HELLO AMERICA!—Even though the nation is experiencing a feeling of social and possibly professional division in our cities, the entertainment industry is forging ahead with very positive changes on every level. More diversity at each turn for people of every color are being considered and hired in every vital facet of the TV and film industry.
Women, especially, are branching out into areas of direction, production, music scoring and writing. They are demanding respect as a meaningful force as artistic creators. Jacquie Shane is definitely one of those who has spent most of her young years preparing for this moment and is early taking advantage of each and every opportunity possible.
MICHAEL ST. JOHN: Jacquie when did you discover your interest in the arts, generally?
JACQUIE SHANE: Well, I was born in Yuma, Arizona, with art in my blood. Creative from an early age (5 or so) and able to draw and discovered music. I had older sisters (twins) who thankfully introduced me at an early age to the Beatles. I loved their songs. I’d listen to them for hours; but then I have always been very athletic and was either in the pool or on a bicycle or building little tree forts.
MSJ: How about your parents, were you encouraged by them in any way as far as the arts?
JS: They were busy making a living for the family and we knew and accepted that. My mother had a position at a women’s prison ministry for several years. My dad was an aerospace engineer, who worked at Fairchild, NASA, GE, Grumman, and was involved in a lot of cutting-edge space work. Some of my childhood pictures were taken with rather large satellites looming in the background. It was in my early teens that my parents got me started playing table tennis (ping pong).
MSJ: They were really into sports like many families.
JS: Well, we use to play at various clubs in Maryland, where we lived. And one of the more unusual venues was the 14th floor of the NIH in Bethesda, on Friday nights. So, being athletic, I picked it pretty fast. So much so, I was invited to train in Japan by one of the officials at Butterfly and spent a couple of months overseas in my late teens. I remember being on the dance floor in Japan and one of my coaches said to me that if I had “that look in my eye” (apparently the one I had in my eye on a dance floor) while I played table tennis, I would be world champion. My table tennis game was very aggressive and very artful…but music was my first love.
MSJ: So, what did you do about the music interest?
JS: Well, when I returned to the states, I spent some time in college (it made my parents happy) and planned my own classes of interest. It was called Music Promotion; I took some outside sound engineering, heavy marketing and psychology. I very carefully avoided anything having to do with math. The artist in me always manages to carefully control whatever I do, so creating a unique major fit the scenario.
I had also accidentally been introduced to wallpaper hanging in my last semester and had a natural knack for it, so rather than succumb to a 9 to 5 type job, I worked for myself at my own pace and eventually, as time would tell, it was a lead into my art career which led off with the use of wallpaper, texture substances and lots of color. In those formative days, I was blessed to have a friendship with Peter Gabriel; he would call and exchange ideas with me. He was always very encouraging. My website is Zen Cow Art • Welcome. My work ranges from abstracts and mixed media sculptures to unique decorative interior work.
MSJ: It’s very interesting that you never seemed to experience any kind of fear or stage fright as most young people deal with during your earlier years.
JS: Oh, not true! During the very early years, I did. I think I had such a passion for music I didn’t have time to think about that aspect of it. I simply wanted to make music, create fantastic magical sounds. So, I started a band circuit, Baltimore scene. That led to a meeting with Mike Stacey who was actually Dave’s guitar teacher, and a fine guitarist. So, when Atomic Dog had its day, Mike and I began to write and formed Sheer Khan. He was a very versatile player and our tunes ranged from psychedelic, bluesy metal, some with tribal undertones, and some jazzy bluesy stuff. Vocally, I am very blues based with a raw raspy edge, power vocal, but smoky and smooth when the song called for it. We added Craig Fielder on bass guitar, and Ryan Diehl on drums. We were pretty formidable live, and had many acts inquire why we were opening for them, and not the other way around.
MSJ: You spent some time in England, was it worth the trip?
JS: I was invited to England in the fall of 96′ and took the opportunity to promote our music in London. I landed in Bath and became ensconced in the art and music scene. Sheer Khan came over and we played Glastonbury; but soon decided to return home and continued developing my art, with my music on the back burner. In 2004, I headed for LA, and became a SAG actress, had some fun, and felt Arizona calling. So, I landed near Sedona and opened a studio/gallery and did some quirky student films at the Zaki Gordon film school. Then in 2011, I married TV and film actor Chris Robinson, and we have a lovely ranch on the Oak Creek, with chickens, peacocks, a couple of dogs and cats. But I’m feeling the itch again.