Los Angeles-based performer Shelli Boone gives valuable information, thoughts and insight on life as an entertainer on the stage, in film and television and commercials. Her mission is to empower everyone,
especially young women, to follow their dreams without falter...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Are We Watching?

Last night, a friend and I had a long conversation about the state of
America's young people. We talked about how it just seems like today's youth want instant success without the hard work that goes into it. They see Diddy and Lil' Wayne on TV and think that they can get in the studio, make a hit record and be instant millionaires. They neglect to consider the years and years of hard work that have gone into making that millionaire. Diddy started out as an intern and Lil' Wayne has been rapping since he was 12! That is some hard work put into making their careers.
Yes, I know, I know, I sound like an old woman - probably how my parents talked about my generation and my grandma talked about my parents. The cycle continues I suppose...
But then we started to talk about media and television and the things that inspired us when we were kids. We watched shows like "A Different World" and "The Cosby Show". These episodics depicted young people of color going to college, becoming professionals - and that inspired us to do so! I wanted to be just like Denice Huxtable at Hillman - partying, falling in love, going to step shows, but also studying and doing good things in my community. We began to think about what television has to offer now in terms of inspiring young people. And the sad truth is - not much.
With reality shows taking over the airwaves and getting so many viewers - things like "Jersey Shore" and "Bad Girls Club" - it's no wonder that young people think that the fast track to success is to get drunk, make a sex tape and curse their way into being a celebrity. Don't get me wrong - I watch reality television - it's a guilty pleasure. I just think that by not having an equal balance of inspiring shows with the more raunchy ones, we are sending the wrong message to our next generation.
That's why as artists we have a responsibility to write, produce and create programming, films, books and theatre that don't just entertain but actually create change and growth in society. I recently attended a screening where the original Uhura on "Star Trek", actress Nichelle Nichols, spoke about her first onscreen kiss with Spok. She didn't realize it at the time but that show was changing the way America looked at interracial relationships. I believe we have to do that for our young people - create things that inspire them to be more, do more, and pass it on to their kids. Just a thought...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't Forget to Take Time Out!

Since the beginning of 2010, I have been on the go! Trying to keep several projects moving forward simultaneously, while also doing housework, laundry, and paying the bills (ugh). Needless to say, my schedule is hectic. I am always saying that I wish there were more hours in the day.
Well, a couple days ago a friend came to me and said that she missed me. I laughed it off, and probably said something like "Girl, I'm right here!" But then that same day, my mom called from Florida and said that she hadn't heard from me in a few days and that she missed me too. It got me to thinking...
How many of us are neglecting our loved ones because we are caught up in the daily "grind"? As performers, we try to pencil in so many meetings, seminars, classes and other things that we sometimes forget to live our "normal" lives - having fun, bowling, going to the movies, going to the park, or just hanging out. After all, we are working so hard to succeed so that we can spoil our families, right? We have to remind ourselves to appreciate them now, to spend time with them now...not just when we reach our ultimate goal and have time to "relax". Because, let's face it, if you're anything like me, you are never going to just "relax"...you are always going to be striving for the next big thing.
So on Saturday, I stopped. I did nothing. No phone calls. No emails. No worrying about anything related to my career. Instead, I hung out with friends and had dinner with family. And it was great! Let us all not forget that we need time off, to enjoy life and the most important thing in it...people.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Out West" Is Now Touring!

Great news! My one-woman show "Out West:Women of Plains" has been picked up by a couple of great theatres. First, I will be performing on January 30th at The Actor's Repetory Theatre in Burbank as part of their Solo Festival (Jan. 15 - Feb. 6). There are a lot of fantatic one-person shows in the festival and the audience gets to vote on the best ones. So if you haven't seen my show, please come out to vote for me! You can find ticket information at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/93945 or visit http://www.theactorsrepetory.com/

Then, on February 5th I will be traveling back East to Suffolk, Virginia to perform the show. I am very excited about this one, because my dad served as producer and lots of my family and friends will be there. The theatre holds over 300 people so I am moving up in the world folks! Ha! Ha! For information on this performance, you can go to http://www.suffolkcenter.org/

On February 7th I will be doing a special Black History Month performance of the show at Burns Middle School in Tampa, Florida. I am curious about the youth reaction to this material - racism, slavery, historical references. I hope they enjoy the performance, but I also hope it inspires them to learn more about lesser known heroes. Especially women.

So there you have it folks...I am literally taking the show on the road! :-)

Question: Who are your heroes?

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Feature Film Coming Soon!

The trailer for my upcoming movie "Out The Gate" is up!

The urban action feature film stars Paul Campbell, Oliver Samuels, Jamaican musical artist E-Dee, and of course, yours truly! The trailer is up on the internet at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehaOBGczdjs. The buzz and excitement over the movie is growing as Far I Films announced their plans to premiere the film Spring 2010 in Jamaica, with showings in New York and the east coast to follow the Jamaican premiere.The film also boasts appearances from Dancehall/Reggae artists Mr. Lexx, Lady G, and Ms. Triniti. The film, shot on location in Jamaica and Los Angeles, follows E-Dee as he leave a bad situation in Jamaica to come to America to pursue his dreams in music and finds out the music game is just as wicked as the streets he is trying to leave behind. I play his love interest.

I had a great time making this film - the producers and director were fantastic. It just goes to show that indie films can come out great and reach many audiences. This is a lesson to actors to never ignore niche audiences. There are so many countries out there that buy films that are in limited release in the US, or sometimes never released here at all. Musicians go overseas to build their fan base and so should we.

Hope I get to go to Jamaica for the premiere (wink wink)!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 - New Lives and Fresh Beginnings for All!

Happy New Year Everybody! I hope that everyone brought in the New Year in a positive and upbeat spirit like I did! My December was wonderful - took a 2 week trip to Europe and Africa - learned so much about the history of Egypt and the Pyramids, the Roman Empire, Barcelona nightlife - just had a blast! It made me realize how young America is and just how much we all need to explore our entire world, not just our little corner of the Earth. Definitely going to be doing more traveling! I will share pics from the trip in future entries...

...because I had to share these photos first! Isn't she just adorable? This is my girl Chantel's new baby, Lotus, born on Dec. 26th. Looks just like her mommy. My cousin John's girlfriend also had a New Year's baby - little Gina - born on the 1st! And I just found out that another close friend of mine is expecting!

All these visits from the stork got me thinking...looking at these little tiny things with their whole lives ahead of them. That was us once. The world was our oyster - anything was possible. As the years pass, we sometimes forget that. Life happens. Responsibilities, setbacks, obstacles, trials and tribulations make us forget that we can STILL have anything we want from this life. It's never too late to live our dreams!

So for my 2010, I'm not making any formal New Year's resolutions like losing 10 pounds or cleaning out the garage. Instead, I'm making a broad commitment to remain positive, to keep living my dream, and to never give up! The world is my oyster - whether I'm 25 or 75. I hope you are all empowered to manifest your destinies, too! Blessings!
Stay tuned to this blog for information on all things to do with performing - please pass on to young women especially, I want to hear from them - teens, pre-teens, all the ladies! We are in this together and we need to support each other...