We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanelle Workman-Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shanelle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Ever since I was a small girl, I remember always wanting to “sit in a desk” and just “write” and pretend I was bossing people around ha! But not really bossing-I just mean guiding teams. I feel like that is what owning a business is-guiding and supporting teams. Because without my teams-I truly am nothing.
What should our readers know about your business?
Shanelle Gray Studios is different from the rest. For one affordable price per month, actors all over the country and those in LA can take any classes that we offer and go every day per week should they want. FIlm & Tv, commercial, improv, musical theatre, Voice over, vocal technique, guitar, song writing, Scene writing and more. The only thing of its kind is in New York City. It is a very east coast artist vibe in los Angeles.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am such a homebody. I would get them on a plane, jet off to the Wynn in Vegas, play a little blackjack. Then we would head to the Four Seasons Maui for about 5 days. When we landed back in La, we would go home and sleep, wake up get starbucks, and have dinner at Mistral in Sherman Oaks! Oh and our breakfast would be a Robeks Berry beneficial with a multivitamin, fiber, heart healthy, immunity and energy pump!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would say there are three people who I owe my story too-My mother, Billy Frank and my ex husband David Gray.
My mother because she taught me how not to be. She taught me what it was like to not love people, to treat people poorly, to not love selflessly and how terrifying it was to feel myself turning into her for a few moments. Sometimes, you cannot escape your upbringing and there are the few lucky people who awake from their nightmare just in time. I was one of those people.
Billy Frank, a producer that I worked for early in my career of my first acting studio that I owned as a 25 year old actress called Act 4 Reel, Billy and I owned this together and he gave me my wings to fly-allow me to start in the back of his building creating my empire-lowering rent, guidance. I modeled some of my leadership skills from how he ran his production company, Make it Happen Productions. When I transitioned the company to my own, Billy was extremely supportive.
My ex husband, David Gray and I built the start of what we both have today-very successful businesses in our own right. While we didn’t make it in the long run together as a family unit, we were able to build an unbelievable business in Gray Studios-the transition of Act 4 Reel to a huge Professional acting studio together and still have a family, 2 amazing and smart beautiful daughters. Gray Studios allowed us both to move forward in our dream careers. There is no way we could have built it without each other and I am very thankful. These kind of businesses take a team.
Those are the 3 people I would thank for my business. Of course in my life, I would thank my daughters for allowing me to love them selflessly and to be the greatest things I ever did in my life. My sister, And for my partner, Micah, for showing me what it means to love regardless of anything. For flaws, faults, mistakes and for being my ride or die.