From the Stairway to Hell to La La Land and Netflix | People

Tiffany Daniels

For Hollywood star Tiffany Daniels, returning to her hometown of San Diego means a place of peace, joy and hell.

“I love waking up in the morning and just sitting in my mom’s backyard with a cup of matcha and just taking in the cool, calm San Diego morning air,” says Daniels. “One of the things I always make sure to do is take long, beautiful walks in and around Tierrasanta. And then I’m going to finish off with a really powerful series of runs up and down the Holy Land stairs.”

Also known as the “Stairs to Hell” or “Stairs of Death,” the super-steep incline, made up of 112 steps and located at Clairemont Mesa and Antigua Boulevards, is known for its challenging climb. It even has its own Yelp page and YouTube video.

But Daniels doesn’t shy away from challenges, and this drive is exactly the kind of quality that has made her so successful in show business.

Growing up in Paradise Hills and Tierrasanta, he attended the prestigious audition-only public arts magnet school, the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA).

“My closest friends to this day came from SCPA. The school was full of like-minded people like me,” recalls Daniels. “We had a very deep connection on a creative and spiritual level because we were all so determined to develop our art together. Some of us auditioned for Starlight Bowl to see if we could get jobs. I acted in four musicals at Balboa Park and Spreckels Theater.”

“One of my best friends at SCPA, Carleton Overstreet, Jr., is working diligently to get the Starlight Bowl back up and running,” continues Daniels. “It truly was a magical place and launched the musical theater careers of many SCPA students.”

After high school, Daniels headed to New York, not to tear up theater stages, but to attend Cornell University, where he eventually received a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management. After graduating, she had enough snow and ice and returned to California and Los Angeles.

Currently, he stars in the hit Nickelodeon show, That Lay Lay Girl, executive produced by Will Packer and the late comedian David A. Arnold. The show made it to Netflix’s top 10 charts in 2021 and 2022, and is currently filming the second season.

Daniels also appeared on the earth in the opening scene with extras getting out of their vehicles and dancing on top of cars stuck in a traffic jam. The crew rehearsed that scene for three weeks, rearranging their cars in the studio parking lot so they could practice in and on them, including the skateboarder and the biker.

“The opening number took two full days to shoot. It was all done in just two takes. So if someone stepped out of line, we had to start over,” Daniels said. They started at 3 a.m. and filmed all day on an overpass as temperatures shot up to 97 degrees.

Other accolades for Daniels include roles in CSI-Cyber, The Mindy Project, Big Bang Theory, NCIS Y Criminal minds and toured with the Oprah Winfrey production of The color Purple.

“My first acting teacher told me very early in my training that discipline is freedom. So if you stay the course, what is meant for you will find you,” she says. “I have worked extremely hard to recover from all rejection, knowing that all rejection is temporary and that the winners are the disciplined.”

Now that he’s closer to home, when he returns to San Diego, he spends time with his mother, nephew, and two nieces, often at Donna Jean’s in Hillcrest for a gourmet vegetarian meal, and drives around town to explore the city.

For Daniels, San Diego has been a place of healing and recovery. “There is so much rejection in this industry all the time. For every ‘yes’, there are like a hundred ‘no’s. You can’t let a no derail you from your path and your journey. I have become very good at recovering. And that is largely due to the joy and peace that San Diego brings me,” Daniels said.

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