We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Magrane and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
A lot of great ideas come to mind with this question however, one habit that is at the forefront of my mind is CONSISTENCY & DISCIPLINE. Because I run my own business I am able to make my own hours. I’m not going to lie, while it definitely has its perks, it’s hard for me to say no to distractions like my friends hitting me up asking me to hang out, the easy accessibility to picking up my phone and getting lost on social media, and wanting to watch just one more episode on Netflix (said no one ever). And if you’re like me, FOMO sometimes gets the best of you. During these times I try to reel myself back in by reminding myself of the long term goals and all the great life opportunities I would be able to accomplish if I just keep my horse blinders on and get the work done. Its great to spend time doing all of these things, however those are moments i use to reward myself, which leads me to my next habit: BALANCE.
Balance is a habit I’ve had to learn the hard way. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and I’ve come to realize that it’s both a blessing and a curse. While I can sometimes become obsessed with making everything in my business as close to perfection as possible, I’m usually so exhausted at the end of a day because of how much time I’ve spent focusing too hard on one task. Because of that, I’ve had to learn that sometimes it’s okay to take a break and spend time tuning into things that make me feel happy and light in my mind, body and soul.
Another habit I’ve gained throughout the years of leading my own business is to NEVER STOP LEARNING AND READING. There are so many new ideas and new perspectives out there so I encourage you to keep an open mind, be a sponge, and engage in as much as possible.
Lastly, the habit that has helped me tackle the biggest of obstacles: NEVER BE AFRAID TO FAIL. I think being courageous and fearless in everything I’ve done has lead me this far in my career and ultimately allotted me an incredible journey on American Idol. I would also be remiss if I didn’t address VISUALIZATION. Funny story, when I was about 8 years old, my mom caught me in the mirror singing to myself with my eyes closed and a brush in my hand. When she came in, I was obviously embarrassed but then went on the explain why I was doing it. I told her I was seeing myself on the worlds biggest stage, my band members placement on different platforms, the color of my outfit, the way my song was sounding, and how many people were in the audience. Everything was expressed down to the T. My mom looked at me a little funny and closed the door. Years later she told me she immediately went to my dad after that situation and told him she thought I was seeing things and going a little crazy to which my dad responded, “That is actually her greatness flourishing. Visualization is the first step to success”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my overall success and how I got to the place I’m at today in my career is the fact that I am undyingly fearless. I bring this up because this quality has helped me through some of the hardest milestones in my career. For example, 4 years ago, I received a call from The Voice asking me to come out to LA and audition for their show. I took the opportunity, went out to LA with only 4 day’s worth of clothing, and all intentions to return home after the experience with good news. After making it through all of the productions rounds, I was eliminated. I remember going back to my hotel after and feeling so frustrated. I wasn’t ready to go home and give up. So, I called around to some friends and asked if I could stay with them for a couple weeks until I got on my feet. I forced myself to stay, I found a day job as a hostess at a restaurant in Hollywood, and had my mom send me boxes of my clothes. After working for a couple of weeks, my peers would tell me about some of the best venues for live music in LA. After my shift, I would go to each of these venues and introduce myself to the band and the promoters that put on the event and I would be the first one there and the last to leave. This was consistent for at least 6 months until I finally forced myself on stage one night. Ever since then, I started to be seen which lead me to perform at some of LA’s most iconic venues like The Viper Room, The Troubadour, Whiskey A GO-GO, Sofitel Riviera Jazz Nights, & Sayer’s Club Hollywood. I look back at those years of hard work and I’m grateful to myself for sticking it out and taking the risk to live in LA and giving up living a comfortable lifestyle back home in Tampa, FL to pursue my dream, even if sometimes it meant living off rice cakes and peanut butter for a couple weeks. I’m telling y’all, ‘starving artist’ is not just a euphemism and it never hit me until I truly experienced it for myself.
Was it easy? No! And it’s taken a lot of hard work musically, creatively and emotionally. The music industry is not a place to find easy success and there aren’t any shortcuts as it’s an extremely competitive market to be a part of. Also, being a young woman in the music industry has its own challenges in itself. Too often aspiring young women have their dreams taken advantage of by unsavory men in the music industry. Personally, I have dealt with this challenge with male agents that would approach me after a show and express wanting to help me by presenting an opportunity to further my career, only to soon find out that their intentions were not based on my talents and rather on the opportunity to get into my pants. It can be crushing to go from that high feeling of having that well-connected person recognize you for your talent and feeling like ‘this could be my big break’, to later finding out that there was an ulterior motive. Because of situations like this, I’ve had to learn to become more guarded and loose some of my friendliness when speaking to men to avoid any misguidance. With that being said, to any young aspiring female artists that may be reading this right now, I encourage you to stay true to yourself and to never compromise your self-worth, self-respect, or morals to get ahead in your career.
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?
Man, I love this question!! LA has some of the most beautiful views. I’d start out with a drive down the PCH along the beaches of Santa Monica, Malibu and the Palisades. I’d definitely do some hikes. Los Lioness in the Pacific Palisades and Fryman Canyon in Sherman Oaks are some of my favorite. I also lived on Beachwood Canyon right under the Hollywood sign where there was a secret trail I loved taking to the top to get as close as possible to the sign. I loved strolling down Melrose by all the cool shops to find some great clothing for performances, and of course any time I have someone in town I take them by Salt N Straw. It’s my favorite ice cream place because it’s the perfect mixture of a little sweet and a little savory. As for food, I love a good brunch date at Granville. Their Bacon & Blue Burger is to die for and I’m a sucker for anything with bacon and caramelized onions (It’s the Italian within me LOL). Speaking of Italian, I love Vitello’s in North Hollywood for a great glass of wine with some extra crispy calamari and you can never go wrong with Eataly at the Westfield Century city mall. It’s like a one stop shop for all things Italian. If my nana were still alive she would have a hay day in there with all the authentic Italian desserts, sauces, cheeses, wines, and spices. And it doesn’t hurt that there are a few restaurant selections to choose from as well. Grand Central Market in downtown LA is really cool because they have a bunch of different cuisines from ramen to BBQ to pizza, Asian fusion, American food, salad bars and more. I also love their big neon sign wall and I never fail to take a cute pic in front of it every time I go!! Lastly, for live music and good drinks I especially LOVE Delilah’s on a Sunday for Jazz Night. With a cool speakeasy vibe, they have burlesque dancers, a great stiff & bougie drink, and yummy bites. The legendary Troubadour always has great talent coming through as well as the Hollywood Bowl and the Palladium. As for my favorite hangout spot- Mama Shelter in Hollywood. I love to go especially around sunset time since it’s a rooftop bar and you can get a great panoramic view of the city and meet some really cool, artsy people. LA I LOVE YOU!!!! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to shout out the woman who held me accountable to practice my vocals every day since 8 years old & my voice coach of 17 years, Mrs. Mary Walkley! I would see her once a month and she would work on helping me fine tune my vocal cords so I could achieve my goal of having a career of longevity. I call her ‘my music mother’ because I spent so many days of my life perfecting my craft with her. She lives and teaches in Miami and also travels to teach in Tampa as well as NYC. Her dedication as a teacher to spread her work to as many young artists and singers as possible was so inspiring. And more importantly it made me want to show up as my best self for that hour of work we had together.
One thing she taught me that has stuck with me to this day is a vocal trick called “over the pencil”. She would give me a pencil, have me hold it horizontally across my mouth and have me visualize my voice going OVER the pencil and through my head voice as I went higher up the scale. As odd as it sounds, it really helped me to fully understand the technique since I’m such a tactile and visual learner.
If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the artist and singer I am today.
Cecelia Taylor of Ridiculous Photography Bryan Kasm Kristin Fizur Photography Ari Marie of Isn’t She Lovely Photography