The first impression one receives upon meeting Dasha Kittredge is a sense of subtle yet striking beauty. Spend a while conversing with her, and it becomes clear that she is not only as beautiful as the natural gorges of her home town of Ithaca, NY, but every bit as deep.
A world traveler who has visited many countries, Dasha brings a perspective to the table that many people will never attain. An actress by profession who supplements her income by working as a makeup artist for film, Dasha at one time considered a career in astronomy and physics. The legacy of Carl Sagan in Ithaca served as an influence in that regard, as did the advanced physics course she took. She read and loved Hyperspace by Dr. Michio Kaku and has since discovered the classic mathematical fantasy, Flatland.
But Dasha is, at heart, an artist. She is ‘in love with the process of creating movies,’ something which she acknowledges is a ‘truly collaborative process.’ While working on Heaven Is Now, a movie in which she both acts and serves as makeup artist, director Audrey Lorea allowed her complete creative freedom. And while Dasha appreciates being allowed to give her input into a film, she is also impressed by a ‘director with a clear vision.’ Her time at NYU taught her what that meant.
Speaking of directors, Dasha feels that Audrey Lorea ‘has a bright future.’ A major component of Heaven Is Now is the fact that the film was done almost entirely by women. ‘This shows that women can get together and do an amazing job in a field dominated by males.’ Audrey’s film is the psychedelic scifi journey of a woman named Mira (Jessica Osbourne) who is led to understand the importance of making the most of life, rather than waiting for the glory of some ‘hereafter.’ The film has many similarities to Barbarella, though neither Audrey nor Dasha are familiar with the film. But Audrey is not merely reinventing the wheel – the film looks set to succeed on its own terms.
Dasha enjoys portraying many different types of character, seeing herself as having an abstract identity as an actor. She relates this to the painter Joan Miro whose work is also abstract. Her upbringing, during which her parents took her to many different countries, including her mother’s native Russia, gave her such a wide perspective on the world that she can’t see herself playing one role forever. She loves to travel, and has learned that ‘how things are’ in terms of society and how ‘people do things’ is a localized perspective.
However, in the industry she feels that she has been somewhat limited by how those involved in casting look at her. Often called upon to portray a homogeneous suite of characters, Dasha looks forward to a time when she has paid her dues and built enough of a career resume that she can ask for more varied roles. In her own words:
I like to chameleon into drastically different characters. I don’t like to be ‘one thing’. Facing the obstacle of having to pick some particular characters/types to ‘sell’ has been difficult for me (the Russian prostitute, the popular mean girl, the psychotic girlfriend). But perhaps getting established enough in the business to choose your own projects requires this sort of specificity in the beginning. And it must match with how the world and ‘casting’ sees you initially, so you must be in touch with that.
While she is biding her time with the vagaries of casting decisions, Dasha takes some consolation in the creative freedom that makeup design gives her. When asked if there were any roles she thought she’d have trouble with, she said that her character in Jack Gattanella’s Green Eyes (still in post-production as of this writing), which is the one most like herself, is also the one she had the most trouble portraying. Other actors have expressed that playing ‘themselves’ is easier, so it just goes to show how much diversity exists in the art form.
One of the most recent feathers in her cap is an episode of Nurse Jackie in which she costarred opposite Edie Falco. The episode will air June 10th at 9PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME. Dasha loved working with Ms. Falco, whom she admires. She said that Ms. Falco ‘isn’t afraid to look ugly and vulnerable on the show, which is a challenge for female actresses with all the pressure to be and look perfect.’
While it’s still early in her career, she has a list of directors she’d like to work with some day. She admires whimsical film makers like director/writer Woody Allen , Michelangelo Antonioni and David Gordon Green. In fact, much like Woody, she just wrote, directed, produced and edited her first film, Dasha in Limbo, this January. Considering her acting range and, indeed, her range of talents and interests, it is likely that Dasha will soon receive enough notice to work with a variety of actors and directors and in a wide variety of roles.
See Dasha’s Acting Reel.
See Dasha on IMDB.