We had the good fortune of connecting with TJ Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi TJ, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
One of the biggest habits that I feel has helped me succeed in my career would be to take calculated risks. I have come across a lot of people especially in the entertainment industry who are too fearful to take the necessary risks that you have to take in this business. You have to get past those fears and bet on yourself. Now, when you take those risks try to be as prepared as you possibly can. Don’t let the preparation paralyze you, but you definitely want to go into anything being the most prepared you can be and then JUST DO IT.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My artistry is nothing without my two creative partners in life. My girlfriend, Tori, who I mentioned earlier, and my brother Chris. Chris and I work together on almost every project that comes our way or we create ourselves. He is a writer/director so, me being an actor and producer we work really well together. This man challenges my art and is always honest with it. With his knowledge of directing and my knowledge of acting and producing we are able to give each other inside looks into different worlds which helps our individual crafts. By creating projects together such as feature films, short films, etc. we dive deep into new meanings of life and what life means to us collectively and individually. We always try to create art that has deep messages and push the human race forward. Our work always has depth that takes humanity down to its core and rawest form. Intimacy is always the goal, because the more intimacy achieved the more vulnerability is exposed which creates deep-seeded reflection.
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 have been in this situation many of times before so I have all kinds of itineraries of LA depending on the type of person that comes to visit. Obviously, everyone new to LA wants to see all of the tourist attractions whether it being Hollywood Boulevard, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Sign and so on. But, I always tell people LA is all about the food and views. Since this city is a melting pot of all different races and ethnicities you have some of the best food from all around the world in one city. I can’t give out my favorite secret spots that I love but I will say there is no shortage of amazing food here. Some advice though, don’t just go to one of the trendy restaurants that you see celebrities at, because most of the time they are there to get photographed more than to have the best meal. As far as views go, there is no shortage of great views from having all kinds of hills and mountains around. You can have great views of downtown but also have great views of the ocean, sometimes at the same time. Go on as many hikes are you can or take a ride on Mulholland Dr. 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?
All of my success is due to the people who’ve been along my journey at one point or another. I have always kept a small circle but the people in that circle are the reason I am who I am. God is the number one reason for any of my successes. My family, mentors and friends have played tremendous parts in getting me to where I am, as well. But, that one person who has taken my life to another level is my girlfriend, Tori Evans. The maturity, beauty, brilliance and artistry this woman processes is unbelievable. She constantly pushes me to be a better man and a better artist. One of her great traits is how she is able to be both equally left brained and right brained in her approach to life. A quote she once said to me that really changed my life was, “you are a human first, actor second.”
Ashley Mard, Cory Gehr, Trevor Hollander