Daniel Pierce

photo by Daniel Pierce
photo by Daniel Pierce

Daniel Pierce, formerly known as Danny Hall, has always been drawn to the ocean and surrounded by free-spirited and open-minded individuals. Today, he finds solace wandering the bustling Venice Boardwalk or enjoying the solitude of Malibu’s beaches. He also remains grateful for his roots. Daniel’s early life was spent on a 20-acre pasture in Nash, Texas, where he lived with his single father, whom he only met at the age of six. After moving in a year later, it was just the two of them until Daniel relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, at 21 and later to Los Angeles, California, at 28.

Now based in L.A. for over a decade as a photographer and videographer, Daniel is currently directing and producing Our Children’s Abyss, a non-profit documentary exploring the injustices children face and their profound impact on society. Alongside his film work, Daniel has recently teamed up with a new manager and agent to revive his on-camera career and continues to write, act in, and produce his own short films.

What is your favorite Texarkana memory?

I’d say it’s every moment I met those who have meant the most in my life, like my uncle who was my confidant and big brother during my early years, my dad whom I met when I was six, and my best friend and his mom in second grade.

Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life?

Mr. Lipman, my senior year humanities teacher. He was highly affable and actually taught by discussion more than objective.

What would you change about Texarkana?

Develop a center for the arts or a modern museum with a large dynamic of experiences—anything that introduces elements from around the world to help the children growing up there to develop an understanding of and affinity for the myriad of ways we as humans can create and what kind of positive impact that has on us as individuals and as a society.

What do you think makes Texarkana famous?

Of course, The Town that Dreaded Sundown is notable, but aside from being mentioned by a few country singers and included in some scripts, its most remarkable quality is its overall welcoming nature. This is why Interstate 30 is lined with restaurants.

What words do you live by?

Those who said they could not, never did, but those who did, always said they could. I hope anyone reading this brief candid share of my journey so far, especially if you are young, gleans at least this from it. None of us will ever know everything about anything. No matter how old, we should always remain curious and driven to find our own path in life that is true to us. All the relationships we have and the achievements we obtain, will be built by our own ambition at the right time. Success is not defined by a finish line; it is the constant progress we make. If you are further along today than you were yesterday, then you are succeeding. I look forward to seeing you all carrying your own torch of success soon.

Anything we haven’t asked about that you would like to share?

I am currently working on a collection of short stories to publish by 2025 fit for those that like to tantalize their imagination. I shot a documentary on bullying that I’d love for everyone to see. First interview is with TED Talk’s Aaron Stark, who has an incredible story anyone here should look up.

What is your nickname for Texarkana?

Sun Tea Field.

What do you love about Texarkana?

The people.

What do you miss about Texarkana?

The people.

Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?

As a child, it was El Chico’s and Luby’s. Just before I left as an adult, Johnny Carino’s was probably my favorite spot. All my funny stories with restaurants are probably in the fast food drive-thru. The workers, at times, didn’t buy that I was using my real voice when ordering. This probably speaks more to the nature of how often pranks get pulled at the Taco Bell drive-through than the uniqueness of my voice.

What was the teen hangout when you lived here?

That would be my backyard, which was pastureland stark of any cows. Just over the hill, out of sight from my home, was a great spot to build a bonfire and enjoy the weekend in solace in one of the purest representations of East Texas pastimes.

Where was your favorite place to shop in Texarkana?

This is one where I honestly don’t remember… maybe because I was broke most of the time. There was a store that had inventive tech and gadgetry. On my first outing with my paternal grandfather (whom I had just met when I was seven) I led him there while in the mall. He said I could pick something out, and of course I chose the one thing that a grandson would get from his new found grandfather… a water weenie.

Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback, or Tiger?

Tiger. I liked too many people on both sides to get involved, even if it’s fun theatrics. I don’t discourage it, though. Anyone out there with the opportunity should make the memories and stay safe.

Donations for Daniel’s film are open. Click here to visit his website.

TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”

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