PLAYING a panto dame has proved a lucrative career for this Gainsborough actor.
But he has his sights set on the stars, having just been accepted at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles.
Now, Dan Baker, 34, must raise the £20,000 tuition fees to make his dream become reality.
“I have been on top of the world since I heard my audition had been successful,” said Dan, whose stage name is Danny Mills.
“That was the first hurdle for me, and the start of all the hard work.”
Dan is one of just 30 people to be picked to start the course next January, following in the footsteps of past students like Robert Redford and Danny DeVito.
“I think they chose me because I’m more mature, I’m different and I’ve got a lot to offer,” said Dan.
Dan, of Burton Street, Gainsborough, graduated from drama school in 1999. But instead of embarking on a career in the industry he went into retail and then database engineering.
“Eventually I took a long hard look at my life and saw I wasn’t happy,” he said.
“I needed to get back into acting.”
For the last few years Dan has entertained families as the pantomime dame at Lincoln Theatre Royal.
And this Christmas he will join the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk in Weymouth before flying out to LA.
“I love doing panto. It harks back to when I first started performing with local am dram groups like Gainsborough Amateur Operatics Society,” said Dan.
When he’s not doing shows, Dan has appeared as a TV extra and even had work modelling for stock photos.
“I love what I do but my ambition is to be in television or film. I can see that’s the future and I want to be part of it,” he said.
“My training at AADA will hopefully equip me for that, and who knows you could see me on the big screen in a few years.”
On Saturday 26th May, Dan is hosting a murder mystery night at the Weston Rooms, Hickman Street, Gainsborough, to raise money towards his studies.
Dan’s alter-ego Kitten Kaboodle will treat guests to an evening of cabaret, a buffet and a traditional ‘who dunnit’ performed by professional actors.
“It will be a really top class event with great cabaret, a tricky tale to solve and a fully licensed bar all night,” he said.
The event starts at 7.30pm and tickets priced £15 can be booked on 01427 677895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org