“shannon is a jewel. she is the joy of everybody’s life.”

~Stella Adler

“live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”

~Will Rogers

lawyer-vertical-2Born on Valentine’s Day, I grew up on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, in the very rural, very teeny town of Woodland Hills. Literally 40 cows, one cop and a narrow strip of highway. My Dad, a transplanted New Yorker and true Renaissance man, wore many hats, including Mayor of that teeny town. My Mom, an artist and dead ringer for Elizabeth Taylor, was often asked for her autograph, even in places Liz Taylor wouldn’t be caught dead. Once someone pleaded with her for an autograph over a stack of towels at the Macy’s-after-Christmas sale. No, seriously.

Show business came calling early for me… sort of. My grandparents owned a drive-in theater called The Chisholm Trail. Named after our distant cousin, Jesse Chisholm (as in the Texas cowboy trail blazer). One Saturday a month I was paid in candy to work the soda fountain during intermission. At eight years old, the Sweet Tart surplus alone made it a dream gig. But getting to see the movies too…wow! That pushed it right over into Field of Dreams, “Is this heaven?” territory.

My first ambition was to become a circus veterinarian. That or a famous, highly respected, world-renowned literary genius. A weak stomach and “math anxiety” (yes, that’s a real thing, look it up!) snuffed out the animal husbandry angle. So, literary genius it was! I set my course for the Pulitzer, (well, if you’re going to dream why bother with the piddly stuff) and pursued a journalism degree at Texas Christian University. Go Frogs!

And then, dum dum… the winds of “change of plans” swept me off my feet when I stumbled into an intro to acting class that changed the course of my life forever. And I’ve never once regretted taking this path less traveled.

I was accepted to study abroad with the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, but ended up going to New York instead when I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study with, work for, and live with the legendary, brilliant, and often irreverent, Stella Adler. (Yep, got a few stories to tell there!)

Since then, it has been the often wonderful, sometimes awesome, occasionally “what the heck am I doing,” artist’s life for me: performing, encountering a theatre ghost or two, and running Killer Dove Productions, a production company with a focus on out-of-the-box stories that stir and inspire.