Women in the Entertainment Industry: Shelly Cohen
We are asking women in the entertainment industry around the world some key questions about their life and career. Here is Shelly Cohen based in Irvine, California (United States).
1. In which part of the industry do you work?
2. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women in the entertainment industry? How have they inspired you?
I’ve had several women inspire me throughout my career. My college mentor, Robin Gray, taught me two key phrases that I still hold close to my heart:
- Never Burn Any Bridges
- The Worst That Someone Can Say Is No
As a touring Stage Manager, Robin also taught me the importance of taking care of the team on the road as your family. I’m proud of the tours I’ve led over the past 6 years and the opportunity to make tour families out of strangers.
Another mentor and close friend is Jill Gold who defines the strong connection between kindness and leadership and the ability to build genuine professional connections within the industry. She inspires by showing kindness, respect and understanding towards others while always being a fair, calm and trusted leader. Respect and trust are earned, never expected or demanded.
3. What would you tell young women who are just starting out? What would you like them to know?
For young women looking to enter the industry, I would remind them to never forget the amazing power of simply asking the question. If you are curious about something/want to learn or want to know about a certain role/skill, simply ask the question. You’ll never know when you’ll get the yes that changes your life.
In terms of getting started in your career:
1) Don’t compare your journey to others – everyone is on their own path and adventure. Live in your moment and enjoy the ride.
2) Take everyday one step at a time and give yourself credit for your accomplishments, big or small.
3) Similarly, learn from your mistakes and move on knowing they made you a stronger person. Don’t dwell on them and let it define you.
4. What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
The Worst That Someone Can Say Is No — never be afraid to ask the question.
5. Please share one of your toughest challenges in your career. How did you overcome?
While many of us are living through one of the toughest challenges we’ve ever had to face, I’ve had the opportunity to help work through this challenge by doing whatever I can to support the industry and our hardworking entertainment professionals. Whether that’s volunteering at TheatreArtLife or being an Ambassador for The Actors Fund LinkedIn Challenge, I’ve found and directed my passion of connecting/collaborating with entertainment professionals from around the world by finding unique and exciting ways to support them any way I can. I firmly believe that we are all stronger, together!
6. What is your favorite musical or play?
Need to give credit to the show that inspired me to work in entertainment: Disneyland’s Fantasmic.
Favorite Musicals: The Last 5 Years, Newsies, Come From Away and Anything Goes
Favorite Play: Black Watch from the National Theatre of Scotland
7. What is your morning routine?
Since living in the LA area, I always look forward to starting my day by having a Vitamin C cold-pressed juice from Kreation Organic!
8. Drink of Choice?
9. What is a phrase you are known for saying?
“Proactive, Not Reactive” and “Living the Dream”
When on tour, I always channel my favorite West Wing saying: “What’s Next?”
And of course, one of my favorite words is shenanigans!
10. What advice would you give to other women in the industry?
One of my favorite quotes is “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Never stop yourself from living out your dreams and work in a career that drives you to always want to learn and grow. At the same time, always remember to be humble and stay connected to those who helped and guided you throughout your journey. Never forget the journey you took to get to where you are and the challenges you had to overcome. As my mom wisely says, “Never have an ego”.
Other Women in the Entertainment Industry:
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