Proud Stories: Shannon O'Neill (she/her)
Q: What kind of performance artist are you?
I am an actor and improviser.
Q: When did you first know that you wanted to be a full-time artist?
After my first class at The UCB Theatre in NYC. I got the bug and have been sick for comedy ever since.
Q: How are you keeping yourself inspired to create during this unprecedented time?
I used to love doing art as a kid, so I re-discovered that side of myself and started painting and letting the improviser in me take over just starting with a blank canvas and figuring things out as I go. I have also started dabbling in short stories, all very much in their infant phase, but that has kept my brain happy.
Q: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist and how did you overcome it?
Money. It is hard to pursue the world of arts in NYC without money. I grew up with shelter and food and love, but we wore layers in the winter and the heat was on low, getting pizza was a special treat, most meals were at home, and my clothes were on sale and worn until there were holes in them and beyond. So, as I grew up to be an adult, financial responsibility was important to me. I never live beyond my means, I pinch and save so that when moments like... a pandemic arrives and income is not a regular thing, I have a cushion to live off of while I figure out how to hustle some money into my hands.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
My one person show - Prison Freaks. It was a show where I realized I finally found my voice and I wasn't scared or ashamed of it. I put my brain on page and then on the stage. It was weird and wild and gross and funny as hell.
Q: Is there anything you are working on now that can be shared and supported?
RaaaatScraps - A Sunday Night Improv Show born from the ashes of the legendary ASSSSCAT that was burned down by the pandemic.
Sundays 7:30PM, starting August 1st at Caveat in NYC - @RaaaatScraps.