Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Michael Shinafelt interview

 Michael Shinafelt is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Washington State, he moved to Los Angeles approximately 23 years ago to pursue his childhood dream of being an actor. He writes a blog, mostly interview based with very interesting, some famous,  some not yet famous people he knows.
We discussed how he got to L.A., what he has done there and where he is going from here.!/michael.shinafelt
I know very little about you. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Tacoma, WA - and raised mostly in Gig Harbor, WA which is a beautiful suburb on the water.

Young Michael in college

 How did you find your way to L.A. where you live now?

 Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to live in Los Angeles - it was my dream since I was in grade school, and guess what? Now I do.

 At what point in your life did you make that move?

 About 23 years old

Why L.A.? What was the your mind at that time?

The Entertainment industry, I initially wanted to be an actor.

If that didn't end up happening, on the level you wished..why didn't it?
I'm not really sure, I really hated the business of acting, but I love acting itself, after a few years I moved on from it, a friend told me I did not give it enough time to hit...she may have been correct as I actually did a few acting jobs last year, one was my dream job, getting killed in a horror movie.

Did you study acting at all, either back home in Washington or in L.A. and were you in any plays or theater when you were growing up?
I studied acting in LA and the theater productions I was in in Washington were my training there. I did plays growing up, community theater, High School productions...plays, plays,

Describe your parents to me.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm...typical hard working middle class people, who encouraged my sister and I to be our own people and to chase what we wanted in life.

Is your sister involved in the arts in any way?

 No, she is a soccer coach and a teacher, she also played soccer in college, she is the jock in the family lol!

Any of your immediate family members writers?

None, just is my natural gift.

Describe your childhood. Anything interesting happen?

Not really..nothing out of the ordinary really. It was pretty typical I would say.

 What is it you do, for a day job?

I do some internet PR as well as write and am getting back into acting again.

Michael and Margaret Cho, out and about. 

You seem to know a lot of very interesting people around L.A., how did that come about?
Putting myself out there and networking. I did not know anyone when I moved here, now I know lots of people : )

 How long have you lived in L.A. now?

 23 years I believe

How did you happen to meet Traci Lords?

Through an interview I did with her a while back, and then we really connected when I chatted her up for her return to the music scene "Last Drag" she even follows me on Twitter.!/MShinafelt

Michael and Traci Lords

What does blogging do for you?

It keeps my name out there at all times and allows me the autonomy to write what I want. I get pretty well known names on my blog because a lot of interview subjects are my friends and they will talk to me for it, it helps keep their names out there too.


Describe your musical tastes, if they can be described?

Well not everyone I write about is my taste, that being said i tend to gravitate towards rock, alternative & the indie music scene. 

You do a lot of interview blogs.  Why that mode for you?

Because it is my strong suit and I enjoy doing them. Also people like to read interviews a lot more than someone posting an opinion, there is nothing wrong with doing that, but interviews are the thing.

Who is one person that you want to interview that you have yet to get?

Good question. I've never really thought about it to be honest...I would have liked the chance to chat with Elizabeth Taylor, she had an amazing life. One of my favorite interviews that I landed was Pamela Anderson, so sweet, funny and a good time!

You list yourself as a freelance writer on facebook. What does that mean in real terms for you?

I have no steady job, lol - well Chorus and Verse is steady right now, but it means I need to get out there and find other writing jobs.

Michael and Terri Nunn of Berlin

You write a blog. Do you write short stories? Novels? Scripts?

None of the above. At some point I will write a novel though, I am sure. 

What were some of your favorite books, movies, tv shows growing up?

Oh I am the worst at remembering these things when put on the spot. I used to watch horror movies on the weekend with my Dad, things like Dracula, The Wolfman....I liked "Three's Company" initially when it first started, oh and "Happy Days" as well. "Where the Wild Things Are" and "James and the Giant Peach" were two books I liked.

You don't write about many issues. What is a hot button issue for you?
That is true I write to entertain, we need that now more than ever. There are so many hot button issues for me in the current climate it isn't even funny. I can not believe a woman's right to choose is coming under fire again, and that people's civil rights are being denied.

Do you think that is a sign of the changing political climate, that people are willing to accept that in this day and age?

I'm not sure what to make of it, I find it confusing, there are so many things that are "issues" that really are no one's business but the individuals.

 What is a typical day for Michael Shinafelt?

 Get up turn on the computer, work on the Internet PR for my client, write, look for writing jobs, the gym, yoga keeps me, call some friends...

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