The Heroine’s Journey of Dawna Lee Heising

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I am a working actress and the vice president of Aki Aleong’s Mustard Seed Media Group. In the past, I was a vice president of marketing and publicity for hardware and software technology companies. I love the creativity and passion that both jobs inspire in me. I love spending time developing characters in acting and I also love publicizing the projects that I act in. I also love that my job requires me to educate myself to the best of my ability. I have a B.S. and MBA in Business Management from Pepperdine University that trained me well in publicity and I am studying Acting at South Coast Repertory, an award-winning theater in Costa Mesa, California.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is when everyone in my family is in good health, and are fulfilled in their jobs and are happy. My husband Paul was listed as a 5 Star Wealth Manager in Los Angeles Magazine this year for the sixth year in a row, and is teaching at Santa Monica College and UCLA. My daughter Marissa is an award-winning pharmaceutical rep for Sanofi-Aventis and just got transferred to her dream territory in Huntington Beach, California. My daughter Misty is a child psychiatrist at UCLA and was just awarded a George Ginsberg Fellowship Award from the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. Only five Psychiatry residents are picked nationally for this award and we are very proud!

What is my greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that something will occur that will not have a positive effect on the health and happiness of my family.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I don’t like conflict and sometimes I don’t stand up for myself as much as I should. My manager wants me to be more forceful when it comes to pay and/or billing – lol!

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I admire the acting talent and humanitarian efforts of Angelina Jolie.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I consider myself a pretty frugal person, but I will go all out on costumes for films and photo shoots.

On what occasion would I lie?

Only on a rare occasion would I tell a white lie to spare someone’s feelings.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

What I dislike most about any workplace is jealousy, envy and narcissism.

When and where was I the happiest in my work?

I am very happy right now because I am working with amazing filmmakers on wonderful projects!

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would give myself more time in the day so that I could devote as much time as possible to my family and to my Acting career!

What is my greatest achievement in work?

In film, my greatest achievement so far has been acting with cult legend Tommy Wiseau in director Gregory Hatanaka’s film “Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance”. Even though my scene was short, it has been highly beneficial to my career because of working with Hatanaka and Wiseau, and the amazing publicity and reviews that the film has generated!

Where would I most like to live?

I love where I live now! Huntington Beach, California is paradise! The weather is always wonderful, and the people are friendly and down-to-earth. The city is beautiful, and we live three blocks from the beach so we walk there whenever we can for exercise and to relax.

What is my most treasured possession?

I am not really attached to material things. I treasure my family the most.

What is my most marked characteristic?

One of my most marked characteristics is my drive to achieve. When I want to achieve something, I will do anything that is necessary to reach my goal and to be successful. The second of my most marked characteristics is how important family is to me, and that family always comes first!

What is my most inspirational location in my city?

We live a few blocks from Dog Beach in Huntington Beach and we often take walks there as a family.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city?

I love Burnt Crumbs in Pacific City! I am always on a low-carb diet, but I love bread. Burnt Crumbs has the best sandwiches in the world and the bread is really thick and crusty.

What books influenced my life and how?

My drama professor at U.C. Berkeley had us read “The Psychology of Winning” by Dr. Denis Waitley and I have followed the principles of the book throughout my life. It describes the ten qualities of a total winner. Some of the principles are that optimists always win and that we move in the direction of what we dwell on. In order to win, you must develop a very strong expectation of winning. If we stay optimistic, we give off positive ions into the universe and we attract positive people and positive outcomes.

Who are my favorite writers?

I like reading self-help books. My favorite book is “The Psychology of Winning” by Dr. Denis Waitley. I also like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

I love Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Sia, Jim Croce, Survivor, the Moody Blues, Adele and Electric Guest. I also love the songs of Andrew Lloyd Weber from Evita and Phantom of the Opera, and I love the musical “Rent”. My favorite songs are “Waiting for a Star to Fall” from Boy Meets Girl, “Forever Young” by Jay Z, “Looking Glass” by the Union Gap, “Beautiful” by James Blunt, “I Believe in You” by Celine Dion and Il Divo, “Golden” by Travie McCoy and Sia, “Forever Autumn” by the Moody Blues , “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran and “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

I love the Netflix series “Luke Cage”. I admire the fact that Luke Cage wants to protect his community from evil-doers. I am also currently watching the series “Chicago Med”. My daughter is a resident psychiatrist at UCLA and my son-in-law is an orthopedic doctor at Cedars-Sinai, and I feel that I learn a lot about what they do from the show. I also admire the fact that one of the doctors in “Chicago Med” has Asperger’s Syndrome, yet is a highly successful surgeon.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My heroine in real life is my mother Fumie Lee. She is Japanese-American and was interned during World War II at the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona with her family when she was a child. She graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class and was voted “Most Beautiful.” She attended nursing school in northern California and worked as a charge nurse at UCI Medical Center for many years. She raised me and my two sisters and two brothers by herself, and taught us to be good people and responsible citizens through her example. She is humble, generous and giving, and thinks of others before she thinks of herself. She is the best person I know and EVERYONE loves her!

What movie should everyone see?

I think that everyone should see “Gone with the Wind” and “Casablanca” because they are classic films.

What role does art play in my life and work?

I am an actress so art and creativity are a big part of my work. I am also the vice president of Aki Aleong’s Mustard Seed Media Group, where my role is publicity and marketing. Aki is one of the greatest actors and artists so it is easy to publicize him.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My husband Paul is my best friend, my greatest fan and the love of my life. He supported me in the business world and helped me climb the corporate ladder with his advice and encouragement, and now he is my biggest supporter in the film world because he knows that it makes me happy. He is a titan in the business world, and he is always positive and optimistic and encouraging in my goal to get bigger and better roles in bigger and better projects.


Whom would I like to work with in 2017?

Being a part of Gregory Hatanaka’s “Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance” changed my life and career because of the positive attention I’ve received from my scene with Tommy Wiseau. I am looking forward to working with Gregory again in his upcoming films “American Mobster: Retribution” and “Mad Cowgirl 2.

What are my goals for 2017?

I would like to get bigger and better roles in bigger and better projects. I would also love to get cast in television and on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and all of the wonderful channels that are available now. I am going to continue studying Acting at South Coast Repertory so that I can become the best actress I can be!

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?

I am working on the following upcoming films: Dustin Ferguson’s “Amityville: Evil Never Dies;” Gregory Blair’s “Garden Party Massacre;” Thomas J. Churchill’s “Cold Plastic TV;” Ernest Serrano’s “Grim Weaver” and “The Job Interview;” Tino Zamora and Michael S. Rodriguez’s “Lake of Shadows: The Legend of Avocado Lake;” Steve Oakley’s “The Unhandymen;” John Cox’s “A Kiss Into Darkness; Larry Parmiter’s “The Bungfodders Make a Horror Movie: A Mockumentary”; Fito Rivera’s “Scorpion Girl;” and Gregory Hatanaka’s “American Mobster Retribution” and “Mad Cowgirl 2”.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean?

I think if you love your work and have the passion to always strive to reach new goals, then you can learn new lessons, become better at your craft, achieve even more success and add to your legacy the rest of your life.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Donna Hamblin and Vida Ghaffari

How can you contact me?


Facebook Page:

Twitter: @dawnaleeheising

IMDb Pro Page:




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