Photographer Steven Speliotis’ studio is based in The Meatpacking District of Downtown New York City. Everyday he comes across beautiful subjects of all races from all over the world. This month he profiles his first subject Danielle, who he discovered eating lunch with her mother at a cafÃ© on West 12th Street.
My mom and I both believe that women should be strong and able to protect ourselves.
ASIANCE: My name is Danielle Yu, I’m 15 years old.
Danielle: I’m currently attending High School for Environmental Studies. I love all my friends and family. I try to live everyday to the fullest because we only have one life to live, and there is no time to waste. So whatever you wanna do, go for it!
ASIANCE: How did you start acting?
Danielle: Well, ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to be in the spotlight on stage. So when I was in 4th grade, we had a school play called “The Big Empty Pot” and I played the main character. I enjoyed it very much and had a great time. It really gave me confidence to perform and act.
ASIANCE: Tell me about your experience as an actress?
Danielle: I had lots of fun in school plays especially dancing in middle school performances but I only thought it was fun or just a hobby so I didn’t really expand on it.
ASIANCE: Any great moments?
Danielle: The great moments of acting and performing would be that wonderful feeling of being in the spotlight on stage and everyone’s eyes are on you! It’s when all the hard work and practice finally comes together and to have a BLAST and an amazing time!
ASIANCE: Any embarrassing moments?
Danielle: Embarrassing moments would probably be messing up while performing but I try to keep it cool and fix myself before anyone notices it. I mean after all they don’t know the exact steps anyways.
ASIANCE: A funny story?
Danielle: Sorry can’t think of one at the moment.
ASIANCE: Modeling. What’s fun about it?
Danielle: Everything about modeling is fun to me! Ever since I was a little kid I loved to pretend I’m a famous model on the runway. It may sound silly but who knows maybe one day I’ll become one too!
ASIANCE: What are your ambitions for modeling?
Danielle: My goal in life is to finish high school, go to a good university and have a great career of course. My ambition in modeling is to one day be a famous model on the runways.
ASIANCE: Where would you like your photos to appear?
Danielle: Actually it doesn’t really matter where but I would like to appear in magazines like seventeen’s, cosmo girls, mags that teenagers like to read.
ASIANCE: Tell us about your martial arts.
Danielle: Last year I signed up for a karate class in my middle school. I started as a white belt and am now currently a blue belt. My mom and I both believe that women should be strong and able to protect ourselves. I really enjoy my class but we work out really hard and after class everyone is so beat. Sometimes my muscles hurt and are sore but it’s all worth it.
ASIANCE: Any other hobbies?
Danielle: My hobbies are going out to chill with my friends, like shopping, going to the movies, playing pool or just eating out. I also like to surf the net, chat with friends, and play games. Things that most teenagers like to do.
Danielle: I’m on the volleyball and handball team in my school. Although I’m not really good at it but I try my best and have fun! That’s what counts!
ASIANCE: What are your goals?
Danielle: My goals are to go to a good University and have a good career that I enjoy. Both of my parents believe that education is very important. So I do my best in school and try to bring home high grades. My final report card average for the second semester of freshman year was a 95. I was really happy and so were my parents. My other goal is to become a better sister/daughter at home so I would give my family less stress not that I’m not a good girl. Don’t get the wrong idea but I know I could help out more at home.
ASIANCE: Tell me more about your environmental school
Danielle: My school is called the High School for Environmental Studies, the name explains it all. We mostly focus on environmental issues. We have an extra class just on “Intro to Urban Environment”. In that class we learn about environment science. We have other important classes as well. Another great program at our school is Intership, where we have one extra period of class once a week which is 11 periods a day. A lot of work! Intership is where you work at a site for community service hours and it gives you working experience. It’s only for 10th and 11th graders, so I will be having the class this coming September. I enjoy my school very much, I made tons of friends and we have lots of fun together. I keep up my grades and do all my work!
ASIANCE: Some of your experiences there.
Danielle: Sometimes we go on little class trips around the neighborhood of our school to see if there are any cracks on the sidewalks, whether the street lamp holder is broken or an electric wire is sticking out anywhere. We take the surveys and try to improve the environment where everyone can enjoy themselves and be safe. We also cleaned up a portion of Riverside Park by picking up garbage and we planted many bulbs too. We tested the pH of the Hudson River and tons more! We got dirty but it sure was fun! I’ve always love the beauty of Earth and all the wonderful and beautiful things that can grow everywhere or anywhere. I love to go hiking, I also signed up for this Christodora camping for the summer where I went this July. IT WAS TONS OF FUN and FULL of NEW EXPERIENCES and I made tons of friends. If any of you out there love the wildlife and nature be sure to check out the Christodora program!
ASIANCE: Why did you choose this?
Danielle: I chose this school because when I was looking it up in the school directory book, I found the school very interesting and it had great programs that had attracted me. So I put it on my list, but I didn’t really expect to go to the school.
ASIANCE: What do you want to be when you “grow up”?
Danielle: This is the “famous” [almost] question that everyone likes to ask. Hmmms… what do I want to be when I grow up? At first I’ve always wanted to become a doctor and more specific would be pediatrician because I’ve always loved little kids. I also wanted to become a lawyer because I believe everyone has an equal right to say what they believe in and I want to help them fight for their rights. There isn’t any specific career I want to have or achieve. I’m still young and maybe my plans will change. Right now I’m not that worried because when the time is right, my dream career will probably be calling to me!
For more information on Steven’s photography visit http://www.speliotis.com/ and to visit Danielle’s MyAsiance page http://my.asiancemagazine.com/litomszlovelii