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Life & Work with Shani Marq

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shani Marq.

Hi Shani, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. At a very young age I was obsessed with movies and knew very early on that I wanted to be an actor. After high school, I attended college at Florida State University studying communications and then went on to Study design and merchandising at Parsons the new school for design in New York City. Being that New York City is the city of dreams, I decided to take a leap of faith and begin my acting and modeling journey. To get a little familiar with being onset, I started out doing background work for TV and film. I also began taking acting classes. Once I started my pursuit of the entertainment world I had mentors advising me that Los Angeles was the next step on my journey. I’ve since relocated to LA. Los Angeles is a very different world in comparison to Florida and New York so it was a little bit of a new beginning for me. As a survival job, I became a flight attendant and traveled around a bit until I became more acclimated to the West Coast lifestyle. Eventually, I signed with a commercial and theatrical agency and began the audition process. I have since booked a few small roles and most recently I booked my first commercial campaign with forever 21.. Acting and modeling is my lifelong passion and I am looking forward to all of my future accomplishments along this journey.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road at all. There are some disparities within the entertainment industry. Being a dark-skinned woman of color with natural hair has had its challenges over the years. I’m happy that the industry is changing and I’m seeing more women who look like me booking more roles which means I now have a better opportunity to book more jobs.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Modeling is my specialty. I am now on the road to becoming more of an influencer as well. I guess at this point I’m considered a micro-influencer. I am most proud of my determination to never give up on my dreams and goals. Because I have continued to persevere despite the challenges within the entertainment industry, I think that sets me apart from others. There are many people like me who face the challenges head-on and then there are others who allow the hardships to defeat them. I refuse to be defeated. I will keep going until all of my dreams are realized.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I have learned that especially in the midst of a crisis we need to come together as a community and support one another.

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