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What's Up Elly J?

Picture from "Phoenix" music video.  Directed by Tony Güembes & Cinematographer Chris Monberg.

Picture from "Phoenix" music video.  Directed by Tony Güembes & Cinematographer Chris Monberg.

​Shaunte: "God told me to come out and he gave me the provisions for the transition. I just didn’t know when it would happen. I was actually acting in a musical at the time and I received a call one day from my agent to do some work on a Chevy Chase bank commercial that was going to be filming on a Sunday. Well that actually happened to be the one day I wasn’t rehearsing for the musical stage play and since it was some quick background work I was like ok sure I’ll do it because when your a SAG actor weekend pay at the time was higher than a normal week day; not sure if that’s how it still works since I haven’t done background work in some years now, but being a young actor trying to get my feet wet in as many projects as possible I was humble and hungry for the work and the pay didn’t hurt. Lol! So while on set the lead actress and some of the other cast were eating lunch and she mentioned subleasing her place that she had in California for the summer. That conversation led to us exchanging numbers and then the exact amount I needed to move out to LA was given to me in a check for my birthday from a family member who had no clue about what I actually needed nor what I had in mind. Then I needed a flight and a friend blessed me with a one way ticket. So I arrived in LA and God has provided and allowed me to cross paths with the right people at the right time to accomplish the tasks and goals set before me. I wish I could say I had $20k and moved out to LA, but that isn’t my story. My story was and is a faith walk. Every step was guided and when I fell and bumped my head or times were really tough I hung in there and pressed into my faith and he picked me up and carried me through."

​​Shaunte was no stranger to the world of entertainment. She began her career as a former NFL Pro Cheerleader for the Washington Redskins before she took her talents to acting and theater.

Shaunte"I’ve always been an entertainer singing and dancing around the house with friends and family, but it wasn’t until I became a NFL Pro Cheerleader for the Washington Redskins that I pursued it on a professional level.​ The biggest adversity I would say I have faced so far is myself. Not losing sight of what God tells me and remaining in faith and not fear. You cannot be in this industry or in anything you are passionate about in life and be fearful at the same time. It’s like oil and water; the two don’t mix. You must be faith filled and fearless. There are always going to be people whether it be one or many that will say or do something that will hurt and/or offend you, but you must stick to what you know is true about yourself. You’re abilities. Your gifts and BELIEVE in YOU. On the business side it can be difficult when your an artist trying to get your music out and heard and being an individual with integrity and morals doesn’t make this road any easier, but you end up with the right people and team to get the work done and the goal accomplished and you keep moving to the next goal. The key is to not stop. Keep going. Don’t make excuses, just find the solution and don’t lose yourself in the process of the journey."

Picture from "Blacked Out" music video.  Directed by Amy Amir & Cinematographer Chris Monberg.

​As for what's next for this talented beauty she states: "​I just finished filming on the tv pilot “Siblings” and jumped straight into pre production to shoot the third video off of my upcoming album #TUX :The Usual Xperience releasing in February 2017.  The song is called "Can We" and it will be a fun shoot, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m also working on the theme song for a tv show and scoring some scenes as well. And I’ll be speaking and performing at a women’s empowerment event honoring and highlighting women who are walking so passionately in their dreams and encourages other women who are like minded to pursue their purpose and passion in life. So I’ll be doing all of that while starting rehearsals for my shows."

Shaunte also cites her family and friends as her inspiration.
Shaunte"My friends and family are my inspiration and some just happen to be entertainers as well. I look at their drive and their motivation and I know their stories, so to see them reach such heights in their careers lets me know even more that my goals are attainable and within reach."

She closes with this advice for all young women: "Pray about it first and seek God for confirmation and clarity because it will be the one thing that saves you and stops you from forfeiting your purpose. You won’t be so quick to give up when you know without doubt that being in this industry is something God told you do. When you have those moments, and trust me those moments will come, when you want to say I can’t do this anymore or I don’t want to do this anymore, hold on to His promise for your life. He will always give provision when there’s purpose. Keep praying. Keep pushing. Keep pressing and remain faith filled. After all the word says walk by faith, so go ahead and faith walk it out!"

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