People often assume that the life of a performer is glamorous and simple. Candace Kita knows the truth. After immersing herself in academia, she realized that acting was her true love. Now, her dedication has led her down the path of being a renowned actress, model, and even author.
Kita's career began during her primary school days in London, when she was a child runway model. Her success quickly transferred to the states. When eleven years old, Kita went on an audition for a professional production of "South Pacific," put on by Fort Worth's acclaimed Casa Mañana Theatre. "I spoke a little French, and I think it helped me get the role," Kita reflects. Afterward, she enjoyed a normal childhood, not doing any stage work apart from school plays. However, at the age of sixteen, another unexpected opportunity popped up.
"I was waiting for a friend getting a haircut - and then someone approached me to do print work!" Kita laughs. She then began work as a model with the Los Angeles based agency, Wilhelmina models. Yet, Kita's heart was elsewhere. She was a serious student, set on studying Zoology and Philosophy. Ultimately, she completed her undergraduate studies in Texas, with a focus on Philosophy and Religion. She then moved onto her Master's Degree in Sociology. It was during this leg of her academic journey that she was finally bitten by the acting bug. "I realized I had to make the break and go for it," Kita recalls. "I got in my beat up Honda and drove across the country in July's 100 degree weather."
Since that transition, Kita has been working steadily in the industry. Recently, she co-starred with Bruce Davidson and Kevin Sorbo in "Coffin," a psychological horror film released before Halloween. This year, she was in the pilot for the much discussed David E. Kelley "Wonder Woman" series that ultimately was not picked up. Plus, she was excited to guest star alongside Hugh Laurie on "House: M.D.," and to portray a shoplifter on the popular new ABC drama, "Revenge." She has continued to model, posing for the pin-up trading card company "Benchwarmer" since 2002. A long time personal friend of the company founder, Brian Wallace, Kita has been featured in at least twenty-five cards. Kita loves working with such a truly unique brand. She is pleased that the cards have a nostalgic, all-American feel to them, and that they're tame enough for fathers and sons to collect together.
Kita also appreciates that the company does much charity work. This November, over 300 troops from Camp Pendleton (who have layovers at the Bob Hope USO at LAX) are being brought food. Benchwarmer is doing this so the soldiers have a proper Thanksgiving meal before heading off. Toys for Tots is another charity Benchwarmer assists, holding its largest drive close to the second week of December. In fact, Brian Wallace is the single biggest Southern California-based donor. "He actually goes and watches the donations, making sure each gift goes to each person," Kita smiles. "Brian is very passionate about Toys for Tots, Children of the Night, and Read Across America." Those latter charities are also organizations the company supports. Children of the Night provides shelter, clothing, and education for homeless children. Even if they live as runaways, they can attend the on-site school. Read Across America has celebrities read to children in classrooms, teaching them about the importance of an education. This year, Kita was thrilled to get to read to students at a Compton elementary school on Doctor Seuss's birthday.
Another issue Kita is involved in, is promoting women's safety. She participated in a forty-plus episode L.A. Talk radio show that was a live call-in show on the topic. In addition, she wrote the book, "The Hottie Handbook: A Girl's Guide To Safety." Kita felt there was a dearth of information on the subject, and decided to do the research to compile various tips into a book. It covers campus and dormitory safety, safety while traveling or apartment hunting, dating safety, and even how to keep safe from social media, cyber, and identity-theft threats. "The book is a quick read--I don't expect everyone to remember everything," Kita notes. "But if you can keep safety in the forefront if your mind, even with one tip, it's well worth it."
Overall, Kita feels her various experiences have been a tremendous asset to her craft. Her academic background has given her a broader perspective to draw from. She encourages other aspiring creatives to gain as much knowledge as possible, and to never give up. "Block out the doubting Thomases, pound the pavement every single day, and go for the gusto," she encourages. "When you're an actor, ninety percent of it is running lines, auditioning, and trying to get the job. Getting the job is the rare prize you earn."
- Donna Letterese
To see more visit: www.CandaceKita.com
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