“When I was a little girl, I just wanted to be a dance teacher,” says Denise Williamson. Surrounded by everything having to do with dance as a child (her mother owns a dancewear store), she had a change of heart once the cameras started rolling.
The 26-year-old Friendswood native now has close to a dozen movies under her belt and working on her first CD, set to be released in March 2011. The CD will include seven original songs—a mix of ballads and upbeat tunes—and is being produced in Austin.
Being a dancer/actor/singer has its perks, but is hard for Denise to confess which art form she enjoys most. “I really can’t pick one thing I like the best, and hope to always be able to do them all,” she says. After studying at the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Denise went to Sam Houston State where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre and intermittently performed in TUTS productions.
After graduation, Denise thought about going to New York, but a little bit of doubt began to surface and she started to question her future. That didn’t last long, however, as one of her graduation gifts was a studio session for headshots with photographer, Kerry Beyer, who was making a movie entitled, “Spirit Camp.” Denise auditioned for a part and got it. It was her first film experience and she literally fell in love—with movie making.
“I thought, ‘this is really what I want to do,’” says Denise, who was eventually signed by Pastorini-Bosby Talent Agency in Houston. They were responsible for getting her an audition for the movie, “Madre Gras,” and she landed the part. More roles started to come her way and she was hooked.
It took about two years to get established, but by film number three, she began to enjoy some recognition. Not only does Denise’s film credits number a dozen, but she also recently shot three episodes of the “Friday Night Lights” television series that can be seen on Direct TV in October and NBC next May.
Of course, show business does not always pay the bills, so Denise keeps her day job (waiting tables) and shuffles between Austin and Houston where she will be appearing next in “The Preacher’s Daughter,” an indie film currently in production in the Bayou City.
She recently auditioned for the TV series “Chase” and “Lone Star,” and is set to audition for a dance part in Jack Black’s new movie, “Bernie” (starring Shirley McClaine) to be shot in Austin. The movie is being directed by Richard Linklater who wrote and directed the iconic, “Dazed and Confused.”
Right now, work and playing the audition game is her daily routine.
Has she thought of moving to L.A. to be a part of the action? Yes, but not until she gets a Hollywood agent lined up, and she hopes to make that happen by next summer. But this perky redhead has set some realistic goals. “I’ll give this a shot until I’m 30,” she says. “Then if nothing big has happened, I can always open my own dance studio.”
Either way, we wish her the best!
Publisher’s Note #1: “The Preacher’s Daughter” stars Andrea Bowen of “Desperate Housewives” and Adam Mayfield of “All My Children” and is being directed by Michelle Mower and produced by Susan Elkins and Adam Donaghey.)
Publisher’s Note #2: If you believe Denise looks familiar, it could be from the one of the movies she has been in. But if you are a regular reader of The SCENE you may recognize Denise from the magazine as she has appeared in many issues including as a featured bartender and in ads promoting St. Patrick’s Day and other promotions during her days working at Berryhill Baja Grill in Webster. The entire SCENE Team is very excited to see Denise’s career take off.
- Sue Mayfield Geiger