Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I’m Shannon Bills. I am a former child actor. In college I decided to focus more behind the scenes in the industry and fell in love with casting. Moved from NY to LA in 2014 and got my first casting job with Telsey (who is responsible for shows like Hamilton and This Is Us), then Bullock and Snow (who is responsible for all of my favorite Nickelodeon shows growing up- Kenan and Kel, All That, Victorious etc.) and then Greenstein Daniel (Never Have I Ever, Shrill, Superstore etc.) which is where I was for almost seven years as their associate. Through being in an audition room every day for seven years, I saw something that never sat right with me..
I witnessed actors throwing away their power on a daily basis. Whether it was nerves, self sabotaging, or putting on a persona so outside of themselves- they gave away their power the second they were in front of casting directors and creative teams.
During the pandemic I left casting to start audition and mindset coaching- so I could spread love, positivity and encouragement to actors that need it. For 16 years I’ve been studying energy, intuition and mindset work. So what was a hobby at first, turned into something that I started to implement in my coaching. I’ve been told I’m now the “holistic” acting coach- focusing mainly on mindset and energy work. And now a little less than two years later, I’ve created multiple classes, workshops, seminars, products etc. to help keep those vibes high, their power contained and the abundance flowing! My mindset students have gone from one small role on a resume- to series regular’s of major franchises. I’ve had actors come to me saying they haven’t been able to book something in eight years and after working with me- they book their first, second and third speaking role.
When an actor says to me “I felt so good about that audition” or “I was completely myself the whole time”, “I felt so in my power”…that’s when I know I’m helping make a difference in their life. I do what I do because I want actors to enjoy this creative journey. Help them understand that vulnerability is a superpower and that their authenticity is all they need to bring out!
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I think being an acting coach who was 1. an actor before 2. a casting associate for 7 years understanding what really books and goes on behind the scenes and 3. has an intuitive perspective- knows how energy and mindset works and how to align it with desires you’re calling in… I have yet to see anyone in the business that brings all these attributes to the table. I have seen SO many incredible shifts in my life and in my hundreds of students lives through my mindset and coaching techniques. I’ve seen so many sides of the business: from agent and manager friends to producers and studio executives I’ve worked with, to actors I’ve auditioned or coached- the love is lost a lot of times. The hustle is there… the love and validation is not. So to help be a part of someone’s journey loving themselves, embracing their unique gifts, and showing people how to find validation within- I know I’m one of few and far between with this title.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I feel like I am fortunate enough to have a moment like that every single week! I noticed very quickly in my coaching career that I could provide a safe space in my sessions for actors to be 100 percent themselves. Coming to me as they are, with the energy of whatever is going in their life at that moment in time. Whether it’s someone I’m meeting for the first time, or someone I’ve worked with for over a year- they show up on that zoom and I can feel their sigh of relief. I’ve seen actors have some of the biggest break throughs and releases in our sessions together. Whether it was limiting beliefs they’ve been carrying, ideas of perfection stemming from their parents, culture, etc. Energetic shifts they get to see go from non physical to physical. It’s all just such beautiful important work I get to do every single day. Tears happen on both ends of the zoom. I walk away from each session going wow- I really am helping this person, but they are helping me too in some ways. It’s a beautiful exchange of giving and receiving I get to experience. So “THAT” moment- is more of a feeling of gratitude that I embody and I receive from each actor giving their best and committing to growth.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
My biggest challenge was working through the fear of actually taking the leap to start my coaching business. Most people leave jobs they hate or are burnt out from and start new from there. Casting was a job I loved. I was good at it, I loved my office I was growing in, I made great money, worked with some of the coolest creatives.. on paper there was no reason for me to leave. But my intuition kept giving me these gut feelings that I was meant to help actors in a different kid of way. It took me a few years or journaling, meditating, getting clear on what that path looked like. And once I had a clear vision in my head, next came the big jump- leaving a steady career that I loved to start all over again and become a first time business owner. I sat with that fear for about two years before I did anything about it. And then the pandemic hit. The gift of pausing my casting life happened and was handed to me on a silver platter. If I didn’t have that time- I’m not sure if I would be brave enough to have made that leap. But I leaped and the universe’s net appeared. I created a business instagram and the appointments to work with me started to roll in. A few months into the pandemic, I had the opportunity to go back to casting once productions were back and running. After 3-4 phone call exchanges with my bosses trying to find a world where I can cast but coach as well- we all decided it was best to let me run with the business I started over those last few months and leave casting. It felt like a major break up. I cried for a few days. Sat through the fear of the unknown but trusted it was the best thing to do. Here I am two years later confidently saying that every day I am in my purpose helping actors, it never feels like work! Casting led me to this path in my career. But taking that leap and trusting the universe is what brought me to where I am now.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Amanda Frances- she is SO badass. I read her book called “Rich As F*ck” which really helped strengthen my money mindset. Especially as an entrepreneur- you have to learn to invest in yourself. She’s shown me what it looks like to go bold with your desires and to never apologize for wanting what you want.
Katrina Scott is a business owner / fitness trainer who to me is just major goals. I love her vibe and aesthetic. I’ve been following her “Tone It Up” business for years and have seen it grow into something so big and beautiful.
Brene Brown! I love her vulnerability, confidence and power she carries when she talks. She has the ability to make you feel so comfortable, like you’re chatting with an old friend.
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