Deena Marie Manzanares is an actor for stage and film, model, television host, blogger and new mother, and she’s got plenty of insight to share about working acting jobs, the wild world of social media and being a new mother in heels.
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, who hosted this month’s CUAC SLUG Style within their beautifully minimalist space.
features a distinct and unique member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUG Style SLUG Style is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.
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“I think what first drew me to theater was the community and the type of people. They were all so accepting and so open and so friendly and just so welcoming, and that’s what I fell in love with first, as I was realizing that I loved being onstage.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
“Stage and film are so different. It’s so funny to me that they’re both the same profession, that they’re both acting, because they are so drastically different. I think what I love about theater is the immediacy of it. I love that instant gratification. I love getting to emotionally experience this journey from the very beginning to the very end, every night.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
“I like feeling like I am done up more often than not. I think it’s fun. I think it’s just part of who I am.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
Manzanares recently had a baby. About the experience, she says, “Every mom thinks their baby is the most amazing, most adorable thing ever, and you want to share, and you want to show off pictures, but I also get very nervous about posting too much online, because I feel so protective of him, and there’s the other half of me that feels very private about it.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
“I feel like there’s no in-between. I feel like I’m either done up and I’m in heels—and I’m in heels more often than not. The other day I went to Target in my smelly workout clothes and a visor and flip flops, workout shorts, sports bra, workout shirt over, no makeup, hair not done at all. It’s either one or the other.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
“I love clothes. Clothes have always been a really big deal to me, and I was the girl who would sneak things out of my house that my mom said that I couldn’t wear to school—and then change once I got there. I wanted heels and I wanted skirts and I wanted to look a little fancy, a little overdressed for school.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
“I do a lot of dramatic, theatrical roles, so I also had a comedic side that I wasn’t getting the chance to really use or show anymore. When I started YouTube, they were mainly sketch comedy and parodies and that kind of thing. Back then, almost 10 years ago now, it was much easier to be noticed online and on YouTube than it would be now.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
On becoming a new mother, Manzanares says, “All the cliches that they say about it are true, but you don’t even know what that means until you go through it, how they say the amount of love you’re going to feel, how drastically your life is going to change. You think, ‘Okay, I’m ready for it,’ so you do it, and you go through a pregnancy, but you really do not know until you give birth and meet your baby and then go home and have a 180 with life, because your baby is now the complete focus, the complete priority, and you are so consumed with that love.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
Manzanares has worked in a variety of stage and film roles. “I do a weekly segment on KUTV2. It’s called Deena on the Local Scene. That’s been going on for about a year, and it’s about any entertainment events going on for that upcoming week and weekend.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop
Starting with YouTube in 2007, Manzanares has cultivated a substantial online following. “I love when people share online, and not just a typical fluff post after fluff post, but a legitimate story about something that changed them. That always is such a comfort to read somebody’s personal story, no matter what it is. Sometimes you can just find some comfort in that, that you’re not alone in the way that you think or what you’ve gone through.” Photo: Tyson Call @clancycoop