What’s up Power Nation! Every Sunday we hope to shine a light on an independent artist’s career in a feature we like to call Sunday Spotlight. This week we are speaking to Shanna Niehsner, who is an actress, stage manager, producer, and most recently the assistant production manager for Mau Power’s latest music video Arrived ft. Marcus Corowa.

What was your position and responsibilities on the Mau Power shoot?

My role was as an Associate Producer under the mentorship of Mau Power. Scheduling, communicating, organising, problem solving, running, a little bit of everything, these are the kind of tasks I had to perform as Associate Producer.

How did you get into your field?

As a creative arts student I was told to raise your hand and say yes to any opportunity within the arts industry. I did that with my first live comedy production, Torres Queer with Jay Wymaarra. From there I got a six month internship with JUTE Theatre. And from there, I met Sio the Director of Arrived (you can find his Sunday Spotlight here), who asked me if I could handle music video production. And I said yes.

Was there a moment in your career when you became certain that this is what you want to pursue?

I always want to do my best and never miss a day of work. Every day’s different and you’re always upskilling which feels awesome. I’m never bored working in this field, and when I came to that realisation it just seemed like the obvious answer.

How long have you been working in Cairns?

Actively as a professional artist, only a year, however I’ve been studying the creative arts at CQU in Cairns for two and a half years.

What has it been like working with production team for Arrived?

I love my team. I feel very lucky that the stars aligned and the team came together so easily and naturally. Everyone gets along and we always have a great time together, and it makes working so much easier and stress free. Everybody understand their role in the production and it makes for such a positive work environment.

What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

Once Were Warriors. I have not seen storytelling done so well in so long. The characters were all so amazing and acted freaking awesomely. It’s a film everybody’s got to see, it’s so human and honest and real.

What was the last live music act you saw and what did you think of it?

DZ Deathrays. I randomly saw them about a month ago and funny story, all us girls in the bathroom, none of us heard of them before that night. Now I know them and can say I’ve headbanged at a rock concert.

Are you currently working on any upcoming projects?

Yes, for CQU I am doing a sci-fi solo theatre production coming out in June. I’m also working on Seussical JR: The Musical at The Young Company as stage manager. It’s going to be awesome working with so many kids and it’s gonna be so colourful, vibrant and fun. That will be opening at Cairns Performing Arts Centre on May 31st with a second and third show on June 1st.

Thank you to Shanna  for speaking with us today and sharing her story. For more information on Seussical JR: The Musical, including showtimes and where to purchase tickets, please visit The Young Company.

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