initially came to mind was food! I’d take you to my favorite Jamaican restaurant (King Sunshine), Spanish restaurant (Havana Cafe), etc. We’d be going to all the poppin food spots so we can eat good.