SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Shannon Mary Dixon: Absolutely! I’m Shannon Mary Dixon- actor, athlete, & director/writer. I’ve had starring and supporting roles in award winning feature films, short films, web series, TV and commercials. I trained at the top level Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland, graduated through the advanced improv class at renowned Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), and currently work with amazing acting teachers in Los Angeles like Shari Shaw and Aimee Deshayes. I’m also an Olympic level figure skater, and one of my first roles was skating on “The Office!” I’m a certified yoga instructor, motorcycle rider, equestrian and trained singer. Originally from Cape Cod, MA, I graduated Magna Cum Laude as a triple major in Theatre, Film and Graphic Design from Northeastern University in Boston MA. I love storytelling in all its forms, I adore films and reading!
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I actually didn’t discover acting until I was 20 years old. After stepping away from competitive figure skating, I turned my focus to fine arts, design, and film. I eventually picked up a theatre major to study set and costume design— that’s when I fell in love with acting and never looked back! But it all makes sense to me now— I’ve always been an avid reader and loved getting lost in the world of stories and ancient history, and with skating have always been used to performing, and elite training. It truly all comes together with acting as my profession.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Restare Dollar Baby film?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I saw a breakdown for Restare and was immediately drawn to the idea of playing 3 characters, so I read Stephen King’s Rest Stop short story and thought it was fascinating. I sent in my materials- I actually almost didn’t get to audition because their schedule filled up before I could confirm, but luckily AJ and David were able to squeeze me in!
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I think the idea of alter ego and what it takes to overcome fear or take action is fascinating from a human perspective. We all think we might act a certain way when faced with situations, or even opportunities, but when they occur do not always live up to those expectations. So sometimes we create a version of ourselves that can achieve what our other ‘selves’ may not be able to. And then the versions of ourselves we’ve created become dependent on one another- it’s a very meta and interesting concept. Also, with much of Stephen King’s work and certainly David’s adaptation, the lines of reality and fantasy become blurred. Who is real and who isn’t? What part of reality is just an invention of how we want to see the world or ourselves? There is a lot to contemplate for sure.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I did audition! If I remember correctly, I was actually having a terrible day that day. I think all the emotion I had pent up released when I was reading for the character of Ellen in the audition and I came sort of unhinged- it helped me win the role! So…I guess the moral of that story is sometimes a bad day can lead to something great.
SKSM: You worked with David Chien on this film, how was that?
Shannon Mary Dixon: David is a very talented director! He certainly has a clear vision for his work and his perspective is different, unique. He was extremely prepared and thorough- overall working with him was exciting.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Shannon Mary Dixon: There was an intense moment where we were recording some ADR for the fight interaction that happens in the script (behind closed doors), and everyone was quiet for recording just listening to me go completely awol on myself with all sorts of evil/ Stephen King phrases from the story. It got really escalated and I went sort of mad, swearing, crying, screaming, just creating a whole domestic dispute/ fight with myself as if I were multiple people! I definitely remember nervous laughter and sighs of relief when we were done with that haha!
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Shannon Mary Dixon: David and AJ do stay in touch and always keep us all updated on this project! I’ve seen David at a few other events/ happenings in LA as well. He was very supportive of my directorial debut too, a short film I directed/produced called Down the Road.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I just closed out a sold out theatrical run of a stage adaptation of Spoon River where I got to play 11 characters! I also just wrapped production on a dramatic short film, Through the Corners, I shot in Kansas. I’m currently slated to play a role in the Western feature film, The Outlaws of Mendicino, shooting the fall of 2022.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I have always liked Stephen King! I’ve read the whole Dark Tower series which definitely made an impression on me- I’ve always been drawn to epic tales, especially ones with multi-dimensional or sci-fi themes. I also remember reading his collection of stories, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, when I was maybe 12 on a family vacation in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and being unable to fall asleep in our little beach cottage because I was so scared! It was the finger in the drain story for me. Sticks with me to this day.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Shannon Mary Dixon: I love to break the mold- I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 10 years now! I definitely don’t think people expect me to be a rider when they meet me. I also am a stunt driver and am training in martial arts.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Shannon Mary Dixon: Thanks so much for the opportunity to answer your questions! To everyone- I hope you enjoy the film and thanks so much for your support.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Shannon Mary Dixon: Only to follow your passions, and that art matters. Keep making your magic, whatever that may be!