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Meet Savannah Shaffer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Savannah Shaffer.

Savannah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Seattle, and from a very young age I knew that the film industry was where I wanted to land. I was obsessed with watching behind the scenes after every movie, and it baffled me at how many people it took to create new worlds and fuel my imagination! Before my brother and I watched The Lord of the Rings for the first time, my dad sat us down to watch all 26 hours of bonus features before seeing the actual film! “I want you to appreciate the craftsmanship, detail, and work it took to create this world.” What a beautiful example to set for a 10 and 12-year-old around the importance of work ethic! I was officially hooked.

For a city with little film industry, I threw myself into any acting class and camp available, knowing one day I’d move to LA to study and start my career. During high school I signed with a local modeling agent, and worked in the fashion industry doing shows and shoots. I finally arrived at college to pursue acting, and chose a BFA program that included training in both stage and screen. While I was focusing my studies on performance, I always chose to work on campus behind the scenes, and enrich my knowledge and experience with production, stage managing, and even a little writing and directing.

At the beginning of 2019 I became a full-time freelancer. I found consistency in background work, which finally allowed me the flexibility of time to audition and constantly meet people who were also creating their own content. I also work with the independent production company called The Wild Productions, modeling and acting in their projects, and freelance as a production assistant for fashion shoots!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have struggled with viewing myself as worthy of success in this industry. It’s something I constantly have to check in with myself for. But I’ve learned that you have a lot of power in setting how you are going to handle opportunities and obstacles that are handed to you. This has taught me to have a lot of grace towards myself and other people! In my opinion, the only competition is within yourself. After graduation I was just trying to survive financially, which got me in the rut of multiple side jobs. I had no time for auditions, or to help friends out with their projects. I was working at a restaurant during the day, and closing a retail store at night. Eventually I moved into a management position at small sunglasses brand that unfortunately had to close their stores. This forced me the choice of having to find another job, or take the leap into freelance. I knew if it scared me, that was probably the right path to take. There are new uncertainties that come with always looking for the next gig, but it’s given me so much more time to focus on my passions. The struggle will come and go, but my community of friends and artists will always stay constant, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Please tell us about your work.
I am an actress, model, and freelance production assistant. My work mainly consists of being on fashion shoots and helping source props, and dress the sets. It’s a fantastic way to continue to be involved in an industry that I used to work on the other side of. The Wild Productions is an independent production company I always lend my time and talent to. It was founded by a few of my good friends, and they are an inspiration to me that if there is no work out there for you, then you make it yourself! I am honored to be asked to work for them time and time again. What I’ve come to accept by calling myself an actor, is the reality that we will not be working 100% of the time. Even though your family will always be asking “what’s next?!” and strangers will say, “have I seen you in anything?” As long as we are continually studying our craft, growing personally, and filling our time with things that supplement our creative energy, THAT is the dream. It’s a career that lasts a lifetime, I feel blessed to have every opportunity that comes to me in this city.

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Image Credit:
McLaren Ray, Mack Breeden, Chris Klann, Blake Hunter, Dasha Shashina

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