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Meet Shannon O’Connor of Shananigans in The Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon O’Connor.

Shannon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
What a loaded question!! My love for performing started when I was a little nugget. Acting and dancing were a HUGE part of my childhood and I’ve applied those skills into my adult life.

My passion for people sparked when I was a Sophomore in High School. I joined a club called the Canyon Action Team (CAT). Our job was to stop bullying as much as possible by raising awareness of how powerful our words and actions are. I never realized how naive I was until I went through the club training. One exercise we did was called “Cross the Line.” All of us were standing in a circle and the instructor would ask a question and if it applied to you you were encouraged to take a step into the circle. The questions ranged from surface level to very deep and personal. This opened my eyes to the fact we never know what someone else is going through unless we ask and get to know them. We don’t realize we AREN’T ALONE. CAT influenced how I connect with people and how important it is to try and see from someone else’s perspective. From this point on I KNEW I wanted a career that fused sharing people’s stories with my skills. But I didn’t know what that could be.

I went to the University of Utah and graduated with a BS in Communications with an emphasis on Broadcast Journalism. I worked in a variety of fields while going to school. A lot of them were “blah” but dance teaching set the bar of what a fulfilling career feels like. I discovered I wanted to start a YouTube channel, but put it on the back burner in pursuit of a safe and dependable career.

After graduating, I moved to Austin Texas. I had the ticket (diploma) to get me started in a stable career, right? WRONG! I applied to hundreds of jobs and nothing panned out. I went through a low point trying to figure out what I truly wanted and who I even was as a woman. I got a job opportunity to move back to Los Angeles and it felt so right. I packed up and moved to LA.

I made awesome friends/rommmates, and started hosting on AfterBuzz TV. This was my chance to start a YouTube channel but I was too afraid to do it. After a year of living in LA one of my friends, Ryan Love, helped me turn an idea into reality. SHANANIGANS was born.

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?
The road has been windy, bumpy, and has required some off roading at times. If it was smooth, it would be boring. There have been countless struggles but the one that has hindered me the most, and I’m still overcoming, is lack of self-confidence. I’ve blocked myself from reaching my full potential because of fear and not believing in myself. I’m aware of it and learning to OWN IT! Shananigans has been a fear I’ve faced and it feels so good! Every interview fuels me and reminds me that it’s worth it to step outside of the box.

Please tell us about Shananigans.
Shananigans is a variety YouTube channel celebrating life and the people in it! We highlight people from all walks of life and share their triumphs, struggles, careers, passions, and overall story! This segment is called “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” Everyone is so unique and I learn something new from each of them. I can’t express enough how giddy it makes me feel!

We have begun to sell merch that gives back! A percentage of the proceeds goes to a different organization.

I’m proud of how real we are. Real stories, real people, no scripts, and growing authentically. I’m proud of impacting people and making their day with our videos. I’m proud of the first round of shirts we created and donating to 2 breast cancer organizations! (Hopes Haven and Breast Cancer Angels). I’m just so freaking proud and excited to keep on going!!!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Resilience and staying grounded.


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Image Credit:
Caitlin Moulton

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