Shanna Forrestall

by Sherif Awad

Shanna Forrestall

-I've been interested in storytelling and "imaginary worlds' since I was a little girl playing dress-up.  I have always had a vivid imagination and spent a lot of time in my head creating.        I didn't know anything about the film industry until my 30's though. When the film industry came to Louisiana, I found a way to use my gifts and my passion.

-It's interesting because my family was very religious and we were often not given access or permission to view many TV shows, secular music, etc. - so I have some gaps in my knowledge of popular culture from the 1980's and 1990's.  However, I'm continually catching up and these days I stay pretty on top of what's happening.  I've always loved stories that make you feel good and inspire you to be a better human and I remember that HERBIE GOES BANANAS was the first film I saw in the theater and that experience changed my life.

-I've learned that being good at something takes time and being great can take forever.  I was so passionate and so eager when I first got into this industry and I never wanted to be "famous" but I wanted to be "powerful" and create "important" work and as you grow you learn just how many years it takes to get a wide base of knowledge in this field, and how many factors can go right or wrong to make a project special.  You realize how important the team is and how one person can mess everything up, but it takes an incredible team to pull off something that will resonate and really matter.

Shanna Forrestall

-Again, I've never wanted to be famous or easily recognizable.  But, I do want to be that person that after I leave they say, do you know who that was???  She did this, created that, founded this... helped them... etc.  I want my work to speak for me.  My acting, producing, humanitarian work and my character and love.

-There are always gender issues, and as a woman it can be difficult to age in an industry that prefers people to be young - to be viewed as sexy or powerful.  However, I am quite comfortable where I am in life and in my body and I am working ahead of time to prepare as much as I can for aging.  I want to be that older powerful woman who exemplifies so much love and power that you're awed - that's the goal.  I've met women like this and they absolutely inspire me.

-Well, we're in unique times right now with the global pandemic, so we'll see how we come out of this... but I don't see the need for entertainment  or storytelling ever going away, so I believe I will be here for the long road.  I love the increase in digital content and the improved diversity in storytelling and casting.  I really love the roles I've been getting the past six months - they feel very true to who I am right now and the colors of me I'm exploring.  And I've just produced the best (short) film of my life so far, so that's exciting.

-For me it's about the story and finding a way to become one with the character.  I've actually really changed my approach to acting and simplified it in a way these past few years - I have so much life experience and knowledge about humans (because I study them) and I rely on that a lot more than learned techniques.  My goal is to be a "real human" in whatever I'm doing and to stay present in spite of everything that's happening around me on set. That is always a challenge.

-My husband I are very private people in some ways, even though we have a lovely array of dear friends we consider family. We are peaceful together and kind and happy and we will always defend that - our home and our relationship.  We spend quite a bit of time together and we like it that way.

-I have been acting quite a bit but these days everything is so secretive that you often can't talk about it.  I did just a product/star in a short film I'm very proud of that will come out later this year called A CRY FOR HELP.  As soon as the industry is back up I will be auditioning and working - I've come back to acting (from a short hiatus) with a renewed love and passion for the craft and I am enjoying it so much right now.   I can't wait for things to start pooping again after the world heals.