Acting Interested: The life of Shana Gagnon, a graduating Theater Major at Cal State Northridge

John DuBois

Days after her 21st Birthday Shana Gagnon moved from her home in Rochester Hills Michigan (about 30 minutes from Detroit) to sunny Southern California to pursue her career as an actress and to begin school at Cal State Northridge. There she has graced the stage for performance in “The Trojan Women”, “Emperor of the Moon”, “Galaxy Video” and “Dancing at Lughnasa.” Shana has now made it through her Theater major and is in her final semester finishing up her double major in English, “I am getting my English degree because I might want to teach later on in my career, but acting is my main focus right now,” she explained.

Eager to begin her professional acting career immediately after graduation she has to work extra hard at the classes that she doesn’t feel so passionately about. Through connections from CSUN professors and directors she has worked with, she has been given the opportunity to perform at the Road Theater on Lankershim in North Hollywood, as an understudy for two roles in the upcoming play “Dirk.” In between rehearsal, English classes, Geology labs, her internship at a voice over and commercial agency in Hollywood, and studying she enjoys hanging out with her good friends Jim, Gia, Amy, Melissa and Matt, and talking about their love for acting and appreciation for good theater.

“Im kind of in a transitional stage right now” she informed me when I first approached her with the idea of a photo story about a graduating Theater Major. To fulfill her graduation requirements Shana is taking mostly English and Science classes, as opposed the majority of her classes at CSUN which have been in the Theater Department. Her busy schedule has not afforded her time to join a play this semester, and so she often sits in on friends’ and professors’ classes, rehearsals, and workshops to appease her dramatic sweet tooth. When asked how she felt about the classes that she did not have a whole lot of passion for, she said she was going to do whatever she had to do so that she could graduate and begin work as a professional actor in Los Angeles.