How did Leo's high school friend Shannon Hay become a Storyboard Revisionist for Muppet Babies? Lots of self-discovery and exploration! Shannon shares their journey of learning how they communicate as an artist and how their personal identity has helped them practice empathy with their characters. Leo and Shannon also chat about the advantages and disadvantages of growing up in the LGBTQIA community in a conservative town.
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By: Leo Yockey
Hello, welcome to the 10th episode of the Leo Yockey show, the podcast where i Leo Yockey interview guests about how their unique life path led them to define success and fulfillment. The goal is to provide you the listener some relief for existential dread. But here's a secret. Oh, did you hear Raja Raja just saw some birds and made his little bird sound. But anyway, the secret that feeling in never fully goes away. And that's why we're all in this together in his international community. Y'all. Thank you so much for supporting this show. I know I said every single time But listen, I'm looking at the charts right now. And for all podcasts, not just my category, but all podcasts overall, globally, we've reached the top 10,000 in the charts. Now, to be somewhere in the 9000s doesn't really sound like something to brag about. But check it out. so far. This podcast is mostly just friends and family. And you know how many podcasts there are globally? over 2 million, y'all. I'm about to start this whole, like social media strategy to get more people listening to be able to grow the show, if this is how well we're doing now. Oh my god. I mean, I just I'm so excited. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. And if you haven't already, please leave me a five star rating and review preferably on Apple. That is exactly what gets these charts to go up. So as much as I love doing this as hard as I've been working, it really does come back to all y'all being part of this community with me. So again, thank you for being on this journey with me. I'm sorry, I'm so distracted by Raja he is sitting in the window next to me. He's He's looking at the bird's eye. I gotta get some video this I can put it up on social media when this episode comes out. But anyway, I'm super excited for my guest today. I've got a friend of mine from high school who is a successful storyboard revisionists they've always been this brilliant artist. They worked most recently on Muppet Babies. I don't know. Have you heard of the Muppets? I have, and they've worked on the Muppet Babies TV show, we get into a great conversation about identity and how growing up in our small town, you know the advantages and disadvantages that came from coming from Lancaster and their path to discovering who they are as an artist, and how it kind of coincided with their path in where they figured out who they are as a person. You can tell that I'm really excited. It was really fun conversation. There's a lot of laughter I was laughing a lot, you know, just editing the episode. And I can't wait for y'all to hear it. So did I even say the guests name? The guest is Shannon. Hey, and I cannot wait for you to hear this. So without further ado, here, Shannon. Shannon, you are a little bit of a what's the word I want to use legend in our hometown circle. Yeah, legend. Definitely a legend in our hometown circle. brilliant, brilliant artists. ratted animator at this point. I don't I don't actually know what you do. Can you explain for us what it is? I know that like you are an artist, but I don't know exactly what it is that you do professionally at this point. So can you can you let us in on that before we go any further? Well, first of all, thank you. Um, I'm actually a storyboard artist professionally, I'm a revisionist, which means that I get to clean up what the board artists do. I work with the Edit team. So basically, what I do is storyboard artists works with the the writers and the directors. And then they go through a few iterations. And then when it starts to get recorded and stuff, or when it's going into recording, they hand it off to the edit bay, which is revisionists, the director and an editor. And we kind of do the notes and clean it up from there. So that's what I do. I I'm right now I'm like more of a cleanup artist before it gets to animation. Okay, cool. So you're kind of your your I didn't realize it's almost like an assembly line type process. Oh, yeah. Animated, animated stuff happen. There's a whole pipeline. Yeah. Interesting. So how did you how did you get inserted into this pipeline? It's kind of your path to getting into this. Oh god it was. Listen. Um, so I okay. I kind of grew up always expecting to do comics like I I was always drawing comics like forever and I was always sure that I wanted to do comics for a living until I got to like Community College and dislike had to take like the realistic art classes and like actually get my foundations in and then I was like, well, maybe I don't want to draw this is really boring, which is just means that it's It was hard, and I wasn't good at it. So I didn't want to do it anymore. So, I switched over to film because I always liked movies. And from there I like got really into editing and I got really into moviemaking. And that's when we made that one music video. Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yeah, we did make a music video together. I just like I know, I'm the one that brought it up. But like it was almost like auto and then I was like, Oh, yeah, that's right. We did a whole thing. It was me. Yeah. Yeah. For the listeners. Way back. Gosh, that must have been like 2009 2010. Somewhere in there. Shannon directed a music video for a song that I wrote. So that was a lot of fun. I think the the woman that co starred in it with me, I believe her and I broke up that same day. I remember you, you you texted me or Facebook's me or something afterwards and was like, are you still okay with using this footage? I was like, yeah, it's gonna be a great video. Oh, my god, you're right. Holy crap. Oh, how the turntables All right. Nothing like show business to test the relationship. Seriously. You got into filmmaking when you got to college, because drawing was hard drawing sucks. Now, so what happened from there? So from there, I got really into editing and I got really into to film and I started doing a lot of film analysis, and it kind of came back. It all kind of circle back to drawing. And because like planning your shots and stuff, you need to do storyboards. And I was like, Oh, I'm, I'm like, I've always been good at drawing, even though artists have hard way. So you have to be able to draw that stuff out even for live action stuff. Yeah. What a lot of directors do is they'll like because oh my god, English is my first language. A lot of directors don't have for live action. They don't have a lot of art training. So like if you look at like the Guardians of the Galaxy, like directors storyboards, they're all just stick figures and stuff that James Gunn wrote down because he had a vision in his head, but he's not a trained artists. He has just all these stick figures. And then he hands those off to like a professional storyboard artist who draws them and makes them pretty nice. Yeah, so even in in live action, there's a lot of storyboarding and stuff. Otherwise, it's like, just super expensive to run a camera and get a shot that you're not sure you want to take. So yeah, basically, storyboard artists cut down a lot on production time, and money, waste. So it all kind of came back to drawing and I was like, Oh, I actually really enjoy this part. Because it's like doing a comic. But it goes into doing a film. So like storyboarding was like that nice middle ground. And that's kind of what piqued my interest with that. And then I thought I wanted to do animation. And one of my teachers, when I did end up going back and taking all of my foundational classes. One of the teachers at ABC was like, Hey, I think you're gonna get bored as an animator, because they have to draw the same thing over and over and over again. And just looking at your work and what you enjoy. I think you'll get really, really bored. So I think you might want to go into illustration, which is more like comics and stuff. And he was right. He was absolutely right. I would get so bored with animation. Yeah. I've tried it a couple times. And honestly, animators are a different breed. They're so strong. I don't know how they do it. But again, yeah, storyboarding is like a nice in between between comics and animation. And it was just like this perfect blend of everything that I love to do between comics, animating, Film Editing, a little bit of script writing. If you're doing like scratch dialogue, it's a little bit of acting you get kind of get everything with storyboarding. So it's kind of like this weird like, mashup of everything that I loved in one career. So what's cool Yeah, that's super cool. It's so it sounds like you know, no matter what it is, you kind of started with the comic, and and ended in this like storyboard revisionist space but you never really strayed away from from art. and creativity, which I think is is really cool. At what point you said, You've always kind of wanted to do comics like growing up and stuff like, do you remember at what point you started feeling like this is what I want to do. Honestly, if I know a lot of people like that you ask about this sale I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil, but it's true. A lot of us and me included, I don't remember when I started drawing, I just know that I've always done it. And like, I seen comics that like my grandma and my mom kept from when I was an add child, but just like SpongeBob, fan art and Dragonball Z, and like all that kind of stuff and Marvel stuff that I was I was doodling. And I drew dogs a lot when I was little. I remember I had a comic book in fifth grade that we used for a fundraiser to get our class pet surgery. So it's really just been as far back as I can remember, I've always loved storytelling and visual storytelling and doing comics. That's really cool. So if I'm understanding this correctly, it almost sounds like there wasn't a decision of this is what I'm going to do. It was just, it was always a part of you. And other jobs or other careers, I should say, almost weren't even ever considered is that am I kind of I mean, I, I tried acting, and I enjoyed it. I tried graphic design, and I hated it. Because I that was my first job as I was a I worked at like the little print shop there in Lancaster, and I was a customer service rep, but they knew that I can draw and I had, you know, computer and artistic talent. So they were like, oh, if you, you know, if you're working here and we have an opening, maybe we'll move you over to do graphic design, because it was like, five people worked there, you know. So eventually, our designer did leave, and I got to go do graphic design. And it was fun. ish. Because it was mostly just typesetting. And there wasn't really a lot of actual design because people in Lancaster can't afford that kind of work. Sure. But it was like enough for when I moved out to Pasadena to pursue art school that I could get another graphic design job out here. And that was a little more intensive, it was a little more creative, which was nice. But it it was just kind of there was nowhere else for me to go. It just kind of always felt like a dead end. And it didn't really have like, it wasn't my language for storytelling. I know graphic designers do have their own visual language. And they do tell their own stories with their work. Like if you ever look at logo design, it's crazy what people can pack into like in, you know, a half inch picture. Yeah, but uh, for me, that wasn't the language that I spoke. And it wasn't the language that I fell in love with. So I I just realized that I needed to continue doing sequential storytelling and that kind of thing. So yeah, it I kind of like took a little bit of curved pathways. Oh, I also, when I was in the film, I considered doing special effects makeup, because I've always enjoyed creature design and stuff like that. Nice. Yeah, it always it always just came back to Oh, I can implement creature design into storyboards. And, you know, it always it always just kind of came back to that storytelling in sequential images. Just kind of where I live. It's my native home. Yeah, that makes sense. I actually really like how you worded that, that these other forms of art, were not your language or storytelling. I really like how you put that. So in a way, it's like, it's like, you know, coming into, you know, finding storyboarding, it was like you finding your voice in a way? Oh, absolutely. Do you? Do you think there is a correlation between? Or did you find that the closer that you got to finding your voice in art, the more that you kind of came into who you are as a person outside of your art? I make sense. I think there's definitely truth to that i. i saw i think somebody put it on Twitter the best I've ever seen it anywhere. I can't remember who tweeted it. But they said something. along the lines of storyboard artists are really just theater kids that got tired of being onstage. How dare you first of all, but yeah, like a learning what I liked and what I didn't like about all of the other things that kind of chiseled my path down into storyboarding. I feel like it's hard to go down a path like that and not learn something about yourself and not learn like what your limitations are and what you like what battles you want. wanna pick? Yeah, oh, it's all like really intensive skill sets that go into all of those things. And some people can do it all, but I am not one of those people. And it's just a matter of like, focusing on what your priorities are as a creative and figuring out what, how you best communicate as a creative. And I was talking to another friend of ours the other day about how hard it is for creatives to pursue other routes, because it is kind of our native language and how we learn to speak to each other. Yeah, and speak with other people. And for me, yeah, learning how I communicate with other people definitely came along with learning that I like storyboarding most, because it's hard. Yeah, it's hard to figure that out without learning about yourself on the way. Yeah, what what were some of the things that you learned about how you communicate with others while you're on this journey? Not not to be down on myself, but clearly that I'm not as verbal as I would like to think. I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. There's many ways of communication. Yeah, I definitely think stepping away from theater kind of degraded, my talking skills. But uh, because you know, doing improv every week to like not talking to anybody for a year. Right. But yeah, I find that I, if I have like a pre recorded idea, or if I can go in and like do scratch audio, and then animate to it, it's a lot easier for me to, like, present that idea than it is for me to like, take still images and talk to somebody like talk somebody through a scene like what I'm presenting it, even though I know pitching is like a really big part of storyboarding. And we can talk about that later, if you want. But I've definitely learned that I'm much more. I like to have a complete picture before I show it off. Otherwise, I tend to over explain things so that I'm, like, clear about my intentions with something. Yeah, that's been learning how to edit that down into bite sized chunks, was really a difficult lesson to learn. But I took a screenwriting class at art center, and oh my god, my exposition was just so long. It's I just over explained things when I have words, but when I have pictures, I can't do that. Yeah, it's it's kind of a way to tether that instinct. And just be like, what's important in this image, like, what do I want people to focus on? What do I want people to look at? And that's kind of a more when when that gets across that feels successful to me is like when I get a comment on something that's like, Oh, this feels like the exact thing I was aiming for. I'm like, Oh, yeah, I edited that emotion down into a single image versus my, my tendency to just ramble and ramble and ramble. So forgotten the original question? No, I asked what, what you've kind of learned about yourself on the way and you said that you're not as verbal as a communicator, you know, like, other forms of communication are better for you. So thank you, especially now that I know that for agreeing to come on to my podcast, you're doing great. Thank you. I I also definitely learned that I've add, you know, again, you're doing great. You're taking notes over here, just so you know. So it's not that I have great memory, I'm taking notes as you're talking, you know, we don't have our cameras on so so. So I know you can't see that. But um, you mentioned something really interesting, because I know um, and you know, for a peek behind the curtain for for the listeners, you know, Shannon has had been involved in theater, definitely in high school, maybe also in community college. Yes or No, I don't know. Yeah. I was involved with like the 1x for a little while, and I was doing the improv troupe. Probably until I moved so close to like, 2012 2013. I think I quit when I had to do Romeo and Juliet. So but you also said something about doing improv going from doing improv every week to not seeing people for a year. So were you involved in some other kind of like improv or something up until the pandemic? No, not quite. That was more of an exaggeration. Oh, God, I apologize, but I don't know. It's fine. So sorry. I'm sorry. Go ahead. So did you find that in doing theater did it did it always feel like almost like it just didn't quite fit? Like, was it something was it something where like, you enjoyed it, but it just didn't quite feel like it like, like, you're close, but not quite on the mark of where you're supposed to be? Yes and No, like, the thing I think that drove me away from theater and I think it's something that I think a lot of people in the LGBTQ community relate to is I had a lot of characters that I related to that I could, that I knew going in that I would never be right for as far as director was concerned, because I'm five foot three and stacks. And I tended to relate to a lot of male characters. And I was like, I know I can never, like get those parts. Even though I'm a, I think I'm a good actor. And I'm a, I'm an okay, singer, I'm not very good. But this is objective. I'm not trying to be down on myself. You know, it's like, it was never like plans to go to Broadway or anything. But just like, it was really disheartening. Which is why I ended up going to improv because an improv you can play whoever the hell you want to play. Because it's improv, you just kind of jump into the role that you need to take at the time. And that kind of drove me towards realizing more and more what I liked about boarding and, and comics and things because you're kind of every character. When you do that you're acting through art. And you're, you have to kind of put all of the things that you would be doing on a stage into a drawing. So you get to kind of be every single character that shows up in the show every single character that shows up in your scene, like you get to act that part out. And that was really fun for me. And I think that character work that I I learned to do in theater is a really big part of what pushed me into this particular career. So I really can't why that person said storyboard artists or theater, kids don't want to be on stage anymore. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I think you touched on a very interesting connection here. Because you know, what, one thing that I'm kind of observing both from my own life, and, you know, people that I've interviewed on this podcast, and even conversations I've had off, Mike, is that when you're part of the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ plus community, you, it usually involves a level of self discovery and self reflection that a lot of other people, even if they do it, it, it's not as much of a necessity, you know, what I mean? Because the world is very heteronormative. And when you fit into that category, you know, the world is doing a lot of the thinking for you, and a lot of the reflection for you. And, you know, so for you, it feels like some of these things kind of go hand in hand, right? You know, because you had, you had this, you know, understanding that you wanted to be able to play certain parts that, you know, because, again, going back to the heteronormativity of the world wouldn't be able to play, you know, like the leading, you know, male character in a play or something like that, even though, you know, like, you, you know, that that is a role that you would both feel comfortable embodying and would you want to embody? Yeah, and, you know, if you had been in a position where that was available to you, maybe you wouldn't have been able to do the self reflection required to, you know, to get to the point of realizing that, like, Hey, I'm actually not as into verbal communication anyway, like, what are other paths for me, and like you said, you know, kind of being able to get you in body, every character in, in, you know, storyboard, you know, you kind of get this, like, it's not the same, but it is like a different type of experience where, you know, you kind of said before, like, I also get bored very easily, you know, and you, you, I know, you kind of just mentioned Broadway kind of just because, but like a Broadway actor is playing the same role over and over and over and over again, until that show is over. And even if you're on a like, you know, say you're on a, you're working on a TV show, as a storyboard artist, you know, even if you're working on kind of the same characters for a while, because you get to bounce around from different characters throughout, you know, you kind of get this like richness and variety of experience. And, you know, it kind of seems like these things go hand in hand a little bit, because the fact that you're able to do that self discovery, you know, you're kind of able to veer off into this, this path that works better for you anyway, because you you you enjoy presenting things in a visual way. You know what I mean? Like, like, I'm totally off base by trying to connect these two dots together. No, no, I think you're absolutely right. Um, I was just, you mentioned, like, being able to bounce around and kind of it made me think about how, like, even just on my last job that I was working on, it was a it's a six character ensemble show for little kids and you don't want to tell us you want to share with us. This is just a humble brag. I got to work on Muppet Babies last year. Well, why Yeah, down here. Oh, The Legend of Lancaster Oh, come on. But yeah, it was a really fun, fun experience and talking about how you get to kind of bounce around and play different characters every day, or, you know, every week or whatever. It's true. And it really does keep you or keep people like me anyway. Intrigued and like interested because you kind of get to, even though it's like a little kids show like you still, actually I kind of like that it's a little kid show because everything is much more streamlined, streamlined, streamlined. In like, the characters personalities, everybody's got a very, very distinct personality. And, you know, they have like, very distinct motivations and very distinct mindsets. And it's really, really fun for someone like me to bounce around and get to, like, kind of see things through that character's perspective. And like, understand that character's motivations and like, kind of get to develop how they would act in the situation or pitch an idea of being like, how would they respond that would be stronger for this character that would be better for this story, and still make sense for that character and the other characters involved. And it was just, it's, it's almost like, almost like an empathy exercise. And just learning how different people think. And different people respond to things and method babies is such a cute show for that, because it's like always the moral, it's like trying to understand each other better. And I think that as a storyboard artist, that's kind of what you get to do as you get to four as any kind of visual artists, I guess, or even as an actor. But when you get to bounce around the same scenario as a bunch of different characters, I think that it, it kind of helps you get a nice perspective, at some point, like, even if you don't relate to that character, like you're like, Oh, I kind of get where they're coming from, because this is how they're feeling in that moment. And so yeah, I definitely, I definitely think those two dots are connected with self discovery and self exploration and, and being able to see things from different perspectives and learning about yourself in the meantime. Yeah, definitely. And I don't, you know, I don't know if you feel comfortable sharing your gender and or sexual orientation. And, you know, it's fully up to you. But you know, I would say that, just in general, you know, people who are on the LGBT QA spectrum, you know, we we just by the nature of growing up in a hetero normative world, I think we just have a more of a bird's eye view of all these different types of human experiences. Yeah. And yeah, like being able to be in this, like, empathy building world and also kind of be in this world where, like, in my world, I mean, career in industry, I guess, you know, being in this world where you're kind of able to explore all that. It's like, you know, again, it's like, kind of, you know, taking some of your, you know, a lot of like, how you walk this earth anyway, and like applying it to what you do professionally. Mm hmm. Yeah. Another mutual friend of ours said something at a head. You don't want to name anything or anyone right now. I don't have any consent. I don't know if they want to be. I'm sorry. Like, I don't know. People's boundaries. And I don't want to like cross them accidentally. That's fair. Um, maybe you enjoy a shout out my friend Anthony. I think you know, Anthony. I do. Yeah. Anthony shout out to Anthony, if you're listening. He he made a it was a completely unrelated joke, during an improv show once but he like was like a returning gag of this thing being an amorphous blob. And like, I kind of like took that and ran with it. Because I identify as like a gender a romantic asexual, like, I'm just as across the board, you're the ace of Ace and the ace of ace. So it's, it's kind of like it's almost like everything I see. Because you're right, like our world is very heteronormative and binary, very binary, very heteronormative. So it kind of feels like I'm outside looking at on like, literally everything. But it's interesting, like I don't mind it, it's it's kind of fun to be an observer. And not to like give myself a god complex or anything. But it's, it's it's really interesting to see how different people in different you know, in different identities and different situations, approach different situations and problem solve and things like that. And I learned a lot from watching other people. And I think that that's a big part of anything in the creative realms is observation. And I think that not having not worrying about you know, like, dating and that kind of stuff. I think that frees up a lot of brain space for me, to like, just watch other people. And how they do things in their lives. Um, but yeah, like, it's, it's weird to feel like you're at a slight advantage when you're in a marginalized community. It kind of feels like that sometimes. Yeah, absolutely. You know, did you? Do you know that you're actually not the first guest of the show to both identify as and speak on the show about being asexual? No, I didn't. Yeah, friend to help. Yeah. For former guests. And old friend of mine, Emily Sedgwick, was on. I think her episode came out. It was the most recent episode, as soon as, right now, while we're recording, and she said the exact same thing that you just said that, you know, not focusing on dating, you know, frees up a lot of brain space. Yeah, her perspective was a little bit more coming from the, you know, like, societal pressure. It's like, I don't have to worry about what am I doing wrong? Because, you know, all my friends are like, getting partners and stuff, and I'm not, you know, and, and realizing that she's asexual, you know, I don't, I don't put too many words around when people can listen to the past episode. But they, you know, but she said, the, like, kind of the same thing, like, it frees up a lot of brain space. And I think that's true for all of us. To some degree, it's like, when we know like, who we are, what we're doing what we want it, we get so much of our energy back, because we're not constantly trying to figure out and focus on and chase the wrong things. Right. And, you know, like you, you mentioned something about, like, I don't want to sound like I have a god complex. And I'm saying you don't at all, because it's absolutely true that we all have these, like, different experiences that let us kind of peer in, peer into life and observe life and and document life in our own unique way. And the only reason why it feels so much like outside looking in is because the white hetero normative perspective is the only one we ever hear when in reality, there is such a wide array of human experience. And it's absolutely true that you know, it, he says something like, you know, being being marginalized in this way is almost, you know, I forget exactly what you said, I don't want to butcher it, but it's like, trust you. Thank you, thank you for trusting me to butcher it, I hope I butcher it very well and make you proud. You said something about, you know, like being in this marginalized community almost has, like, its advantages. And I think that that's true, too, you know, to some degree that, like, any experience that you have, you know, can provide some sort of value. And I think it's like so, you know, and we kind of have the like, double edged sword, it's an advantage and a disadvantage of, you know, the, the world wasn't designed for us. So we kind of have to go through, you know, a much, often a much longer, darker period to figure out who we are, and where we belong. But the upside of it is that once we come out the other side, and we figured it out, you know, again, kind of going back to what I was saying about the acting, it's like, it takes so much more work, you know, to figure all that out and that work, like mean something, you come out of it, really understanding who you are, and you're able to, you know, like make that stamp on the world and say, you know, this is who I am, this is my perspective. This is I know where I belong, because, you know, again, without that, without that kind of level of contemplation, you know, maybe you would still be pursuing acting and not fully satisfied, you know, and, and I think that's so important for everybody. It's like, you know, we have to figure out you know, no matter where you fall on the, on the race, gender, or sexual orientation and spectrum, you know, because none of this stuff is as binary as we wanted to, is we want to think it is all of these things are social constructs. Like no matter where you fall in these things, it is so important to understand where you're at, you know, yeah, for sure. Like we another former guest of the show, Diego you know, we talked about it a little bit because, you know, he's he's a trans man like me, and you know, we both kind of talked about how, like, you know, when when we you know, before we were living as a correct gender It was like so many other things were off because if I'm not living my full truth, the version of me that's making decisions is making decisions based off like someone else's dreams. No. Yeah. See, I think that's I think that's really cool that you were able to you know, one figure that out in not only a world but also again, keep talking about our hometown like we were do not exactly grow up in an environment where that was heavily encouraged in our smaller friend group for sure, but not in the greater community. Oh, yeah. is in our district is one of the reddest in the States, isn't it for the state. So yeah, We'd, yeah, yeah. Yeah, thanks, thanks. I'm not even gonna give them a shout out on the podcast, I'll tell you after you record what I'm thinking of right now, on the on the bright side, like I think coming from a community like that it is how we all found each other, which is nice. Like, you know, we have our own little community within a marginalized community. Yeah, absolutely. And I think the takeaway for that is, you know, like, anybody, no matter where they're at, in life, no matter what they're doing, if something feels off, or if something feels like, I don't even know if I fit in here, like what's going on, you know, that that is absolutely something that can and should be, like, investigated, you know, because, you know, even even, you know, like, I don't know, I won't go that far. But I discussion for another day. Yeah. There's, there's so many ways I could take this conversation, right? Oh, yeah. But I do think it's really cool to but you know, because you touched on something really important there too, you know, like, we had this like, unique advantage of because, you know, again, that's where, you know, kind of being marginalized has its upsides and downsides. Like being in this marginalized community, we kind of found each other, right, like all the all the LGBTQ plus kids in our school, in our high school all kind of stuck together a little bit. And as a result, you know, we had, you know, like all of us that like hung out at sagebrush cafe, every you know, every week shout out to Sage rose cafe, I'm so happy that they survived the pandemic, I would have been heartbroken if they, if I could have if I never had a chance to go back there. Same. But you know, like them? Yeah, me too. I'm gonna have to go back there. Shin. Yeah, like being able to kind of cultivate these communities, it's always so important to like, know who your people are, know where they are, know where to find them. And the only way to really, truly be able to do that, to find your people to find your group is to know exactly who you are. And then to be that person, right? Because I know, there's so many kids, you know, that there were so many kids that you were not out when we were in high school that are out now. And yeah, I'm super proud of them too. And, you know, like it, but I would venture that we probably had an easier time coping emotionally through, like the ups and downs of high school, simply because, you know, like, we were living our truth. And, you know, living our truth comes with its own set of problems, because there's the threat of violence and and, you know, I Oscars, I ostracization, Josh, is the threat of being ostracized. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, but, but also, you know, like, there's just so much angst when you're a teenager when you're in high school, because, you know, like, everybody is upset everybody is, you know, people are starting to experiment a lot with drugs and alcohol. And many people use drugs and alcohol much more heavily in their teenage and early 20 years than they do at any other time in life. And I think it is because a lot of people do not yet feel empowered to live their truth. So, again, going back to the good and bad side of everything, I think that, you know, even though we kind of ignored that, hell, we kind of have the advantage now of saying, well, I've been living my truth this long, there's no turning back. Now. It's like, once you see something that can't be unseen, I think living your truth, the more you do it, the more you can't hide, and the more you're able to live your truth, the more you are able to find exactly what it is that you wanted to even, you know, going from wanting to draw comics to, you know, kind of figuring out your way through acting and film and kind of finding your home in in storyboard artistry. And I think that, you know, the, those skills that it involves fits so beautifully into, like the life journey that you've had outside of work of figuring out like, where, who you are and where you want to be in this world. So I love that. Well, thank you very much. It's it's been it's been a good time. It's been a hard time. And yeah, like you said, like, I'm very, very lucky that I found that community very early on and I've had a lot of love and support on this journey. And I think that that makes such a huge difference in anybody's truth is like definitely the village you call home. Absolutely. Absolutely. The village call home is so important. And so it looks like we're just about out of time so I know the Muppets baby project is is over now so all this being said you know like what are what are kind of the jobs that you're let's put it like this what what is kind of like your dream job at this. Point anything. A job is my dream. And beyond that, beyond that, I just really like I like comedy storytelling I like I like a lot of found family tropes. I really just enjoy stories that do what sort like cartoons did for me, like I, I like stories that I maybe hear about in 20 1520 years that some kid was like, Oh, that's what made me want to get into this. Like, that's what made me want to get into entertainment. Like, that's my goal. Like I, I want to help people realize that they can get out there and tell their own stories, too. And, you know, like little kids and, you know, help people realize they're not alone in how they communicate. And you know, that kind of thing. Just paying it forward, I guess, is my my big goal. Because this is this journey has meant a lot to me. And I would really like to help somebody else be successful in theirs. Yeah, I love that. I think that's what it's all about. I mean, I couldn't have said that a better myself this this journey is, you know, it Yeah, it's great, you know, because all all we can really do is make things better for the people behind us. And again, I think coming from this community, I think that it is so much more, we understand it so much more, because going back again, to how much it you know, the downside of being in this community. And you know, what we went through when we were really young, too young to really even understand what we were going through and what we were enduring. Yeah, be able to make it easier for that next generation is, I would say it's both a gift. And you know, when we're able to do it, I think our duty? Absolutely. It's, it's kind of, it's the most you can do, but it's also the least you can do you know. Exactly. Yeah. You want it to be the most you do. But it's, it's Yeah, it's it's a goal. I think it should be a common goal, to help set up our separate not predecessor, but now that successors successors to set up our successors for success. Yeah, that's a mouthful. set up our successors for success. That's all we're really trying to do. That's what I'm trying to do with this podcast too. And just, you know, shine spotlight on on things and people that I think are important. And again, yeah, just raising that flag of representation. I love that. Shannon, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you so much. I mean, so much of what we talked about, I didn't really know this about your journey. So it was actually really cool to kind of learn some of like, what was going on, internally through this process. And, you know, I again, I think you're so talented and so fantastic as an artist, so it's so exciting for me to hear that you kind of found your home in that space. And how do you say before the language that you speak in in the art world and have really found your voice because I I just love it. So thank you very much. And same to you. Like I love to see what you're doing now. Like, from that one fateful day in high school all the way to now. Right? Yeah, yeah, full circle. peek behind the curtain for listeners offline. You know, we were talking about how I went to a single improv club meeting in high school, I think maybe my freshman year and never showed up again. And now I'm doing stand up comedy. Yeah, you know, never give up on your dreams. It's never too late. He says love 29 year old. Hey, I turned 31 last month like and I'm just now getting my foot in the door with where I want to be. So really don't give up like your your people are out there. Your Dreams are out there. Like don't don't stop chasing them. Absolutely can't can't agree with you more. So where can people find you and your work? Um, oh god. I'm a my portfolio is Shannon sketches calm, but you can see me ramble about all kinds of dumb stuff on twitter at sketch boards. And it's just sketch boards. Should I spell it? SK e t c h e s Bo, ar d s? Yeah. And I'll also put the link to both of those in the show notes. Well, thank you. Again, thank you for coming on, I hope is lifted. Of course. You know, now this pandemic has lifted she's know, now that you know, people are getting vaccinated and things are opening up again. I hope that we can see each other soon because we just discovered it has been about two years and yeah, Mm hmm. Yeah. Soon, definitely. I'm fully vaccinated now. So I'm, I'm happy to go see friends. Yes, me too. Excellent. All right. Thank you so much. Bye, Shannon. Bye, Leo. All right. Once again, that was Shannon. Hey, thank you for coming onto the show. Shannon. I I hope you get booked on another show soon because again, Shannon is a brilliant artist. And I really love their perspective on you know how there's advantages and disadvantages. pros and cons to everything, and how their understanding of that has kind of shaped them as an artist, you know, any show would be super lucky to have them. As we mentioned, you know, Shannon and I went to the same high school and next week, I have someone that is also a classmate of sorts. I'm gonna have Tyler Christian Shin on the show, we did a stand up comedy class together, actually. So those of you who have seen some of my stand up already, again, thank you for the support. And he is a brilliant actor, so much fun to work with a voiceover actor. And it's another really interesting conversation, you know, because it's, it's almost the flip side of of the conversation that we had with Shannon. And you'll have to tune in next week, though, to see exactly what I mean by that. Whoo. cliffhangers. Seriously, I cannot believe we've already gotten through 10 episodes of the Leo Yockey show. And like I said, we are just getting started, all of this has just been a ramp up. And it's time to really hit the ground running and and really see where this community can go. I love having this conversations, I really truly believe that hearing other people's experiences are the best way that I can figure out my place and path on this earth. And I'm, honestly, I'm so excited to see that other people are getting the exact same. What should I call it benefit from the show, I don't even know what to call it. But whatever it is, I'm so happy that you all are loving it. And like I said, this is mostly contained within my network so far in the network of my guests. So now that I'm going to start getting really into Tick Tock and Instagram reels and really pushing out more content every single day, to let people know who I am, what I'm about what the show is about and what we're doing here in this community. It's only going to grow. And the more it grows, the more we can all do together. I am so excited. We're all figuring out this weird post pandemic world what it means for us. I just had dinner with a friend the other night that I hadn't seen in years. And we were talking about how you know that the time is now to make those changes to really figure out what the fuck it even is that we want out of life. You know, so, man, I'm figuring it out more and more every day. And I again, I say it all the time, but thank you for being on this journey with me. We'll be back next Tuesday with Tyler. Have a good week and stay evolving.