• findSisterhood

Shanna Forrestall


Storyteller (Producer, Actress, Creative) and Founder of Forrestall Consulting

www.forrestallconsulting.com


Tell us about your career and how it all started?

I’ve never been one to work in a corporate environment. What I’ve learned I’ve learned in the field, on the job, by being mentored and just getting it done. I have an extremely diverse background. I have spent my life helping people and projects I believe in. I am now helping to tell stories that I believe are important to our society and our world.


What does sisterhood mean to you?

Even though it was men who had abused me most of my life until age 36, I had always had difficult relationships with women. My mom (an abuse survivor herself) is very aloof and was not able to teach me how to embrace or utilize my femininity.

It took me until my mid 30’s to become the kind of woman that other women could trust. I thought it was all “them” - it was me and the kind of women I was attracting into my life. I finally learned to work on freeing myself from insecurity, anxiety, and the need to be a “fixer” for everyone. It’s my life’s work and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.

Sisterhood to me means being in mature, kind and powerful relationships with women of all types. My “love coven” (as I like to call them) is diverse. We have different backgrounds, ethnicities, jobs and family situations, but we protect, encourage and love one another.

What's your personal mantra?

I am beautiful. I am strong. I am kind. I am perfect - just as I am, today.


What is your superpower?

Um, so many. I’m definitely part feline and part witch. Those gifts have their advantages…


Tell us about women that inspired you and your female role models:

My grandmother was a powerful woman who survived the early death of her first husband to cancer, and was left with four young children. She became a warden at a prison in Louisiana and told us stories of making up a whole persona (like making them believe she knew karate) so she wouldn’t get harassed and could do her job. She was a real character, and she and my grandfather, who she eventually met and married, spent almost 50 years with were the greatest love story I’ve ever seen.

I worked for an amazing woman named Jansje in Canada in my early 20’s. She was an amazing manager and we worked in a pretty much all male office. She was a beautiful mentor and watching the way she always handled herself with grace, power and femininity was a powerful life lesson I have never forgotten. She definitely imprinted my life and started me on my path to feminism.


What would be your advice for women who are building careers in your industry?

Try to focus on one area until you get really good at it. It’s difficult in the creative industries to stay in one place, and with my personality nearly impossible. But, like my acting coach used to say “you really don’t know anything about anything until you’ve done it for at least 10 years” - and he was right. I am just now starting to “understand” some of the things I do.


One piece of advice for your 18 year old self?

Never maintain a relationship with anyone who does not respect you or treat you kindly.


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