We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Bobo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have been working in the industry for double digit years and have been encouraged from many different people over the years to try it out on my own. I was incredibly hesistant for a long time, then over the last few years I thought, “why not.”
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 am one of those rare artists that has had the honor of working in many differnt capacities. I began with the work in high school hosting the “Daily Bulletin.” And from there I always worked in front of the camera in some capactiy. In college I started a show called “Madison This Week,” where we created college credit for stundents at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I was so grateful for that experience. Soon after college I moved to Los Angeles where I began work at a talent agency as an assistant, because I wanted to learn as much as possible about the entertainment industry. That was one of the smartest things I could have ever done because I learned so much about how the industry works. Later, I had the options of what was my “next,” was it to go on to be in route to be a talent agent or would it be me going out to be the artist that I have always wanted to be. It was acting! Well, actually hosting. So I began taking classes and lucky for me at the talent agency I worked with they began representing me. One of the first few auditions I had ever been on…I BOOKED. So clearly that was direction I was going in. But it has been a long haul of ups and downs. I didn’t book many after this and I still had a full time job and several hustle jobs. I had a lot of auditions which began to be cumbersome for my work as an assistant so I made the leap of being a full time free lancer. Lucky for me a few of the Casting Directors who I’d developed a relationship with over the five years I spent at the talent agency gave me a shot to work as an assistant for them. And there began my casting career. I have spent the last 12 years working as an assistant and a times as an associate for countless amounts of commercial casting directors. There are only a few in LA that I haven’t worked for. Many of them know me more as an assistant than they know me as an actor. What sets me a part from many actors in LA is that I have learned so much as an actor by working in casting, at a talent agency, and as an union commercial actor. It definitely helped me to gain perspective on many levels. At the time in my opinion a job as an assistant in commercial casting is highly sought after because it’s usually pretty flexible because we do not work every day and we can still make it to auditions. It was not always smoothe sailing because I would have to leave work (paying someone to cover for me) go to an audition and hope to be back within 90 minutes or less. It was not always doable because of LA traffic, hold ups at other auditions, etc. In fact, I rarely ever booked commercials as a result of being so in my head on rather or not I would make it back in time and how I now would have to skim on groceries in order to pay someone that $40 an hour (more than I was being paid for my day rate) to cover for me. It was not fun. But I had that “hustle” mentality. So I worked many other jobs in order to keep making ends meet. I held jobs as a cater server, paid research, and countless other random jobs just to keep things flowing. So to say it was easy is not fair at all. It was a grind. Plus at night I would do open. mic comedy. My attention was split all over the place and I was doing my best to keep a roof over my head and keep up great appearances for the camera. But when I did book work, wow, was it a blessing. I had some wins that changed my life. Completey got me out of student loan debt, paid off some credit cards, and for the first time in my life I traveled. That was wonderful. The lessons I learned along the way is that life is in endless amount of choices. And at the time I was choosing the hustle life. I honestly believed at the time that I didn’t have a choice. I became bitter. At times I was rude to actors who were coming in, because I was helping them with their life’s dreams and I was missing out on opportunities because at times I couldn’t even afford to go to pay someone so that I can make it to my auditions when I had to work. And I was a busy casting assistant too, because I was always available and I didn’t know it at the time but I was working for less than the other casting assistants in town. So that’s probably the reason why I was being hired the most. I was also good at my job. Especially when I began taking spiritual awakening classes and going to therapy, I swiftly learned that to take out my frustration on my career bumps on other people was counter productive and unfair to people. So most actors (with maybe a handful of a few) would say that I am/was one of the kindest casting assistants they knew in commercial casting. And if that wasn’t the experience of everyone, please understand that I deeply apologize. I was doing some serious healing work surrounding my personal life and I take full responsiblity of your experience of me was anything less than stellar. I learned so many important lessons about life through my work in casting. Primarily that it is so important to always be yourself and stay ready. Another thing I learned is that the only person who gets to choose who we are is us. I really want the world to know that as a perfomer who is also a Casting Director I have been able to really see it from so many points of views. And truly, it is always so very important to always be kind to everyone. And to never take anything personally. As I mentioned above, I wasn’t always the sweetest and it was never personal. I am super kind to everyone now because I learned my lesson. I am so excited every single time I have the opportunity to help other performers get work. And I am good at seeing talent a mile away because of my background in casting and from all the different ways I learned from artists.
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.
I love this question and I am going to have to say that I would love to have a friend visit the city from the beautiful mountains to the ocean at night. I would start by taking a visitor to Runyon Canyon to the very top that is a little bit steeper so they can get a full view of our beautiful city. More important is if it were a clear day where they can possibly see the ocean on one side and downtown LA on the other side. I would then take them home to clean up! Put on our best stylish clothes and walk down Melrose Ave and have the most amazing experience shopping at unique boutique stores. Later on we have to go to Chateau Marmont for a tea and just to experience “Old Hollywood” and we would fit right in because of our stylish clothes that we wore on Melrose. For dinner, I must say I’ll be taking them to Catch on La Cienega. Very beautiful scenery, delicious food and drinks and again a great picturesque of LA and our beautiful landscape. Before the sun would set I would love to get to the beach. We currently have a boat on King Harbor, it would be such a beautiful experience to watch a sunset from the harbor. And finally there is a place called “Sea Level” in Redondo, I would love love love to have a taste of a drink there that also overlooks the harbor. I believe all of this can be done in one day if we time everything right with traffic. Or if we had a helicopter. 😀
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to dedicated this SHOUTOUT to my HeartMath Soul family (especially my Husband, Film Director Christian Cordeaux) I have been meditating with them just about daily since March 2020. These kind souls have been incredibly instrumental in helping me to have the courage to go out and go after my dreams full throttle. Annenberg PetSpace center, our adoptive dog Peach has really helped us keep a beautiful sense of routine and she is absolutely the best friend/dogter we could ever dream of. And to my beautiful Moon Group on Zoom. A group of women I meet up with on the new and full moon to set intentions and celebrate our wins. I am so grateful for all the people involved with being so supportive in my life.
photo credit (for headshot): @laheadshotgal Photography by Elizabeth Deo Shannon Bobo Casting Logo – Erin Murphy (creator) Shannon Bobo Youtube Page logo – @beninvenice