We had the good fortune of connecting with Shea Edwards | Creative Entreprenuer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shea, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When Covid hit, I’d just given birth to my son. Unfortunate circumstances forced my family to find new ways to earn income and pivot. Like many millennials, I was more interested in remaining in alignment with using my gifts and talents over pursuing work solely for money. After getting my M.F.A. from UCLA, I always said I wanted to teach after I had an established acting career. However, in the midst of covid, I realized I was sitting on my ability to dive further into purpose and entrepreneurship. It was such a blessing when my academy program was accepted at a local pre-school and we officially launched, “Faith-Rocks Performing Arts Academy”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art began with acting. My first home has always been on stage. Studying Theater Arts at Howard University, Oxford and UCLA were some of the best times of my life! I started as a host BET’s hit show, Teen Summit as a senior in high school. After UCLA, I was called to ministry and my life took a different turn. While serving as a Minister at the First Baptist Church of Venice, in CA, I began my first performing arts program with my friend, Chanel. I also wrote and directed all of the church plays. This was my first experiencing using my talents for a purpose greater than myself. Although I was frustrated with my acting career, I found fulfillment sharing the craft of acting with people who’d never been exposed to the arts.
It was at this time I also began my online ministry, “Faith Rocks”. This started as a YouTube talk show where I interviewed up and coming actors, artists and entrepreneurs, allowing me to share my faith in a creative way. “Faith Rocks” has come such a long way with many arms. It is now an official non-profit. Our mission is to provide growth and educational opportunities through a digital community, focused on spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. We empower youth, young adults and families through mental health support, arts education, evangelism and prayer.
I’m most proud of always seeming to turn lemons into lemonade. I’ve always kept a journal mainly recording my most painful experiences and emotions. Later, my journaling led to publishing my first book, “Success in Celibacy”. I’m proud to be an author and currently working on my second book focused on my mental health journey and bi-polar 2 diagnosis. What sets me apart from many artists is the infusion of faith and art. I’m transparent, vulnerable and raw which connects with people. At the same time, I expose the darkness I’ve endured while by the grace of God always finding the light at the end of the tunnel.
When Covid hit, I was presented with yet another chance to turn a problem into an opportunity. The other day my friend Nikki said she’s proud of me for always finding away to find a way to make money from art. This has been a long time coming. As artists we often give all of ourselves with little to no recognition, validation or pay. The trials of life have increased my patience and endurance. It is the hard times that have tested my heart to make sure my motives for creating and ministering to people was pure. I love the saying, “get used to creating when no one is watching”. My latest endeavor, was the launching of “Faith Rocks Performing Arts Academy”. While the focus is on performing arts and self-esteem building, we provide love and support in a Christ-centered environment. I had a blast teaching acting to 3 and 4 year olds this year at a private school during covid. It was a much needed outlet for the children and it reignited my passion for acting and teaching. The best is yet to come!
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 love the outdoors! I would take them to the Grove for some shopping and people watching followed by brunch at Dupar’s there. I’ve grown to love the Playa Vista area, which has so many new and up and coming events all the time. You can’t come to LA and not go hiking towards Loyola University followed by coffee or a fresh juice at the farmers market. My favorite beach is Manhattan beach, so we’d go lay out, walk the strand and have drinks at Strand House for an ocean view experience. Lastly, I’m addicted to swimming. I’d get my friend a day pass to a local gym like Equinox or Bay Club for some laps and pampering after. Santa Monica has some of the best hotels to lounge or have drinks. Finally, my favorite restaurants are Bossa Nova in Westwood and Karuba’s Jamaican food local in Inglewood. No visit to LA is complete without a trip to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles! YAS!
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 have to first, of course give credit to Jesus, YES for always guiding my path and blessing me with so many creative gifts to share with others. Secondly, my supportive husband, Brandon, who I like to call my partner in purpose. He is my partner in all of my endeavors. He knows I am a better wife and mom when I am working in my purpose because of the fulfillment and joy it brings. He stepped up to the plate and shared the responsibilities of caring for our four year old daughter and newborn son during covid. He is my biggest cheerleader and always stands behind my creative visions. He is a great husband and business partner! Love you B!
Other: Faith Rocks Performing Arts Academy Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://sheascottedwards.com/arts-academy Order a copy of my book, “Success in Celibacy” on Amazon!
Photog: Brandon Edwards Wardrobe Stylist: Cheyenne Weekly