17 Jan Alumni Spotlight: Dan Shaked
Since leaving Strasberg, alumnus Dan Shaked has had an illustrious career on stage and screen. Shaked has been featured in works such as How to Follow Strangers with Ilana Glazer, NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura, and Shonda Rhimes’s Body of Proof. In dealing with the trials and tribulations of the entertainment industry, Shaked cites his training at Strasberg as the foundation for his work. “Practicing method work in class for 4 hours at a time taught me discipline, stamina and concentration,” he says. “This business is not a sprint. It’s a marathon and practicing the craft consistently and full-throttle makes the ebb and flow of this business easier to handle.”
At Strasberg, Lola Cohen was one of Shaked’s biggest mentors, and the two of them clicked from their first moments in class together. “She didn’t try to fix something that wasn’t broken,” he recalls. These were critical moments for Shaked, when Lola coaxed his creativity and sensitivity out of him – leading him to have both a deep emotional response and a full expression. The work Shaked learned here reaches far beyond acting and lends itself to real life situations. While at a party recently, Dan noticed he was having anxiety during the middle of a conversation. He began to notice he was holding tension in his jaw and arm, and he practiced relaxation right then and there. “Often, the work applies to real life.” he asserts. “If you are conscious of it, you can fix and adjust things within yourself.”
Shaked’s career has led him to work with Broad City’s Ilana Glazer on How to Follow Strangers, which was filmed on location in New York. Shaked describes the experience as “quick and dirty… weaving original text and some improv.” Another one of Shaked’s career highlights was working on the new play On the Spectrum, where he appeared as Mac, a man with Asberger’s who falls in love with a nonverbal autistic woman. The production took new life after the initial run at The Fountain Theatre in Hollywood. “I became involved with the autistic community, and [they were] an eager participant in our production,” he says. “The play meant more to me than just a play itself; it felt like a responsibility.”
In addition to all these projects, Shaked has been featured in the Tribeca Film Festival with Storm Up the Sky, worked with Jane Seymour in the film Mistrust, and shared the stage with Carol Kane in “Playwrights for a Cause,” a benefit for the New York Civil Liberties Union. As Shaked’s career continues to rise, he has a certain amount of wisdom to impart to current students. “Live a life while pursuing a career in acting. It’s often during those times I find work,” he states. “Celebrate the small victories. They are your ticket to bringing forward your next project.”
Dan Shaked can be found on Twitter and Instagram @DanShaked, and more info on Dan can be found at www.danshaked.com.
Alumni News is written by NYU Tisch at Strasberg alumnus Will Brockman. If you are an alum and have a story you think should be featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org