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Meet Shaina Hammer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaina Hammer.

Shaina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I remember walking up to my college adviser and asking if I could take the Business of Acting class that was required for the BFAs that year. She said “no” because I was just a general acting major. I had multiple minors and wasn’t willing to commit to the rigorous workload of a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Not to mention I also didn’t want to be in college forever. But I did want to take the Business of Acting class because surprisingly I did want to get into the business of acting.

I never took that course but I did move to Los Angeles. And no one gave me the information I would’ve been taught in that class. It didn’t arrive on a silver platter of “here’s-how-to-make-it” knowledge. Yet somehow between the traffic on 405 and hundred-degree weather I sorta gleaned what I needed. My parents didn’t know what was up but they supported me. And my friends slowly got used to the fact that every day was a new shot in the dark. This is not to say that I continue to face the entertainment industry without any of them, but the business does generally require a lot of that “something-that-comes-from-deep-inside” sort of thing. Anyhow, here I am, almost four years later. I’m finally eligible to join the union but I’m waiting for the right moment.

I found an acting community that stands by me, I have good music to play on those long car rides and I have a correctly formatted 8×10 resume that seems to be somewhat impressive. I didn’t learn any of that in school or get to where I am now sitting in a classroom and maybe that’s the most important part of all.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I find that the most difficult part is believing in yourself. In finding a strong inner emotional life that guides you through (credit to Jamison Jones on that one). I have a lot of car cries and afternoon freak outs. There are constant rejection, constant frustrations and the never-ending issue of scheduling it all. I think the hardest part is to maintain a financially independent lifestyle while still trying to keep myself open to the ebb and flow of the industry. Still being able to find myself in the moment for the other actors but at the same time dealing with the real stresses of life. I continue to be thankful that every day is a new one, with a new chance and a new hope.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am an actor, a singer and a comedian (not necessarily in that order). I began singing first and it does remain my first love. I had classical training at Chapman University which basically means I sang a lot of opera in a lot of languages. Since then I’ve been tailoring my vocals closer to the belters of Broadway. But my training remains a distinguishing factor for my voice. The way I use my entire body to create a sound is the most thrilling part of the work. I also have a quirky side. I’m very short and very curly-haired. And I can’t think of another soprano-belter-petite-curly-girl like me.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I struggle with my definition of success. Most recently I told someone it would be to perform, create my art, for a living, to not have a thousand side jobs. However, that does seem more long term. In the immediate success lies in my mental health; if I’m not sound in mind, I can’t do anything. I strive to include activities in my day for ME and ME only so that I can be a healthy person in that sense. That would be a success for me, today.

Pricing:

  • $30/1 hour voice coaching
  • $30/1 hour acting coaching
  • free/1 hour for encouragement

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.ShainaHammer.com
  • Phone: 6507989591
  • Email: shaina.hammer1@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @shainahammer

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