AL: When and how did this passion of helping others and working in this industry begin?
DM: I’ve always been a helper. A connector. A nurturer. In high school, I won the Community Service award because I loved volunteering so much. One day, after hosting a slew of red carpets here in LA, I just found that I couldn’t ask one more person about their shoes or their hair. Like any girly girl, I love that stuff, but I just wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what made them tick. What drives them. Where their true passions lay. I realized that while entertainment and communication may be my “job,” sharing authentic inspiration is my service, and it has become my mission…one I enjoy thoroughly right from my heart center.
AL: You’ve worked with many talents and celebrities over the years, which would you say was the most memorable?
DM: Well, I worked as Barbra Streisand’s shopper and errand-runner for about 5 years, and obviously she had the biggest impact on me and my life. By working for her, it was like “Graduate School in Entertainment in LA.” I learned about the best of the best, shortcuts all over town, the best delis for cabbage soup and so much more. To learn from such a strong, smart, talented, civic-minded woman is something that for which I can never be grateful enough. Plus, she loved the way I sang country and I’ll go to my grave knowing that Barbra Streisand thought I should have been a big recording star! Another fun one is Dr. Oz, with whom I did a segment last year. He was so kind. I was incredibly nervous because I had a few script changes, and he just looked at me, gave me a little hug, and said, “Let’s just have fun, ok?” Took all my nerves away.
AL: You have a movement called “Dear 15 Me” which is such an awesome way to remind girls and boys that they’re more than enough and that they have so much more greatness to look forward to. What would you say to your 15 year old self?
DM: Awww, man. My answer for this is never the same. It changes with my mood and my mindset on a daily basis. Funny enough, I actually just spoke at my high school, and gave the following advice to the current juniors and seniors: “Be kind, be kind, be kind. You never know when someone will end up being a friend, a business associate, a love interest, an employer or just a source of inspiration. And, besides, it just makes your soul a warmer, cozier place to live.” I would also tell her: “You are just perfect as you are so stop trying to change yourself. The things that make you different are the very things that will make you succeed. And, the things that you think make you unlovable are the very things that you will be most loved for. Don’t waste any more time trying to be something – or, someone – you’re not.
AL: Because summer is coming up, it’s important to stay healthy. And that also means keeping your skin in tip top shape! What are some tips you have to keep skin mentally refreshed?
DM: Yes, ma’am! Firstly, I am a big fan of oils – if you don’t have oil in your beauty arsenal – get one STAT! I am also a HUGE advocate of washing your face and taking care of your skin at night. But I know so many girls and women who skip washing their faces at night. That is a big no-no and a fast track to prematurely aging skin. SO, I have a solution. Keep Philosophy Purity Made Simple wipes and your other skincare (serum, eye cream and moisturizer) by your bed. At the very least, you can wipe off your makeup and apply a moisturizer before you hit the hay. I’ve found that the big thing women complain about is that they “forget” and don’t want to get out of bed. This way, you don’t have to and it’s all right there.
And, speaking of eye cream, my big beauty tip is always: Apply an eye cream. Apply your eye makeup. Remove any eye makeup that falls onto the eye cream, and THEN apply tinted SPF, concealer, bronzer, blush, etc.
Also, in the hot summer months, store your wipes in the fridge so you can apply a cool one to your face or neck whenever that heat is getting you down and you need a refresher.
AL: Since it’s May, we celebrate mental health awareness all month. Mental health is a big issue that isn’t being talked about nearly enough. What do you have to say to the youth going through this and are afraid to talk about it?
DM: First of all, you are NOT alone. And, if you feel alone, know that is exactly that: A FEELING. You never have to be alone. Talk to a friend. Talk to a parent. Talk to a teacher. Call a hotline. Try opening conversations with friends and adults by asking, “How are you REALLY?” This simple question with that last word can deepen the conversation and get people to open up. With 1 in 5 people living with mental illness, we hope to bridge the gap between those suffering with mental illness and those who want to support them. Just by extending this simple act of grace, a much bigger conversation can be started, and the ripple effects of that conversation can lead to a lasting positive impact in someone’s life.
AL: Any upcoming projects we can look forward to?
DM: I’m thrilled to be hosting the NAMI Hope & Grace Luncheon on 5/17 as well as co-hosting an event benefitting No Kid Hungry with James Carville and Mary Matalin in D.C. in early May. I’m also excited to announce that my second season of “Dine & Dish with Dawn” premieres on iTunes in May, and am looking forward to working on my first book, “Living Midcentury Modern” which will be published in Fall 2018.
For more info on Dawn, follow her on Instagram @iamDawnMcCoy or on her blog, www.Dawnspiration.com.