Today I am 26.

A quarter of a century plus 1.

What a YEAR it has been.

This time last year I had JUST booked my Off-Broadway show, Totally Tubular Time Machine.

I was still working in the music industry.

The thought of me becoming a SAG actress didn’t even cross my mind.

I thought I had my second album written, (but I just can’t stop writing new songs!).

I was looking for love in all the wrong places (I still am, by the way.)

I can’t even begin to say how much 2013 was a “transition” year for me.

Today I got so many calls/texts/Facebook messages wishing me a happy birthday.

To me, that’s a perfect life; being surrounded by all the ones you love.

So what have I learned in this past year of my life, as I traveled around the sun for 365 days?

1. You get the love you put out into the world. I have made SO many friends this past year. I truly believe this is due to going to work and being OPEN and willing to put my love out there and receive it right back. The people I meet at work have become some of my best friends! And I also can’t forget the friends who have been there for me forever from home, Cincinnati and Boston. At my birthday dinner I had 10 people there, and when I thought about it, there were probably 15 more people from near and far that I would have LOVED to have there.

Some people can only count their friends on their two hands, I am lucky enough that I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the ones I love…

And who love me in return.

2. I’ve learned my worth as a woman. For those of you who frequently read my blog, you know that romantic love is something that I always reach for, and usually fall flat on my face while striving for.

Well if this year has taught me anything about love, it’s that I deserve so much more love and respect than any man has ever given me this year.

And that’s liberating to realize.

I’ll find him someday, and now that I know my true worth, everyone else will be able to see it too. 🙂

3. Dreams come true when you MAKE them come true. Hustling has always been a strong point of mine, but this year was the Shannon Allen year of HUSTLING LIKE A BOSS. There is no way I would have come this far in my career if I didn’t give 110% to everything I do. I’m never going to sit back and cry that I deserved something I didn’t get, or that some casting wasn’t “fair.”

No, I’m going to pick my ass up and try something different. Hell, I got rejected by the Voice twice this year, rejected by the Mamma Mia national tour, rejected by Royal Caribbean after the casting director said my voice was amazing, and let go from my Off-Broadway show.

And guess what bitches???

Not only am I STILL singing, STILL writing music, STILL acting, but I got my SAG-AFTRA card and I’m only going to the top!

I was a principle actor in a Beats by Dre commercial.

I have big plans in 2014, and they are all dependent of me working my ASS off.

4. New York is the place for me. Now that I’ve been comfortably living in NYC for a year and 1/2, I can confidently say that this is the city I thrive in the most. I feel at home in the streets of my city. I can navigate basically anywhere. I can make friends with people on the subway. I can give thorough directions to strangers.

5. I’m still young. In an industry that is obsessed with youth, sometimes I forget that people take YEARS to accomplish what I have. Yes, there are plenty of singers/songwriters/actors who are much further than me, and much younger, but I am incredibly lucky to live the life I do.

I’m 26 and I’m LITERALLY living the dream I’ve had ever since I was a little girl singing into my tape recorder.

And I’m still a little girl. Twenty-six times around the sun is not very much time.

I have a lot to learn, and I’m sure the world is going to waste no time teaching me new things every day.

6. I AM famous… In my own right. 🙂 

When I was 21 and had just started Berklee, I told myself I wanted to be “famous” by the time I was 25.

And today I turned 26.

But you know what? I AM kind of famous.

My friends and I ARE the future of “fame.”

We sing.

We dance.

We act.

We thrive in our jobs, whether they are at the desk or in the theater or on film.

feel famous right now in my life.

feel like a Queen.

am a Queen

I love all of you and I couldn’t have had such a great year without all your love and support!

Thank you for all the birthday love! 🙂


Queen Shan Baby


2 thoughts on “26

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