We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanda Renee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shanda, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?

As an independent artist, I wear multiple hats: Actress, Writer, Filmmaker, Photographer. There were many years I had to hang those hats in order to survive and cope with escaping an abusive marriage and ex-husband, raising a child as a single mother and enduring severe medical trauma. My passion for film, acting and the arts has been a line of hope through decades of unprecedented amount of trauma. I somehow always return to it and it is when I am thriving at my best, happiest self.

It is as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (and maybe a little crazy). I have found my voice and strength to use it. To speak out against abuse and speak up for trauma survivors and those who still suffer. I am using my story, being a victim of sexual abuse and assualt, domestic violence, Medical Malpractice, chronic pain and disability to help change the narrative for others.

Starting Goodbye Trauma was/is terrifying. The stigma behind a hush hush industry full of secrets, for many years paralyzed me into silence. Did my truth make me less likely to book roles? Make me less desirable to hire? The truth was, I was making myself less seen because I was hiding. I wasn’t showing up as my full, unapologetic self. In all aspects of my life, including my dreams and passions and careers, there was a lot of shame that consumed me and it contributed to not facing or dealing with my own trauma.

Once I was able to accept myself, all of myself, and be proud of my story, layers of trauma start peeling away.  I went on a journey to heal and was inspired to turn the ship back to help others. Knowing that by sharing my story, I can help others, is what gives me daily inspiration.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I drive a lot of trains in my work and career. As an author, I am currently working on a two-part book series. Although it spans the length of my life, giving some insight to my childhood and past, the focus of these particular books is how I was disabled by a boob job. It’s a gut wrenching story that took me a decade to finally be able to tell. I feel it incredibly important to share, not only for my own healing, but for awareness for all women who have been injured and silenced by Medical Malpractice, corruption and a broken, unjust, legal system. As well as a testimony and inspiration to always keep fighting for yourself. We are worth it.

As an Entrepreneur, I am building out The Goodbye Trauma Brand with the blog, www.goodbyetrauma.com, a Podcast (coming soon), the book series, coaching and speaking engagements.

As an actress, I guess you could say I was “lucky” and got discovered by the late Garry Marshall. I was in the early stages of trying to escape my abusive husband with a young child and I got a job as a hostess at a restaurant Garry frequented. I was paid $10 an hour. Child care cost me $10 an hour. So you can see how that worked out. But it served a bigger purpose. I will never forget Garry’s first words to me: “You are a beautiful young woman but you have so much sadness in your eyes.” He went to crack a joke assuming my sadness was that I broke a fingernail or broke up with a boyfriend. When I told him the real horrors behind my eyes, he made a promise and he kept it. He couldn’t change my entire life, but he could give me the break he felt I deserved. And he did and he became a dear friend until he passed away. I am eternally grateful for the gift he gave me. I got my break in the industry with first time speaking roles in Disney Films alongside the likes of Helen Mirren and Kate Hudson.

It was then I fell in love. I was introduced to a way of escaping from my pain. To take on a completely different persona and make believe in a whole new world. Garry coined me the “one take wonder” and a natural talent. The fire was lit and it would never go out. It burns to this day more than twenty years later.

I was naive to the industry and didn’t have the proper resources or guidance to help steer me where my career could have been taken. At the same time dealing with an insanely abusive husband, trying to escape and raising a child alone. I had to sacrifice my dream to survive.

Over the years, one way or another, I always found my way back in front of the camera or on stage in a theatre production, sprinkling my resume and keeping the flame lit. I am happy to say that now my son is grown and on his own, and I have been able to heal. I am fully back pursuing my career as an actress and most recently took on the role of producer in the movie, The Elsewhere in which I am also the lead.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Due to the pandemic, I moved away from LA, back up north to my hometown of Paso Robles, wine country. So if this friend came to visit me here, of course I would, and do, take them wine tasting. Our countryside here is pristine and the winery options endless.

In LA, one of my favorite places to take people, and I’ve taken many throughout the years, is The Magic Castle. Anyone who knows me, knows, I love that place. That, and of course Disney Land. The most magical place on earth. I’m sure it comes as no surprise now hearing a bit of my story. Experience the majestic wonders of another world outside of our own. Where all we have to do is believe, dreams really do come true.

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?

I give gratitude and a shoutout to my business partner in film, Kerry Fleming.

Goodbye Trauma, Thomas Armstrong and Christina Russo.

A HUGE shoutout to my cousin James Ditto. He’s as solid as they come.

And a shoutout to myself, for not giving up on me. For many years I only had myself to rely on, to persevere and to keep going despite all odds against me.

Website: www.theelsewheremovie.comwww.goodbyetrauma.com

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/shandarenee__www.instagram.com/goodbyetrauma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goodbyetrauma/

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