We had the good fortune of connecting with Shay Revolver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shay, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When it comes to taking risks I’ve always been a go big or go home kind of girl. Without taking risks you don’t get the rewards ( or lessons, if it doesn’t go according to plan) that come from going after what you want. Whether it’s love , life or career taking risks is essential to bringing you one step closer to your goal. There’s this fear that holds you back and tells you that you’re not going to succeed but, I find that if you just jump and go for it sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised. When Covid hit I found myself more welling to take risks professionally instead of safely sitting on the sidelines and doing what I knew I was good at. I had all this free time and was getting antsy so I figured I would just try to do what I actually wanted to do and while not everything I tried turned out how I expected, I was lucky that a few of the projects I worked on were picked up for distribution, selected to screening series and were well received. If I hadn’t taken the risks that I took, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to make even more films , learned how to become better from some of my mistakes while filming or gotten the opportunities that I’ve gotten to keep doing what I love. Doing the risky thing is sometimes the catalyst to something beautiful.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud of lockdown short films getting distribution and I’m most excited about all of the projects on the horizon. Not only do I get to shoot a couple of cool web series this year but, I also get to shoot a few other film projects that I’m really passionate about and happy to see finally get made, including a couple that are being shot in Miami this year, which means that I get to go on the closest thing to a vacation for a few days, even if I’ll mostly be working, since lockdown. Making films with strong female characters is something I’m really passionate about and being on set makes me happy. I got where I am professionally by taking risks and taking a chance on myself, ignoring the voices in my head that tell you no one wants to hear what you have to say or that it’ll never work. I think that I’ve come so far in less than a year and there’s so much more to do and so much more to learn , so there’s a lot more to do but, it’s worth it to keep going especially since my work is being received so well. It wasn’t easy at all, getting over imposter syndrome and second guessing myself was a huge obstacle that I had to overcome but, I figured if I was already so worried about failing or not being good enough, then I might as well try. In the process I’ve learned that it’s okay to share what you want to do, to accept help, to keep going and always trust your instincts because only you know what you want to say and how you want to say it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like the weird and unique stuff. There’s some rally amazing street art here so, just walking around neighborhoods and taking that in is a definite must do. The Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum is high on my list right now and I’m trying to corral a few vaccinated friends to check it out with me, Book Soup is an incredible indie bookstore and I love a good book. If you’re a bit sporty, totally try and hop in on a roller derby practice or intro session because roller derby is awesome. There are also some rally good spots to get your street skate on by the beach and in some of the parks. If you have kiddos or just want a break from the bustle of the city, the Ferndell Trail in Griffith Park is amazing for a nature reset.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m super lucky to have connected with the JTC group. They showcase and support women of color in film and some of the connections that I made because of the group and networking helped me to make my films.
Catrina Del Re ( headshot credits)