We had the good fortune of connecting with Markus Shields and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Markus, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I feel as if my work/life balance fluctuates depending on where I feel like I’m at in my career. When I first moved to LA I had about $8000 which I’d saved from a ridiculously heavy grind driving from city to city on a two month teaching tour in Michigan. Once I got to LA, I had no car, no job, so I had to beat my feet. Taking the the bus to substitute teach or to do background work on TV shows. The grind was still heavy but different. As time went on I started to get auditions and then I booked a tour (among a few other things). All of a sudden, my work life balance shifted. I began to learn about being a dancer and being around more seasoned performers. I learned a different way of life. I’d gained comfortability financially and physically so I was able to relax, train, teach in a more balanced manner because I had leveled up in my career. But I never stopped grinding. It was sort of like getting a little more bang for my buck. Nowadays, especially with the pandemic, I’m back to that grueling pace and my work/life balance is more work focused because I am changing careers (songwriting, music production) and must again perform my due diligence in order to regain a new level of comfortability.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I guess could say a lot of things about my career but all in all I’m grateful for every single opportunity I’ve had. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on a tours and residencies, several music videos and TV shows, choreograph commercials and so much more. I’ve met some cool people and fell even more in love with dance as an art form. Recently that love for dance has made me want to create art to dance to and I’m falling in love all over again.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A week in LA Monday: I’d tell them to fly into Burbank so we can avoid all the busyness of LAX. We’d come back to my place, I’d cook a little something simple, and catch up over a bottle of wine. Then we’d walk around North Hollywood a little bit. Just to get them familiar with the surroundings. We’d probably stop and get some ramen then head to Fat Dog for drinks but keep it light.
Tuesday: We’re up a little early for a hike. Fryman or Runyon though, we’ll save the remote hikes for later. BluJam Cafe for brunch. Their French Toast is amazing! Go shopping in Hollywood and Beverly Hills after a quick home visit for showers. We’ll snack here and there but save room for Din Tai Fung (the best Dim Sum I’ve had in LA)
Wednesday: Hit the gym because we’ve been eating and drinking wayyy too much. Then to one of the Malibu Beaches. I’d tell a few only my other friends to join us and we’d stay for most of the day. Find something random to eat because a lil newness is always good.
Thursday: An adventure hike, maybe something out in Malibu or there’s a couple nice ones in Glendale too. Then we grocery shop and cook something special and have a more chill night. Maybe hit the hookah spot around the corner becuase Friday….
We’re heading to Santa Monica and then walking to Venice for the freak show. We’re drinking early and all day. Head home in the early evening… maybe take a drunken cat-nap just to wake up around 8… get fly… and head to the Classic Cat because I know the manager and we’ve got free drinks all night.
Saturday… lounging! But in the evening, Surprise! I have tickets to a comedy show at the Laugh Factory, get dressed! After that head Downtown or maybe WeHo to go out and bar hop.
Sunday: FAREWELL MY FRIEND! As I drop you off at Burbank airport FOR THE WIN!!!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister, Tara Shields, first and foremost. She made me get off my ass and into my first dance class. My cousin, Torrey Thomas who initially trained and allowed me to teach at his studio. Tyce Diorio who got me signed to my first agency. And Nancy O’Meara who gave me opportunity to tour.
Other: MarkusShields.com Tiktok: Markus.Shields
Image Credit: Jimmy Love