Got to Be Real: Celina Mylene Santana

Actor, dancer, writer Celina Mylene Santana photographed by Angelo Kangleon in New York, NY, on October 2, 2021

Celina Mylene Santana is an actor, dancer, model, writer, and artist based in New York, NY; born to a Filipina mother and a Puerto Rican father, and originally from Chicago, IL, she grew up on stage quite literally; her first performance was in a ballet recital when she was only 3-years-old, which was when she fell in love with dancing and movement; seeing The Lion King musical shortly after that, she was drawn like a moth to a flame and told herself she was meant to do theater; she proceeded to train in multiple dance disciplines and to perform with the Wilmette Children’s Theater all throughout a good part of her childhood; in high school she booked a national tour of The Wiz, but this led to her first career heartbreak when the tour had to be cancelled just as it was gestating for launch; not one to give up, Celina packed her life and moved to New York to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she trained hard during the day and at night worked in the school’s theaters learning skills as a backstage crew member; she booked her first gig, an appearance in an Abhi/Dijon music video, only two weeks after graduating, and it was around this time that she became interested in modeling; soon she found herself being booked for lookbook and catalog shoots for streetwear brands, as well as commercial shoots for tech companies; in 2018, Celina was cast in her first feature film, Poets are the Destroyers, as one of the leads (since its completion the film has been prescreened in major cities and has won a slew of awards in various film festivals); some of Celina’s more recent projects include the comedy short New Boo, the web series Jersey Club Shore, and a fashion film for designer Curtis Cassell’s label Queera Wang; despite all the film work that’s been keeping her busy, Celina says that “theater will always be my home,” and has recently been involved in readings for two plays, Fine Young Assholes and The Girl is Mine; when she is not acting or dancing, Celina writes, and the first short film she wrote, Yes, Mother!, is currently doing festival rounds; she is also currently working on her “living art piece,” The Dreams of Many, which “seeks to explore how each of our individual dreams build up the collective dream, ultimately creating hope”; visit her Website to learn more about her projects, and to view her actor demo reel and modeling portfolio; follow @celinamylene on Instagram for updates on her art piece, and on upcoming appearances and shows

Photographed by Angelo Kangleon in New York, NY, on October 2, 2021 (with social distancing precautions in place); styled by Katerina Santana for KS Kouture; some of these photos were taken using 35mm film (CineStill 800T)

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