16 Questions with Shane Russell

Shane Russell, 26

1.) Where did you grow up? I’ve grown up mostly in Salinas, CA with a few years in Southern California and a short stint in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2.) Educational background: AA in English Literature and a BA in English Education with a Theatre Emphasis. Graduated from California State University, Long Beach

3.) What is your earliest theatre memory and how did you initially get involved? I started theatre when I was a Sophomore in high school. Freshman year I joined the track and field team, but after practice I’d go over to the theater and watch the drama club rehearse. I fell in love with it and figured I’d probably be a better fit for theatre than sports, so the next year I joined the drama club.

4.) Most memorable moment in theatre: The first time I was in a musical was very memorable. I don’t act and haven’t officially done it since, but being on stage as an ensemble character of Jesus Christ Superstar was an exciting time. It made me happy and sick to my stomach at the same time.

5.) Favorite ice cream flavor and why: I don’t like ice cream all that much, but if I had to choose I’d say chocolate with chocolate brownie because I LOVE chocolate.  I’m much more of a cake person, so the more cake-type stuff in ice cream the better. If I ever have cake and ice cream together I always mash it up together into a gooey cakey mush.

6.) What do you love most about theatre? I love that theatre challenges me to create and push my talents to the limits.

7.) Who in the theatre/entertainment industry do you look up to? I’m a big fan of Lady Gaga because she is smart, creative, and innovative in her work. She may write simple catchy pop songs, but her performances are brilliantly theatrical.

8.) All-time favorite play and/or musical? One play and/or musical you’ve yet to see but is next on your list? My all-time favorite musical is Jesus Christ Superstar because it was the first musical I ever worked on and the music is awesome. I’d love to see Avenue Q, Spamalot, Spring Awakening, and because I’m a huge fan of Trey Parker and Matt Stone I’d love to see their new musical The Book of Mormon.

9.) What is your guilty pleasure? I love to watch American Idol

10.) Theatre wish list (shows you would like to work on in some capacity): Avenue Q, Hair, Proof, Sweeney Todd, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

11.) If you could describe yourself with a commonly used term, phrase, or piece of equipment related to theatre, what would it be and why? I would describe myself as gaff tape because, like the tape, my abilities are very versatile.

12.) Finish the following sentence: “If I wasn’t in theatre, I’d probably be…”: Bored out of my mind.

13.) Where do you see yourself in five years? Living in Long Beach, CA and working in theatre or the entertainment business somehow hopefully.

14.) Who or what continues to inspire you as you work in the theatre? Being around theatre is what inspires me the most. Other art pushes me to make art.

15.) Where will I be able to see you/your work when I come to the BASH this year? I will be stage managing and designing props and sound for some of the shows.

16.) Words to live by: Never stop striving for what you want from life.

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