Stan Shaw On The Discovery Of Self


HELLO AMERICA!—Theater and film actor Stan Shaw is an actor who is never satisfied when approaching the creation of any character he is asked to play. He claims that it is the joy of discovery that makes the process worthwhile.

MSJ: I’ve seen you in so many films and television stories during the years and you appear totally involved with the character no matter how challenging it might be. Is this something that comes natural to you?

SS: No, not really. I realized when I first began studying acting years ago that it is important for an actor to get to the center of a character. The words are simply the blueprint of the “being” that you are struggling to bring to life. You should know where the character comes from, what kind of town or community he or she lives in, what influences were there and it is very important to understand the “times” in which sets the story, generally.  All of this is paramount for the creation of any character one commits in creating. I enjoy the journey; it is what separates the boys from the men so to speak!

MSJ: You’ve done a lot of film work in the business, has it been tough to get the roles you believed right for who you are as an artist?

SS: No. Nothing comes easy in this business. It always seems that an actor must continually fight and aggressively pursue anything he or she believes the perfect challenge. Even with an agent, I’ve had to get on the phone and deal with a casting director or even a producer I’ve worked with previously.  No matter who you are most of the time the campaign to be hired is there. In many cases this is true for even the most applauded actors or artists.

MSJ: What are your thoughts about the kind of films produced today?

SS: Some of it is really good stuff! The stories or gripping, dramatically disturbing and rather cerebral. As always, there are films that should never have been made. They are pure garbage but that kind of film has always been there. Unfortunately, they please a certain intellectual group of ticket-buyers in the marketplace.

MSJ: Since you’ve been a part of our industry for so many years what have you discovered about yourself?

SS: Sometimes I feel like I’m a soldier trying to survive on the battle field. The objective to stay alive is the main theme of the moment. And I’ve learned to listen much better so that any response I might give will be honest and believable. I’ve found that’s works in real-life situations, too.  I really believe I’m a better person since becoming an actor. Playing all types of characters opens you up to many types’ realities, especially one’s self. Listen, the longer to stay alive, the more you learn about yourself and what’s expected of you when it comes to those around us.  I hope I’m more sensitive and caring about other people I deal with professionally and, naturally, the people I care about in my private or personal life.

MSJ: Today, what do you hope the name Stan Shaw means to people especially your many fans?

SS: Oh, I hope that it might mean “decency’, dedication and hard work! I’d call that a “rap.”

By Michael St. John