Shannon Spangler, a sophomore in Tisch, was thrown into show business by her mother. Spangler said her mom hoped it would help her find her voice in the world. It worked.
“My mom put me in my first show when I was in fifth grade,” she said. “It was so much fun and ever since then I’ve been an addict.”
Spangler continued to explore her talents throughout high school and even directed her own play. But, like most other child actors, Shannon quickly learned that the field was tough and the stakes high. She would have to confront her fears and insecurities to become a confident actress.
“It’s unkind at times,” she said. “You have to get beyond that to really find your acting.”
Despite intimidating competition, Shannon’s passion for the craft seems unshakable. From her experiences working behind the scenes to moments of tough love with professors and coaches, she has defeated inner demons and set a strong foundation on which her dreams can unfold.
“I once had to read a scene with one of my teachers, and I remember she told me, ‘You’re not acting. You can be cute and quirky anywhere else but right now I want to see something different,'” she said. “The thought crossed my mind that I can’t do this, but then I got up and told myself, ‘No, I will.’ Something snapped into place just then, and I think that was my determination.”
At NYU, Shannon continues to refine her skills, while she finds solace in the fact that the only definition of perfect she has to live by is her own.
“Acting is the one thing that was never easy,” she said. “I always had to keep working towards something. That’s what I love about acting; you’re never going to be done. You can always get better and explore different areas of the craft and that’s wonderful.”
Spangler participated in Shakespeare in the Square during her freshman year and hopes to become further involved with NYU acting troupes and shows in the future.
This is just the beginning for Spangler, but she recognizes the harsh criticisms she will face as an actress in a competitive industry.
“You have to have the ability to look at things objectively,” she said. “This is not about me; this is about what I’m doing. It’s tough and it’s unking, but once you get there, it’s worth it.”
Read the original article, posted through BROWNSTONE Magazine on November 14, 2011.