©Gina Piersanti

©Gina Piersanti

DAPHNE FISCHER

By SPECIWOMEN Illustration GINA PIERSANTI

"Womanhood is different for each and every individual and I despise the fact that Hollywood tries to manufacture a one size fits all woman"

Who are you?

My name is Daphne Fischer, I am 20 years old, I grew up in the suburbs of Pennsylvania and I moved to Los Angeles on my own just after my 16th birthday. 

How did you get into film?

I think on some level I always knew I wanted to be a performer. Not because I loved being in the spotlight but because I had a lot of emotions and the arts gave me a place to channel them. In my every day life I was kind of criticized for feeling so much. I was labeled “too sensitive” and “a cry baby”, my big feelings were framed as a negative thing. In acting having big feelings is a gift in many ways. It allows you to empathize with people on a much deeper level. I fell in love with acting not because I wanted to be famous but because I love the feeling of exploring emotions. I love the artistry of acting. All I want is to be the best actress I can be because that is what feeds my soul.  

Thus far, what has been the most challenging project you have worked on?

Most recently I put together my own short film about negative body image and self esteem issues in young women and it was by far the most challenging and most rewarding project I have worked on. I wrote, executive produced, and acted in my own short film. 

The film is called “Enough” and it was based off of my 6 to 7 year battle with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are kind of a taboo topic in today’s culture even though millions of people struggle with them. This film isn’t just about ED’s though. It’s about how girls are raised to believe that their self worth comes from their physical appearance. Millions of women with broken self esteem spending day after agonizing day trying to be something different so that they can be “good enough” finally. As women we are set up for failure. And that’s what my film is about. It’s about realizing and understanding that everyone is born “enough”. 

I have spent the last 4 months managing a kickstarter campaign. I spent 6-8 hours every day on twitter promoting my film so that I could raise the $6000 needed for my film. Once I completed that I had to hire the cast and crew, manage the budget, find a producer, scout locations, I had to manage every last tiny detail all the way down to craft services on set! And then on top of that I acted in the movie which required me to look at some very dark places of myself. I spent more than half the shoot days crying all my makeup off. It was hard. But I am so proud of myself and I truly cannot wait until I get to see the finished product.

When someone views your work, what do you want them to feel?

When people watch my work I want them to feel seen and understood because that’s all we’re really looking for as human beings right? We want to feel connected to people. My favorite movies are the ones that make me deeply feel. I’m not interested in fame or fortune. I want to make people laugh so hard they cry and cry so hard they sob. At the end of the day I am interested in touching the lives of people.

How much do you incorporate your personal struggle in your work?

All the time. In any way that I can. If I am not bringing myself to the role how can I possibly find where the character lives within me? My amazing acting coaches Zak Barnett and Martha Gehman, who I have studied with for years now, always talk about how acting is not about reaching outside of yourself for the character but diving deep down into yourself to find where you and the character meet. 

How do you deal with stress when working on a project?

This is something that I am still working on! I am a type A personality and a perfectionist so I have a bad habit of functioning at very high stress levels and convincing myself that I’m fine until I burn out and crash after too many days of not enough sleep. I have decided that my theme for 2017 is self care. So what I’m really focusing on this year is taking the time to slow down and check in with myself . My mantra is the more I take care of myself the more the Universe rewards me and so far 2017 is off to a good start for me ☺ 

Your favorite movie of the year. Why?

You know it’s Oscar season currently so that’s a really tough choice! Plus I still haven’t seen the majority of the films that were nominated. I’ve really got some work to do! But I was a little preoccupied that last couple of months working on my own film ;) 

Where do you draw the most inspiration from?

You know I obviously have a list of favorite actors and actresses. I fell in love with Meryl Streep when I was 13 and she has been my phone screen and computer background ever since. I have followed her career and poured over her work for years. She was one of the main reasons I fell in love with acting.

But to be completely honest the thing that inspires me the most is my acting class. My teachers Zak and Martha are the people that keep me inspired. It’s very easy to become a bitter actor/actress in this town and to forget why you loved acting in the first place. But when I’m studying with them, in their classes, they remind me of the beauty of the artistry and craft of acting. I love it so much.

What is it about cinema that allows you to express yourself better than other art forms?

I really think that what I am best at is empathizing with people. I think I’m really good at feeling feelings.  I’m an ok dancer, a pretty good singer, a TERRIBLE painter but I do it for fun anyways, and instruments just don’t peak my interest. 

You know that saying find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? I think that’s really true. I mean obviously you have to put work into the things you really want and love too but it’s so much more enjoyable. I could sit with a script for hours on end and not get bored. It just feeds my soul.

Aside from cinema, what do you like to do?

I like to read. I frequent my library a lot. I love to run, I ran track and field all throughout middle school and high school. I love my dog, like any proud animal parent. In terms of a social life I am incredibly independent, introverted, and love my alone time. But I have those rare gems in life that I love having in my space because they let me be exactly who I am, no strings attached. Those are the types of people I search for in this life. 

Are you working anything currently?

Right now I am working on finishing up my short film. It’s in the post production stage and I am itching to get it done!

How does your womanhood impact your work and life in the industry?

I think it’s really hard sometimes because you have so many people shoving their idea of “what a woman is” down your throat. They’re constantly trying to tell you what it means to be a woman when in actuality the only person that gets to decide what it means to be a woman is you. Womanhood is different for each and every individual and I despise the fact that Hollywood tries to manufacture a one size fits all woman.  

@daphnefischer