That’s What Friends Are For

Yes, cue the cheesy Dionne Warwick song.

Or how about Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne’s version in the movies Bridesmaids

Anyway, I just wanted to touch a little on friendship.

Last weekend my best friend from home came to town for a short, two-day visit. She lives in Florida, so our time together is often limited. We literally text/Facebook chat non-stop every day, but it’s just never the same as being together.

I want to think that my relationship with her as being similar to the relationship between Mya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in the movie Bridesmaids. (In this scenario, I am Kristen Wiig, except for the fact that I did NOT screw up her bachelorette party or wedding planning).

Our conversations usually read similar to those in the brunch scene in the beginning of the movie, although they take place exclusively through phone.

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When I found out she was coming for a visit, I nearly died. I didn’t care if it was only a little blip of time.

So naturally, in the short time we had together, we packed in everything we could into those two days and just went wild.

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Without getting into too much detail, she and I had a crazy 48 hours (if it was even that) and maybe got into a little too much trouble.

However, when the trip was over, I started really reflecting on my friendship with this person, and how it really has shaped who I am as a human being.

My relationship with Ashley is one of true worth. I know this because, although our relationship is extremely strong, there have been moments where I’m SURE both of us have felt like saying…

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… and there was a particular night (the last night of her trip,) where I KNEW she felt like this.

But in the end, we can acknowledge our differences, problems, pettiness, drunkenness, sometimes not togetherness and end up like this…

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I don’t believe we’ve ever NOT made up after getting into an argument. In fact, I don’t feel like we really argue with each other, we mostly just get annoyed, acknowledge that feeling, and move on and continue to be best friends.

So why am I writing this post? To gloat? To prove that my best friend is better than yours?

Absolutely not.

I’m writing this post to tell you that it is so ultimately refreshing for me to have a relationship with someone that never revolves around the petty and the unnecessary. There is no drama between us; no feelings of distain, or jealousy, or judgement (ESPECIALLY judgement.)

And I don’t want to confuse honesty with judgement, or for that matter, tact. There are plenty of times that we’ve been brutally honest with each other, but it never moves into the territory of getting judgmental.

I can tell Ashley the most embarrassing details of my life…giphy

I can complain about being a starving artist…

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I can text her endlessly and have her analyze every move of the man I’m interested in at the moment…

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Or when I’m having a fight with my stomach about whether or not to eat something that’s bad for me…

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Our relationship is mature, and crazy, and honest, and respectful, and I’m so thankful that it exists in my life.

Because I know no matter how fucked up things in my life get, I’ll always have her in my corner. And the same goes for her.

Love you, Ash.

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xoxo

Shannon Allen

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Sing Me To Sleep and Then Leave Me Alone

There might as well be a sign on my forehead that says:

“Shannon: Wears heart on sleeve/Trusts too much/Loves to love — Please take advantage”

Well… That sign is much too long for my forehead, so maybe I can just wear it as a sign around my neck.

As a creative person, I am often criticized for being “too sensitive” or “overly emotional,” but I don’t know how to be any other way. It’s not like I’m trying to make my heart feel anything other than what it’s feeling.

When I was younger, I used to think that everyone else felt like me. I used to think that everyone experienced the depth of feeling I felt when I was sad, happy, anxious, ashamed, depressed, excited, etc. But now I understand that this is absolutely not the case. “Normal” people can experience similar situations to me, and not feel a thing.

In fact, I’m starting to realize that many people are exceptionally good at falsifying real emotions in order to self-serve.

This is perhaps where we begin… and also where we end.

A week ago, I “cleaned house,” and got rid of every online dating application, phone number, Facebook, saved picture, of every single guy in the past two years with whom I’ve ever had any kind of romantic connection.

I also deleted a slew of “friends” in my contact list.

What I’ve come to understand, is that my personality lends itself to others taking advantage of me. The fact that I’m willing to trust easily, give second chances, and dive into emotions that normal people might put up a bit of a guard about, allows people to essentially use me for what they want, benefit from my trust and love, and then subsequently leave.

And then I’m left alone, with nothing but another crack in my soul; wondering what I did wrong. Worse, I’ll start questioning myself, and my self-worth, because at the end of all these situations, I’m the common denominator.

I’m the common denominator.

So am I to assume that there is something wrong with me? Or is it that I am just misunderstood because I am “too” (fill in your favorite adjective) for anyone to handle?

*Sigh*

Lately, the fact that I’m 26 has set in.

Now I am by no means “old,” but what I mean by “26,” is that all my friends are in the beginning stages of “growing up.” I have friends getting married, having children, moving in with their significant others, buying dogs together, taking vacations, joining bank accounts, etc.

I think this is all great. Obviously I want my friends to be happy and healthy individuals.

But my problem is, my pool of people that I can go to is becoming smaller and smaller. It’s more difficult to come to a friend with a “single girl” problem, when they are worried about their grown up lives. I often get lots of eye rolls or “Oh I remember when I was single,” stories. There is also a level of disconnect that you tend to have with a person whose life is in a different stage from theirs. My financial situation is far different from that of a lot of my friends, and it’s becoming harder and harder to give the “I’m a starving artist trying to make it in NYC,” speech to them, because their already in the place in their lives where they are no longer struggling financially.

Not only this, but they have someone to come home to.

I ALSO just want someone to come home from work to and talk about my day. I ALSO want to share my life with someone. I ALSO want someone to check up on me when they haven’t heard from me in a few hours.

One of my biggest wake-up calls this week was seeing a news story about a missing woman and thinking to myself, “If I were to go missing in New York City, how long would it be before someone realized I was gone?”

This might be a bit dramatic, but I can’t lie and say the thought didn’t cross my mind, and give me a tiny panic attack.

… and now that I’ve gone and laid my guts out on the table for the world to see, I’m going to find a way to keep moving on.

So now, instead of allowing myself to be the person being left behind, I’ve decided to be the one to leave for a change.

I’m leaving the dating world.

I’m out. I’m not going to accept invitations to go on dates, or allow myself to get mixed up in any of that silly nonsense any longer. No more “drink dates.” No more, “Hey my friends are all out at this one spot. You should come join!”

Nothing.

I want no part of the dating world.

None.

I’m also going to leave the social world for a bit. At least cut down on it.

I’m tired of spending Friday nights texting friends who could give a shit if they see me anytime soon. I’m also tired of getting invited out when someone just needs a filler when their Plan A has failed. I’m tired of being drunk and watching everyone around me desperately trying to find someone to fuck before the night is over.

It’s all too shallow for me.

What I really want is someone to go for a run with me in Central Park. I want someone to go to Restaurant Row with and pick off their plate because I realized their food was better than mine. I want someone to talk Game of Thrones and Harry Potter and slasher films and Nickelodeon cartoons with me. I need someone to hug me and be silent when I get sad because I really want to talk to my mom. I want someone to steal my covers, someone who wakes me up in the middle of the night because I snored too loud or drooled all over their pillow.

I want someone to care.

I also want someone who doesn’t care that I “feel” too much.

I don’t necessarily need someone who feels as much as I do, or even understands how or why I feel the way I do… just someone who is willing to accept it, along with all the other parts of me.

All of me.

That’s all.

So until then, “sing me to sleep/sing me to sleep/and then leave me alone”

Goodnight.

Shannon Rose Allen

“BACKGROUND! Annnnnnd…. ACTION!”

If you work in my industry, these are words with which you are absolutely familiar.

Today, after three EXTREMELY long days of background work, I wanted to share my personal list of:

The 25 people you will meet while doing background work.

Yes, I understand that not all my readers are familiar with how my job works, but hopefully you too can find some humor in this post.

Here goes.

1. The guy who forgot his pen

This first one just baffles me. EVERY set we are required to fill out a talent voucher. Why you don’t have a pen is just BEYOND me. The only time I haven’t had a pen on set is when someone from the last set I was on stole mine, never gave it back, and I forgot to replace it. Now I just throw 20 pens in my set bag so that I’m never in this situation.

I actually had a guy offer to buy my pen off me two days ago because after working outside for 12 hours in the NYC blizzard, he just wanted to go home. The poor guy. I just gave it to him. HOWEVER… GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND HAVE A FUCKING PEN IN YOUR BAG. Come ON!

That’s Background 101.

2. The outspoken lady who knows EVERYTHING about the union and makes sure that EVERYONE in the entire holding knows

Oh lord. This one.

Listen, I always appreciate a good know-it-all, for the simple fact that they are a wealth of knowledge about some things that I would actually like to know. And what’s better is that there is never a union question too stupid for them because they just want to talk.

However, lady, you need to SHUT THE FUCK UP FOR LIKE FIVE MINUTES ABOUT THE UNION BECAUSE NO ONE CARES! We also don’t care that you have a personal relationship with every PA and AD on various sets around the city, (because you don’t), or how long you’ve been doing background work, (forever), or that you were featured as a “female detective #14” on Law and Order that ONE TIME.

We will solicit your knowledge as needed. K Thanks.

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3. The guy who never actually does any background work and sits in holding all day

Some people are just the master of not working. This person will always sit in the corner of holding, with a hood above their heads, ear buds in. Whenever the background PA asks for volunteers, you will never see this person’s hand go up. He will spend the 8-14 hours on set reading a post-modern novel, or taking a nap.

He will always be first in line for lunch.

4. The angry old man

He looks something like this:

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He hates EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. Don’t tell him “Good Morning!” or worse, try to ask him how he’s been, because then you will get a 15-minute rant about why his life is awful and how NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO GET BETTER IN LIFE BECAUSE LIFE SUCKS AND IS AWFUL AND TERRIBLE AND THERE IS NO GOD.

Good to know.

5. The wildly inappropriate middle-aged man

There is one on every set.

That guy who is in his 40s who thinks it’s okay to grab a 20-something’s ass, whom he’s just barely met. I had one of these men tell me (after I commented on my muddy boots) that he would like to “lick them clean.”

Ew.

I could honestly share story after story about this one. It’s amazing to me that these men are functioning members of society.  No, I actually did NOT ask you to casually grab my arm when we are talking because it’s MY FUCKING PERSONAL SPACE.

Now go chase after some other poor girl before I knee you in the penis and balls.

6. The first-time fan girl

A newbie background actor is endearing. A first-time fan girl, not so much.

Seriously girl??? You’re going to ask for a picture with the hunky lead guy? REALLY??? We are around famous people all the time. They are at work and so are we. Pictures are for pedestrians. Let’s all be professional here and get back to work.

You’re making the rest of us look bad.

7. The kid who’s SO above it all/The Diva

Listen… NONE of us want to be background lifers (even though we know plenty of people who are). We all believe that we are good enough to be principle actors, or else we probably wouldn’t subject ourselves to being human props for 14 hours at a time. But there is no reason to act like you’re better than the rest of us… because guess what???

You’re not.

8. The eager one

I actually admire this person, because they genuinely excited to do just about anything from the production team 100% of the time. Not to say that I don’t love what I do, but being over-zealous to jump into a scene where I know I’m just a blurry blurb in the background is just not my style.

One time I was placed in the DEEP background of a pedestrian scene and a woman started taking deep breaths in and out thinking about what her “character” would be. Good for you girl! Get that acting. I’ll just be over here making fart jokes until they yell “rolling” and then I’ll walk normal through the shot 2-5 times and call it a day.

I’ll waste my talent and energy when the situation is appropriate.

9. The lady who thinks everyone loves her, but actually, no one can stand her

She never shuts up. She never stops complaining. She knows everyone. She’s a background lifer. She makes jokes that no one thinks are funny. She bends your ear about things you don’t care about.

Run away from her.

RUN.

10. The stage parents

It’s funny to me watch these mothers fuss over their children being perfect, when really this is what they’re thinking:

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11. The conspiracy theory guy

Yesterday on set I literally had a guy ask to borrow my phone so he could show me a theory about how famous Renaissance artists were actually painting images reflective of a black hole in space.

Or something like that. I don’t know… my eyes glazed over in about five minutes.

Then he started talking about how robots are going to take over the world and start reproducing, and humans are going to become obsolete, unless we create a self-sustaining utopia.

I can’t MAKE this shit up.

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12. The guy who ALWAYS has a piece of crafty in his hands

I love this guy! He knows exactly where the crafty table is, what’s worth getting, what you must stay away from, and is ALWAYS willing to share!

For those of you who don’t know the lingo, “crafty” just stands for the craft food service table. Just think the “snack table.”

Crafty guy never has a problem sneaking away even when production is ready to call “rolling,” and will usually return five minutes later with one plate for himself, and a coffee (exactly the way I like it) for me!

Crafty guy, Shan Baby salutes you!

13. The person who never fails to share their personal resume with every person they encounter on set

I don’t care how many times you’ve been on Blue Bloods, or Nurse Jackie, or that you’re core on The Following.

We’ve all pretty much worked the same shows in New York.

You’re not special.

Also… I’m not a casting director, so you are wasting your time bragging to me, because I don’t care.

14. The non-union person who bends your ear about why their career is so much better because they are non-union/The union person who bends your ear about why their career is so much better because they’re union. 

Unfortunately these conversations are un-avoidable. There will always be the pro-union people and the anti-union people. We can argue all day long about non-union commercials disappearing when you join SAG, or why it’s worth it to join SAG and work less, for more.

The argument is endless, and no one will ever leave this conversation anything other than angry or confused.

I’m guilty of getting into several of these conversations. Sigh.

Let people decide whether they want to join the union on their own.

I’m tired of talking about acting… let’s go back to fart jokes.

15. The union person who thinks they are an A-list actor because they do union background work

We all hope this will happen:

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But until it does… you are nothing but a background actor.

16. The complainer

After I got into wardrobe the other day, I had a woman come up to me and complain about how her week was awful, and how she hated the way her costume fit, and how she was worried about getting sick in the cold, and how there was no more eggs at breakfast, and how her coffee was too hot, and that she had a zit on her face, and that her shoes were too tight, and her daughter was mad at her, and blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.

When she was finally done, I turned to her and said, “I’m sorry to hear that, but my week was FABULOUS!”

She shut up.

17. The socially awkward one

Doesn’t know how to interact with people, so chooses a profession where he has to be around people all day!

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WIN!

18. The actor/model

I’m jealous that ever time a show is looking for a “model type” that you can apply in addition to all the posts for us “normal” people. Stop being so damn pretty!

While you’re looking all pretty… this is me at the crafty table:

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19. The actors/singers/theater people

Oh this is DEFINITELY something I’m guilty of being. After we get to a certain hour, the singing starts happening… complete with theatrics.

My favorite recent relapse of theater behavior was being dressed in 1900s attire skipping around with an umbrella for a prop, singing “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” at the top of my lungs.

Then everyone joins in, but there is that ONE GUY, who is annoyed.

And to him, I say:

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20. The young charmer guy

Now I know I might take some flack for this… but this guy is usually from Jersey or Long Island, has a thick accent, probably Italian, buff, good looking, and hits on EVERY WOMAN on set.

And then there is…

21. The pretty/innocent girl who is charmed by the young charmer

Poor girl.

22. The career advice guy

Somehow I always end up getting myself into these conversations with people older and “wiser” (note the sarcasm) about how I should “never give up,” and “keep going,” regarding my career.

No matter how many times I tell them that I’m definitely not giving up anytime soon, it’s like they just ignore me and continue to give me positive reinforcement. I have to imagine in their mind they imagined me coming up to them, about to throw in the towel with acting, and begged them to give me their “expertise” advice.

From then on, whenever I see these people, they point and wink at me and say, “Don’t you give up now, Shannon. You’re talented!”

Thanks?

23. The DEMENTORS from Harry Potter who literally SUCK THE SOUL RIGHT OUT OF YOU

The complainer, the grumpy old man, and a few others are close to this, but the Dementor is just on a whole OTHER level.

They will literally suck all the joy out of you until THIS happens:

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The Dementors have the ability to ruin days on set.

Damn soul suckers.

24. The person who only knows how to talk about background work and refuses to talk about anything else

I have lots of interests.

I’m sorry you don’t.

I’m going to go talk to someone who does.

Bye! 🙂

25. The normal people

So finally, after all the bullshit, I will find those friends on set that I love and respect.

We giggle and sing and talk about things OTHER than background work. We quote movies and play games in holding. We don’t make stupid stories up about our “character” when we talk through sets. We can fill out a W2 and I9 in our sleep and always bring extra layers/gloves/shoes/socks for whatever inclement weather we are going to face. We commiserate with each other when there are crappy circumstances on set, but never go into bitchy, crazy complain mode. We find silver linings in everything. We sleep on each other’s shoulders in holding. We share tips about the best way to take shits on set. The hair/makeup/wardrobe department LOVE us, as do the PAs and the AD because we are nice and agreeable. We don’t talk to the leads, unless for some reason they want to talk to us (which sometimes happens because we are awesome). We get drinks with each other after long days.

These people make everything worth it.

So there you have it.

I work with crazy people.

Such is the life of a performer.

We’ve all been at least one of these people. Hell… I’m guilty of several of these numbers, some of which I’m less proud of than others.

So cheers to all the struggling actors, performers, theater kids, singers, musicians out there. Paying our dues is part of the process, and I’m happy to say that I  get to work on television and movie sets until I “make it big.”

Love,

Shan Baby the crazy actress/singer/musician/performer/outrageously theatrical/loud/driven lady

Girls, Ladies, Women, Broads, Bitches, Sluts and Whores

If you live in 2014 (which if you’re reading this, you absolutely do, or perhaps you are a zombie??) then you’ve used all of these words in everyday life.

I use these words daily.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t believe words have power over us. As much as I would like to believe that the word “bitch” and “slut” and “whore” can become meaningless as long as we choose how we use them, I don’t always believe that’s true.

I’m writing this post in response to the overwhelming flood of opinions about the HBO show, GIRLS, which had a two-episode premier the other night.

My 26-year-old self, loved it, but as I turned to Facebook, I realized everyone did not share my sentiments.

Many viewers saw GIRLS as making women seem “weak,” “unmotivated,” and possessing “shallow” relationships with their friends.

I needed to dig a little deeper to see what this is all about.

And I think it comes down to a few things.

The first being a generational difference.

GIRLS is a show that can appeal to women and men of all generations, HOWEVER, I believe there is a disconnect between millennials and those of generations previous.

According to Wikipedia, “Millennials, or the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Commentators use beginning birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.”

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We are known as the “Peter Pan Generation.” Our elders call us “lazy,” “self-centered,” “self-righteous.” We are the generation who flounders. The generation who was promised the world by our parents and teachers, only to graduate high school or college amidst a depression where no jobs were available to us.

So why the hell would anyone expect a show that is supposed to be a real depiction of 20-something girls in New York City to be anything different than just that?!?

I don’t want to watch a show where girls in New York City live the life of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

As entertaining as Sex in the City was, that simply is NOT the reality anymore.

I love GIRLS because I see MYSELF in these women. If I want to fantasize about what I would love my life to be like living in New York, all I have to do is pick up an issue of Vogue. BUT, if I want to watch a snarky, slightly-exaggerated, albeit quirky version of what it’s like as a 20-something woman, I will watch GIRLS.

My next issue, is with women bashing on other women.

One big argument a lot of women put on Facebook was how these women seem “weak” and how they longed for the characters to appear “stronger.”

Why isn’t it okay to show a vulnerable woman? If we, as feminists, are TRULY fighting for women’s equality, why can’t we embrace both ends of the spectrum??

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Why do we, as women, have to go around judging other women CONSTANTLY. Do we feel the need to make ourselves feel prettier, stronger, better, more successful??? Why must “slut-shaming” be a term, which we are so familiar?

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Isn’t it okay that women in today’s world want to find out who they really are? Isn’t it okay that some women want to find husbands and others want to find careers, and others want BOTH!?

Isn’t it okay that women want to air out their dirty laundry for the world to see, because that makes them more liberated, or human, or just because they fucking CAN!?

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We need to stop saying that women in the media are “setting women back,” or “giving women a bad name,” because the fact of the matter is, in 2014, we HAVE A NAME.

The fact that some women demean other women for their choices, ironically gives THEM the label as setting women back.

This world is a big place, full of “smart” women, and “dumb” women, and “sluts” and “whores,” and “Madonnas,” and “prudes,” and “ugly” women, and “over-sexualized” women, and “crazy” women, and “psychotic” women, and “emotional” women, and “driven” women, and “liberal” women, and “conservative” women, and “sluts,” and “bitches,” and “CUNTS.”

There is room for everyone on this earth, and if you really see yourself as a feminist, we can either choose to embrace this an move forward with our own lives, or continue to shame other women, thus keeping us all down.

Just some food for though.

Signed, a crazy, emotional, smart, driven, floundering, sometimes unstable, sometimes stable, BITCH

Shannon Rose Allen

Conversations With Myself

Hey there Shan Babe! How’s it going!?

Oh you know, just the usual…

I can’t stop listening to Lady Gaga.

You’re such a gay man… 

All my gay friends are AMAZING.

And super hot! 

Ughhh I wanna be super hot.

You ARE super hot! 

Yeah, but I’m also kind of crazy.

People like crazy…

Just put on your skinny jeans, a hipster sweater and a knit cap. 

Don’t forget the combat boots.

Where are my fucking keys!?!

Did I leave my straightener on?

Look in the mirror one last time.

Adjust the red lipstick.

Stand back and do one last look. 

Why can’t I be 10 pounds thinner?

Ughh why can’t I be 20 pounds thinner?

Nevermind… I want chocolate.

Ugh, I feel fat after that chocolate.

I need coffee

Okay, what am I doing today?

What am I doing with my life???

You’re being a ROCKSTAR, that’s what. 

Yeah but I’m just a background actor.

So what!? You are about to get your SAG card, AND record your second album. 

What if no one likes my second album?

Where am I getting the money for all this?

I don’t want to be poor anymore.

Someday you’re going to make a fucking ASS-LOAD of money. 

YEAH! It’s gonna be fucking sweet!

YEAH! And you’re going to have a hot fucking boyfriend.

Speaking of boyfriends… I haven’t gone on a date… in like two years.

That sucks. 

I’m the queen of attracting creepy men.

Dating in New York sucks. 

Dating sucks.

Never mind… I LOVE being single. 

Oooooo that boy is cute.

He might be gay… we’re in Hell’s Kitchen. 

Oh well… maybe he’ll be a new friend!

That reminds me, what gay club am I drinking at tonight?

Industry? Therapy? Barrage? Fairy Tail?

You’re never going to meet a straight guy at a gay bar.

So what, I’ll get to dance and be fabulous.

Straight bars are full of douche bags. 

Yeah… but what if ONE time, there is a nice guy?

Ooooo maybe. 

Nah.

Maybe I’ll stay in and write songs. 

That sounds like fun!

I want to gig more. 

Yeah… but we ALL know that every time you gig, you think 100 people are coming and 10 show up.

You’re right, but maybe I can get more people this time!

Ok… let’s try to book another show.

I miss my old band. 

Too bad your ex was the drummer.

Yeah… never doing THAT again. 

Don’t shit where you eat, Shan Babe.

Good advice. 

Does this mean I can’t have set crushes anymore?

No, just don’t take anyone from set out for drinks. 

But it’s so FUN.

Ok… you’re just going to do whatever you want. 

I’m a sucker for romance…

Or maybe just “fake love.” 

Yeah… love doesn’t happen in NYC.

But MAYBE it does!?!

Who cares.

Where’s my whiskey?

Oh Shan Babe…

Stop thinking.

Not possible. 

Fair enough.

Goodnight Shan Babe. 

Goodnight, Shan Babe.

My So-Called Career

In these past few weeks that I’ve left you hanging without a post, A LOT has happened.

I think I may have given you a little scare with my past posts.

Those emotions I felt when I talked about my uncertainty in the performance world and the hurt I felt about being rejected one too many times by casting directors, was ABSOLUTELY truthful.

However,I’m happy to report that my life has made a 180 degree turn.

First we’ll start with my music.

I’ve been talking about recording my second album FOREVER, and now I can finally say that plans are in the works.

I have a very close friend who is going to work to get me a good studio lockout rate, and now I just need to carefully assemble my musicians and set a date!

I’ve also booked two gigs in October, one with my VERY close friend, Fred Casmir or Freddie Atlas and the other with non other than Mr. Ed Ricco, who has been there since the start of my career!

Here is a link to the Freddie Atlas Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FreddieAtlas

And here is a link to Ed Ricco’s newest Soundcloud post, I Heard It Through The Grapevine: 

So new album in the works, gigs in October, and ALSO new headshots in the works with the same guy helping produce my album.

I HAVE REALLY GREAT FRIENDS! Not only are they incredibly supportive and ALWAYS there for me, but they are WILDLY talented and multifaceted in their artistry.

I am a lucky girl.

Next up: my move.

So I was in CRISIS LOCKDOWN mode circa my last post. I had NO idea where my career was going, I had no roommate, and I definitely had no leads on a new apartment.

In steps my lovely new roommate, who I met in my UCB improv 201 class. We started looking for apartments together and quickly realized that we clicked not only as friends, but also as compatible roommates.

We found a BOMB place RIGHT in the center of Hell’s Kitchen, or as I like to call it: HELL’S BITCHIN’ KITCHEN! I am next to everything I need, including some bitchin’ bars and restaurants.

I feel completely at home and have a view of Time Square.

Hello! This is my life!? Is this real?! When did I become a real person???

And now to the part of my career that’s getting REALLY exciting.

Acting.

Yes. Acting.

Some of you might be saying to yourselves, “But Shan… you’re a singer.”

Yes, I am. But guess what??? Acting has been paying the bills lately.

Yes. You heard me correct. ACTING has been PAYING the bills.

I’ve started getting into background acting heavily, and I’ve been in television shows, movies, and now I’m even doing some music video work which is really exciting.

I also have one SAG waiver under my belt, so once I get two more of those bad boys I can join the union which means more opportunity and MORE MONEY! YAY!

I’ve met so many wonderful people on set and every time I meet another creative who is struggling to make it happen, I just think about how I CAN’T STOP.

I felt so hopeless for a while in New York and questioned whether or not I could really cut it in the city. I remember a conversation with my dad where I couldn’t even speak because I was so choked up. I thought maybe this was just a “learning year” or a “free-spirit” period where I got the taste of New York, and then went back to a life that wasn’t so glamorous and definitely wasn’t as tough.

But guess what? Turns out I CAN cut it.

It just took me a minute to find my pimp walk.

After my breakdown, I went to Florida, walked 60 miles for breast cancer, had a heart to heart with my mentor and surrogate mother momma, Jackie, and got rejected by a high-profile television show.

And ALL of these things gave me perspective.

Then things started to HAPPEN.

I hustled harder than I ever had before.

And BELIEVE me… I’ve been HUSTLING since I’ve moved here… but I needed to push myself HARDER to make it happen for myself.

And I can confidently say that EVERYTHING I have in New York is because I worked my FUCKING ASS off to get where I am.

However, with that said, I need to thank some people.

My Dad. I can’t even begin to thank him enough. My dad is the most supportive person I have in my life. After Ro passed, he really took on a big role. I am my mother’s daughter: tough, stubborn, emotional, and fiery. It’s not easy to deal with that kind of personality, and my dad does it.

My brother and sister-in-law. They always give me calm, collected advice. They aren’t easy on me, which I like. I can always count on them being level-headed and smart about how they help me when I need things hashed out.

Ashley and Ryan. My trip to Florida put the LIFE back into me and made me realize that if I ever did hit rock bottom, like I almost did, that I would have a place to seek refuge. Both physically and emotionally.

Jackie. She keeps my fire going. Plain and simple. I’m afraid to quit because I know she’ll just kick my ass!

Fred. Lord that boy SAVED me from a sticky situation last week. He is always bubbly, fierce and there when I need a shoulder.

RJ. Keeping it real since 1992.

Larry and Barb. Who wants to help a friend move??? Honestly. These two helped me move into a FOURTH FLOOR WALK-UP! That’s no easy task. We are bad bitches! 🙂

And everyone else who has supported me with a phone call, Facebook post, a night on the town, a DONATION TO MY WALK (can’t thank people enough), a shoulder to cry on, a creative to toss around new ideas, or a prick to motivate me to do more (yes, I’m thanking even you)…

THANK YOU.

Shan Baby: Welcome to your So-Called Career.

xoxo

S

Also… this is the best song right now.

What New York City has taught me about Life

Tuesday, June 4th 2013 marked the one year mark of when I moved to my favorite place on planet earth, New York City.

Oh boy has it been a wild ride…

So I’ve been compiling a mental list of what New York has taught me in these past 369 days (June 4th + four days… I’m so FAHHHKIN SMAAAAHHHHHT) and here’s what I’ve come up with.

1. Life is tough. Get a helmet. And watch out for the yellow ones… they don’t stop…

2. Life never slows down. And watch out for the yellow ones, they are fast AND don’t stop… Ever.

3. Life is full of disappointments, but the bar is usually open till 4 am, so that makes the disappointments easier…

4. Sleep is important, but life will not slow down so you can catch some Zs. New York is the city that never sleeps… therefore, I do NOT sleep. When I left Berklee where I had two jobs, a band, and class, I thought I would inevitably get more sleep. WRONG. Sleep is a rare gift.

(and the bar is open till 4 am… so that REALLY does not help)

5. Talent is everywhere. There is ALWAYS someone more talented, prettier, thinner, more fashionable, friendlier, classier, a better fit, better connected, with more money and a tighter ass than you. But the bar is open until 4 am, where you can talk shit about that person who is “more ________” than you, and then cry about how much of a hot mess you are.

6. However, there will ALWAYS be a more dismal hot mess than you. So you can feel better knowing that there is always someone is in a worse situation, who most likely admires you for your talent, beauty, perseverance, and excellent ass.

7. There are a LOT of different people in this world with a LOT of different views, beliefs, religions, customs, sexualities, etc, etc. People who are constantly judging one another for our differences are the people who are so insecure about their own views, beliefs, religions, custom or sexuality, that they project it on others. Tolerance is a virtue.

8. Dating is just as exhausting as it is exciting… but mostly just exhausting. No more are the days when I used to get giggly and nervous, making sure every hair was in place, my makeup was perfect, and outfit was fashionable. Dating is work. Plain and simple. However, men are as disposable as those annoying flyers that the comedians hand out in Times Square. They are also really annoying like those comedians in Times Square…

9. Cats have nine lives, we don’t. So SERIOUSLY watch out for rowdy taxi drivers and people who like to push people on the subway tracks.  Hashtag #seriously

10. Living in a city that is full of successful women, makes me realize how much I DON’T need a man to tell me what I’m worth. Period.

11. Loneliness can sometimes be a good thing. Learning how to be independent in a city where people don’t care if you thrive or die is imperative for success. I’ve learned more about myself in the past year than I learned in all my college years combined.

12. If it is possible to hail a taxi in the pouring rain at rush hour on a Friday, anything is possible… including being a singer for a living. Performing is a lot easier than dealing with New York traffic.

13. Pizza is not a food group. 

14. Life is expensive. Good thing I’m a chick who can turn a smile into a free drink.

And finally…

15. I am in control of my own destiny. I can choose to let this crazy city define who I am and how I’ll feel at any given moment. OR I can choose to see New York as the crazy, beautiful city that it is. Good and bad. If I’ve learned ANYTHING this past year, it’s that you have a CHOICE about how you let any situation make you feel. I’ve been jerked in every direction by the music industry, casting directors, men, friends, bad weather, subway train delays, unfriendly Upper East Siders, Brooklyn hipsters, a hurricane… you name it! But the little beautiful moments in between the stress and no sleep and parties till 4 am and inhaling of taxi cab fumes remind me that I live the life I’ve always dreamed I’d live!

I’ve spent the last year accumulating amazing experiences, hanging out with new and old friends, and racking up stories SO juicy that sometimes I can’t believe they really happened to me. (Hello! Meeting Robin Williams on the A Train!?!?)

Good things.

All good things.

Aaaaaaaand the bar is open until 4 am…

xoxo

Shannon Rose Allen