We had the good fortune of connecting with Shakesha Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shakesha, how do you think about risk?
Elizabeth Gilbert says if you don’t know your passion, follow your curiosity. Risks have shown up in my life as curiosity. I believe that taking risks require a leap of faith. I have followed my curiosity time and again. I didn’t know what the end was going to be, but I tried any way. I believe that taking risks makes life and my business worth it. I’m not saying that I wasn’t afraid that would fail. When I started my business, or executive produced my film, or started my podcast, I was scared out of my mind. I am the most fearless scared person I know. Some of my biggest career moments began with me following my curiosity. Someone else may have thought about a million reasons not to move forward. I did but went ahead and did it any way.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe art should reflect the world we want to live and aspire to be. I wrote my digital series “Curvy Girls Rock” because I wanted to see plus size women in roles that traditionally are not cast in. I want my work to entertain, engage, and educate. I want to create stories that leave people feeling good about themselves, and better about the world around them. I also want people to know that anything is possible and that they deserve to be seen and represented. I also want to make good films.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love comfort food. Mel’s Diner in Hollywood is such a great place to go to not only have an amazing meal (breakfast all day!) but to people watch. It’s not far from Hollywood Hills so it’s a nice place to sit and feel the quintessential Hollywood vibe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to Ms. Ida Johnson. Ms. Johnson was one of my teachers in elementary school. She was this little woman with a high bun and glasses who took an interest in me. She is the one that cultivated my gift and interest in storytelling. She taught me how to speak and she also taught me how to show up in this world well prepared. She was tough, but caring. She never made me feel small. She saw something special in me and told me that I would do great things. I owe her so much. She’s part of the reason I am a filmmaker today.