Photo by Brie Childers

JANINA GAVANKAR

2014

Celebrity Gaming Challenge

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Play against celebrites in games like Madden and Call of Duty to raise money for Children's National!

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Already a favorite of the devoted fans of her two earlier series, The L Word and The Gates, Janina’s role in True Blood as shape-shifter Luna became the talk of the Trubies. Janina finds her next home on NBC in the new series Mysteries of Laura.

 

In addition to her starring roles in these series, the three-quarters Indian, one-quarter Dutch beauty has been frequently recurring on the comedy series The League on FX, Traffic Light and The Goodwin Games on FOX and Arrow and Vampire Diaries on the CW.

 

On the big screen Janina can currently be seen in SONY’s Think Like A Man Too.  The independent films Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf and Satellite of Love have successfully made festival rounds. She most recently shot the independent feature The White Orchid opposite Olivia Thirlby.

 

But as an accomplished musician, she has a second life as a performer. She grew up studying classical piano, percussion and voice, joined the girl group EnDera on the Cash Money label, and has seen her original music licensed for film and television. Her 2010 music video reworking the Kanye West hit Love Lockdown elicited raves from fans and critics. 2012 marked another big step in her music career by signing a deal with Randy Jackson’s label under which she released the critically acclaimed single Waiting For Godot.

 

But there’s also Janina the Geek, who not only writes program code for friends, but who was also the first celebrity to sign up with Twitter and who is so technologically creative that she is regularly asked to be on panels at conferences educating the entertainment industry on the practical application of multiple new digital platforms. Her efforts were awarded with the Gravity Summit Excellence in Social Media/Entertainment Award in 2011.

 

Originally from Joliet, Illinois, Janina now makes her home in Hollywood.

DANTE BASCO

With a career spanning over two and a half decades, DANTE BASCO is a Hollywood actor who has become a cult classic and pioneering figure in Asian American cinema. He was first introduced in Steven Spielberg’s fairytale movie Hook, as “Rufio”, the leader of the Lost Boys.  He quickly jumped to leading roles like Newline’s Take the Lead, opposite Antonio Banderas, and The Debut, which became the voice of a Filipino American generation.  20th Century Fox executives were so mesmerized by the uniqueness of Dante’s look and ability that they gave him a development deal for his own series and he starred in a pilot for Touchstone/ABC, The Chang Family Saves the World, written and produced by John Ridley and directed by Paris Barclay.  Ever versatile, he’s “Jake Long” in Disney’s animated series American Dragon: Jake Long as well as “Prince Zuko” in Nickelodeon’s phenomenal hit, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

 

Born and raised in the City by the Bay, Dante started out breakdancing with his three brothers at the age of 8, calling themselves “The Street Freaks”.  Quickly they became one of the top groups in San Francisco, opening for acts like Ice-T and Vanity and performing during half-time shows for the 49ers and the Oakland A’s.

 

Dante and his family moved to Los Angeles in the mid-80s where he started to work immediately.  By the age of 16, Dante was fencing against Dustin Hoffman and flying with Robin Williams in Hook.  He’s found success on the small screen as well on from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and recurring on Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and Moesha in the 90’s to prominent spots on Nash Bridges, Touched by an Angel, and Providence in the early 2000’s and hit shows today like CSI: Miami, Entourage and Hawaii Five-0.

 

A young man of many talents, Dante is the founder of on e of the largest weekly poetry venue in the country, “Da Poetry Lounge” in Los Angeles and he has also shared his spoken word poetry on Russell Simmons’ HBO Def Poetry Jam. He has also begun writing and producing his own features with his production company Kinetic Films, including Hang Loose, a (hilarious buddy) comedy with YouTube sensation KevJumba, winning the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Special Jury Prizes for “Best Actor” and “Best Newcomer” respectively.

 

From breakdancing in the streets of San Francisco to starring in movies on the silver screen, Dante Basco has become one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood and truly an Asian American icon.  

raised on his families Quarter Horse Ranch in Rural Iowa. The day after he graduated from high school, Riley took a modeling opportunity and moved to New York City. Using the money he earned while modeling, Riley enrolled in acting classes.

A mere three months after Riley started taking acting classes, he was flown from New York to Los Angeles to screen test for the 1998 WB pilot "Minor Threat". He landed his first role and relocated to the west coast.

The pilot never made it to air, but Riley did. He's gone on to do several network pilots, series, and more than a dozen guest-stars including notable recurring roles on the Judd Apatow's Cult favorite,"Freaks and Geeks", Emmy Award winning, "24", and "Joan of Arcadia" and many others. In 2007 he was one of the leads in FOX's series "Drive". On the feature side, he's starred in "Eight Legged Freaks" with David Arquette and Scarlett Johansson, in "Radio" opposite Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding Jr., and as Ashley Olsen's love interest in Warner Bros's "New York Minute". More recently, he stars in the independent features "Graduation", Sundance Grand Jury Nominee, "Weapons" alongside Nick Cannon and Mark Webber, "GallowWalker" with Wesley Snipes and "Make it Happen" opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

In 2013, Riley wrapped the feature films "Shirin in Love," "The Circle" and "Christmas in Conway" along with Mary Louise Parker, Mandy Moore, and Andy Garcia. He also had a recurring arc on the CW's "Beauty and the Beast" and Starred in the backdoor pilot "Deliverance Creek" from Nicholas Sparks Productions and Warner Horizon.

 

This year, Riley stars as the newest Vampire In Bon Temps, Keith. Playing the love interest of Arlene (Carrie Preston) in the 7th and final Season of HBO’s critically acclaimed 

“True Blood”.

RILEY SMITH