Today for our “10 Questions With” segment, we are shining our Actor’s Spotlight on Shannon Lampke.
- What is your name and how old are you?
- Shannon Lampkin and I am 26 years old.
- What social media do you have for your fans to connect with you?
- Other than community theatre, of course, what hobbies do you enjoy?
- I love to read, sing, collect musical CDs, walk in parks (which is great for Pokemon GO!), play volleyball, make baked goods, and watch TV/movies.
- What do you do professionally?
- I am a full-time actress/singer who travels for work, but am currently looking for a M-F, 8am-5pm type of job so I can stay here in the St. Louis area.
- How long have you been acting?
- I began acting in high school. My freshman year I was cast in the musical “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” as Ms. Jones and I haven’t stopped since!
- How many shows have you been in?
- Far too many to count! I don’t know how many shows I have been in, but I have been fortunate enough to perform in 15 states in the USA.
- What are the top 3 favorite roles you have played?
- Drowsy in “The Drowsy Chaperone”, Next Generation Theatre Company
- Dorine in “Tartuffe”, Creighton University
- Margery Jourdain/Lady Grey in “Blood Reigns: The War of the Roses Trilogy”, St. Louis Shakespeare
- What are the top 3 roles you would love to play?
- Squeaky Fromme in “Assassins”
- Carrie in “Carrie: The Musical”
- Jane Eyre in “Jane Eyre”
- What theaters have you worked with?
- St. Louis Shakespeare
- Next Generation Theatre Company
- West End Players Guild
- St. Charles Christmas Traditions
- St. Charles Legends & Lanterns
- Bluff City Theater
- Holland America Line/Princess Cruises Alaska
- The National Theatre for Children
- Nebraska Shakespeare
- The Rose Theater (aka Omaha Theater Company)
- What nominations and awards have you received?
- Won: St. Louis Arts for Life BPA Best Non-Singing Actress in a Musical (Wicked Witch of the West/Miss Gulch–“The Wizard of Oz”, Next Generation Theatre Company)
- Nomination: St. Louis Arts for Life BPA, Best Comedic Actress in a Musical (Drowsy–“The Drowsy Chaperone”, Next Generation Theatre Company)
St. Louis really does have talent!
First, I would personally like to thank Shannon Lampkin for accepting the invitation to participate in our “10 Questions With” segment of Acting Talent Spotlight.
Shannon’s enthusiasm, excitement and obvious passion became clear to me as soon as we connected. The singer/Actress has had the opportunity to experience many different theatre companies throughout the United States. Therefore, theatre fans in the Greater St. Louis area, luck is on your side! As her desire is to remain in the St. Louis area.
Challenges that come with the territory.
As with many Community Clubs, Groups or Activities, there can be challenges. I asked Shannon what she felt was the biggest challenge Community Theatre faces and her thoughts were this:
” It’s hard to say what the biggest challenge is for community theatre, but I think it comes down to two things: money and the community they serve. The beautiful thing about community theatre is that people with a passion for designing, managing, directing, acting, singing, dancing, etc. all come together to create and put on a show for their community without being paid for their time, effort, energy. They do it because they love it and believe in the stories they tell.”
As an audience member, enjoying the story being told on stage, all of the details, hard work and time required for our enjoyment may not come to mind. This talented performer elaborated on her thoughts on both monetary challenges as well as those related to the community in which one is involved. She explained it by saying, “ The problem is that monetary funds help enrich the stories being told (set, costumes, props, etc.) and/or allow the theatre to afford shows they wish to do that have more expensive rights. The company’s survival can become dependent upon ticket sales and donations to operate.”
The preferences of a community.
As far as the community being entertained and how the two challenges go hand in hand, here is what she had to say:
“This leads into the next part: the community. As for the community they serve, there are some communities that only wish to see certain types of shows (i.e. classic musicals), meaning that the company must base their season on shows the community wants to see. While there is nothing wrong with that, it can limit the company’s potential a little.
The perfect example of this is from my time in Omaha, NE. The Omaha Community Playhouse there wanted to expand their repertoire from “standard” plays and musicals to include some contemporary and slightly controversial shows to encourage community dialogue on tough subjects. They ended up using their black box theatre for more “edgy” shows such as “August: Osage County” and “Evil Dead: The Musical”, while using their mainstage for big standards such as “Guys and Dolls” and “Les Misérables”.
This became possible for many reasons, but the reason they are able to maintain it is because the community they serve now supports both. Not all community theatres have the ability to do this, so they often have to compromise their wants with that of the community they serve.”
Education and Inspiration; A few final thoughts from Shannon Lampkin.
Just as many of you reading Shannon’s story, I am not only an advocate of inspiring others to follow their passions, but intrigued by the knowledge that can be gained by those who do just that.
Therefore, I asked Ms. Lampkin what her advice would be for someone just discovering the passion for theatre or just beginning the journey, her response was, “The advice I would give to someone who has just begun to explore their passion for theatre is this: you are amazing and can do whatever you set your mind to do so long as you’re willing to work for it. Go see shows, read plays, learn new music, take a dance class, design sets or costumes, and audition, audition, audition. Didn’t get the part you wanted? Keep working and the next time it is available, try again. You may not have been the first director’s perfect [role], but you could be the next director’s. The best way to learn about theatre is by watching it and doing it.”
Hard Work and Team Work paying off.
On behalf of all of us here at St. Louis Limelight, I would like to thank Shannon for taking time out of her very busy schedule to chat with me a bit. The actress/singer shared one of her personal experiences and valuable “lessons learned” with me and I would like to forward it on to you. Her closing thoughts were this:
“The best lessons I ever had about acting were when I was Extra #2 and just watched rehearsals from the sidelines and then tried applying the methods others used to my character (even when I didn’t have lines). Theatre is all about teamwork, so be ready to work hard and always feel free to ask others for help!”