With an intriguing ethnic makeup of Italian, German, and Creole decent, Dana grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago with a large extended family. Her parents, Kathy and David Fares, were High School sweethearts who remain together today. Her mother and father both came from low-income families and were their respective family’s first generation of college graduates. Dana attributes her creativity, determination and entrepreneurial spirit to the example her parents set through their dedication to education, commitment to excellence in their own careers, and the enduring love they show for one-another.
At age 6 Dana began performing on stage, in the professional production of Wizard of Oz at the Rialto Square Theater in Chicago. At 8, a deep curiosity about different cultures and an insatiable love for adventure were instilled in Dana when her family made a life-changing move to the foothills of Eldorado, New Mexico, a small village near culturally influential Santa Fe. Four years later, Dana’s family again relocated, this time to San Diego in search of medical treatment for her younger sister Gina who had been diagnosed with a degenerative disease. The experience of witnessing her sister’s battle with Mitochondria Myopathy dramatically shaped Dana’s attitude and perspective toward life, helping her to become the focused, expressive artist she is today.
Dana’s feature film career began in 2004 when she was cast as the lead in the indie teen-thriller Tied Up. Her standout performance soon led to other indie feature opportunities and eventually landed her the lead role in the A&E Pilot True Tales, Directed by Nick Copus in 2009. Along the way, Dana also began developing her own creative content. In 2010 she produced and starred in the Beauty TV original web series Water Signs.
Inspired by a conversation with Robert Davi during the filming of One in the Gun, Dana left Hollywood in 2011 to study acting in San Diego, Chicago and New York. While studying, Dana fell in love with theater, eventually starring in over 15 stage productions between 2012 and 2016. While earning a BA in theater from Columbia College Chicago, Dana studied with Sheldon Patinkin, Tom Mula, Andi Dymond, Maggie Flanigan, and other quintessential artists of the New York and Chicago theater scene. These visionaries developed her ability to work successfully in many different artistic mediums.
Now happily back in Los Angeles, Dana continues to produce original content and honing her craft as an actor.