This week I’m sharing the story of Daniel Carneiro, an artist in the literal sense of the word, whose great passion is being able to impact people through art from a non-rational place: “I love the type of art which is an expression of myself and of what I want to talk about. The beauty of art is being able to impact people from a non-rational place”.
Born and raised in Goiânia and from a low-income family, Dani had always been a shy child. That is, until he became a good football player: “I was a really shy child; I was so nice that I was constantly made fun of. After I started playing football, I became a good player and thus a new identity was created, and that made me feel surer of myself”.
As time went by, football stopped being a priority when he discovered art: “It came a time during my adolescence when my friends grew taller and I didn’t, so I wasn’t so good at playing anymore. It was around this time that I first saw a play and it fascinated me. I went from football to art: I started taking acting lessons and for 5 years my closest friends were those I had from the theatre.”
When the time came to take his university entry exam, he opted for a safer choice, even though deep inside he still yearned for something more artistic: “I wanted to apply to Drama or Music, but I didn’t want to start a fight with my family, so I found something that seemed to be somewhat related to art, but which offered more financial stability. I applied to Advertising and went to São Paulo to study at USP”.
His college years marked a new phase in Dani’s life, who drifted away from art a little, but also opened himself up to the world: “It was a new chapter in my life. I drifted away from art, but I opened myself up to the world. I stopped being a silly boy and made a lot of friends”.
Soon the time came to start working. After having done an internship at an advertising agency, he decided to move to customer relations and went to work at Unilever: “I decided to apply to a marketing internship at Unilever. Ironically enough, the guy who used to like art ended up in the least artistic area of advertising: marketing”.
Dani stayed at Unilever for almost 5 years, during which he endured some of the most grueling experiences of his life: “I am very perseverant, so I survived there on grit alone. What I did there did not come easy to me, but in my mind I wanted to be there. Getting into Unilever was a huge achievement for my family, so I did everything I could to deliver a reasonable performance”.
With time he started becoming more certain that this was not where he was supposed to be: “There were several things that showed me I didn’t belong there. During that time, I also had a girlfriend who strongly encouraged me to pursue a path of self-discovery. My performance was lacking at Unilever, and during a talk with my boss I realized it was time to look for something which would make me happy”.
Dani decided to quit and then dedicated himself to getting into a Master’s program, but things ended up taking a different turn: “I left Unilever to do a Master’s, but I did not get in. I decided to go on a sabbatical in Goiânia to focus on studying. When I was about to leave, I got in touch with a friend who suggested I spend some time in Rio and take acting lessons”.
This time art came to stay. What was supposed to be a short course turned into Dani’s new reality: “I did the three-week course and it was like a reunion. That thing that had been stashed away at a drawer had come out! I had the option of doing the professional course, which would take two and a half years. I was so sure of this that I decided to do it, no matter how crazy it seemed”.
Dani has now been in Rio for five years. At first he combined his acting career with a part-time job, but as things progressed, he became a partner in a theater company and he started being offered great opportunities as an actor. This year he left his part-time job and is now able to dedicate himself full-time to his artistic career.
An acting career is not easy at all: Dani has already faced many challenges and still continues to face many others, but his passion for his craft is so great that he would do anything for art.
What about you? Are you also passionate about what you do?
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