A new look a brand new blog and making a mark with her statement Be strong. Laugh loud. Play hard. Dream big! Actress, Shenae is forever going to be one of our favorite interviews. On her blog Lost in LALA, you can get lost staring at her beautiful photos which keep you up with her exciting life. In her GIRLTALK session, we touch on having anxiety before roles, bullying and what she would say to the younger her right now. Enjoy!
A little bit of what she's been up to?
- The Mechanics of Love (TV Movie) (post-production) Matti Dupree
- The Rake (post-production) Ashley
- The Bequest (post-production) Jenibel Heath
- Newlywed and Dead (TV Movie) Kristen Ward
- Date with Love (TV Movie) Alex Allen
- Sandra Brown's White Hot (TV Movie) Sayre Hoyle
To catch up with what we spoke about previously check out below!
You have a wealth of experience as an actress. You were the lead in the hit television series Degrassi and 90210. Congratulations! It's obvious that you are very dedicated to your work. How do you say motivated throughout all the pressure.
Specifically women in this field would tell you there’s a lot of outside pressure to be a certain way and there’s a formula in Hollywood. I never felt that kind of pressure working in Canada.
In between my hiatuses (90210), a lot of the actresses were pursuing movies. For me, I wasn't interested. I was like, I've spent nine months on the set, I’m going to take these two to three months and go and intern at a magazine or at a vintage clothing store, since those are things I love and I want to learn more about, plus it's different.
When the show ended again, I was like, I can take the easy way, which is ‘hey I have built a career for myself for the past ten years’, I can continue it now. I've had this amazing platform of 90210, people know my name as an actress, I could just keep taking these roles that are coming my way, but I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to do something else. I've done this for ten years, it will always be there. So, I took the risk of deciding to do something different and not auditioning, and that was terrifying (laughs) but it’s finally starting to pay off.
I decided I wanted to be a fashion host and it took a long time for anyone to believe in me. I was lucky enough that Pop Sugar decided to give me a chance to do just that. So, I've been spending the last couple months getting to host and talk about fashion and entertainment. I get to put on my 'thinking cap' every day. I am so grateful that I have friends and loved ones to encourage me to stay committed to my goal.
Share a little about your style and how you've maintained your beautiful look:
I’ve never worked with a stylist more than once (laughs). A lot of actresses become these style icons because they are photographed a lot on the red carpet, at a lot of events, and I'd say there are 5-10 major stylists in L.A., that dress all of those girls. I've never felt comfortable being dressed by anybody else. When I first got on the show, I had a manager an agent and a publicist; the publicist said that I should get a stylist because that's what you do. I worked with a couple of those big names and not that they weren't amazing at what they did; but people always try to make me look a certain way, a way that suited 90210 and the character that I played on it. I looked cute and put together objectively, but I never felt comfortable with myself. I learned early on that working with a stylist wasn't for me, and you know what, I just had to do me. I think you just come into your own and that’s what I've done. I think my style has evolved over the years, but it always had the essence of my attitude.
When was the last time you felt nervous/anxious before performing a role and how did you deal with it?
I would definitely say Pop Sugar. When I started taking meetings to do fashion presenting, I don’t know if you would call it ego or confidence, or pride (laughs) but I walked into that situation going “oh well I've been on camera for the last ten years, I'm good at memorizing lines, why wouldn't anyone hire me to host their show?” (laughs) That seems like quite a natural transition and it isn’t. When Pop Sugar took the risk to invest in me as the co-host, I realized “oh my gosh” there are so many things to learn that I didn't know before. I've learned a lot in the past few months but that first week I was terrified. I was flashing back to my first day on Degrassi (thirteen years old). I didn't know what a ‘mark’ was, I didn't know how to ‘hit my mark,’ I didn't know the kind of routine of what acting on a set was like. That vocabulary that I've learned in the acting world isn't knowledge that people go to school for. I learned it in an organic atmosphere and I've had to do the same thing all over again with presenting.
I’m working with teleprompters and delivering information, not just emotion. I've got to remember my facts and bullet points while still making it conversational. I've got an earpiece in my ear and I’m listening to people give me notes while I’m talking, and ‘whoa’, this is a lot of new information to digest that I didn't even realize. It was very different from acting. I was definitely very nervous for that first week or two. I was just so grateful that the girls who I co-host the show with were so encouraging. That positive encouragement just reinforced my confidence and now it flows and I feel confident moving onto my next job in this new industry, this new field.
These days children, teens, and young adults are victims of being bullied on the internet and at school. It can even lead to violence or suicide which has happened a lot over the years. If you had the opportunity to say one thing to a person being bullied, what would you say? If you can say one thing to the bully what would that be?
I would say, ‘do you’ to the kid who is being bullied. Don’t worry about anybody else because its so funny how life constantly changes. You know, the tables are constantly turning. ‘do you’ and let the other noise just be background noise. Don’t bother yourself with it.
My theory in life has always been “you're not in competition with anyone but yourself” and I don’t believe in getting ahead or showing that you’re good at something by pointing the finger at somebody else and making them look worse. I don’t think that makes you look better. I think you’ve got to show what you’re capable of on your own, not by comparison. I think that's a really important fact.
When the show started when I was 18 (90210), I was bullied massively by all of these major publications, online blogs, that I had read religiously and they had all these nasty comments about other celebrities when I was growing up and to be the victim of it was really shell-shocking. I remember a blogger had said some really nasty stuff about me and it frustrated me because it was completely false and I didn't feel like I had a voice to speak up against him because he has such a massive following.
I think it was the second season of the show (90210) they had written him into an episode and the only scene he was in was with me. I was like I have to come face to face with this guy and my other cast mates who weren’t even in the scene with him were frustrated and were saying “What are we going to do? He said bad things about a bunch of us." I said, “You know what I don't have a problem with it.” I'm going to face this fear head on and show him that it’s not kind to be that way to anybody. There’s no reason to treat people that way.
When he came to set I welcomed him with open arms and sat with him and loved working with him because I had been such a fan of him for such a long time and it completely turned it around. Cut two months later, I directed a music video for these girls, Megan, and Liz, that was all about anti-bullying and I shot him an email and he posted an article about it. He put the video up on his blog. Someone I considered a former bully of mine had just positively supported an anti-bullying music video that I did. It’s crazy how things come full circle and how tables turn and that was amazing. Cut to a year and a half later, he’s been a positive, supportive person through everything I’ve done ever since.
What is your favorite quote or motto that you live by?
“Never be in competition with anyone but yourself. Don't get ahead at anyone else's expense."
What is one thing that you know now that you would tell a younger version of yourself?
I would say you’ll be okay. It will be okay! This too shall pass. I think when you're in it, whatever it is, you stress about it and it becomes your whole world.
When I'm in a positive place in my life and everything is working out magically, I tell myself “hold on to this, remember this” because there will be something else. All of this greatness can continue on, but something else will come up. It’s just important to remember that positive energy because it’s so easy to forget when you're feeling low.
KEEP UP WITH SHENAE
*This interview was previously published. Due to the inspiring nature of the feature and rebranding of the original platform which is now BCG Publications all rights reserved for re-publish on beautycocktailsgirltalk.com.*