I grew up on a farm outside of Reliance, SD. The closest town, Reliance, was 11 miles away and the closest neighbor was four. So no sneaking out for me in middle school or high school. Oh, and my high school was 40 miles away. Yeah, sneaking out was not going to happen at all.
My childhood was often times very lonely. I played with some school friends who would come out to stay and with all the animals, but I was often left to my own imagination. My mom had me take piano lessons, but hated to hear me practice. I was not a natural pianist, but I could sing. That was discovered by a music teacher when I was in 2nd grade. There was a music program that year and the story was about Christopher Columbus. The main character had a lot to sing in it. My music teacher could hear that I could sing and decided that I should play Christopher Columbus. I can’t really judge my performance now but I remember the costume was made up of a shirt and pants I borrowed from friends and paper tri-cornered hat. I remember afterwards all the adults coming up me and saying, “I didn’t know you could sing so well.” Even the principal, everyone was blown away.
That was my first real acting gig. I did to more singing throughout school and college. I stopped playing piano when I got to college. I just realized it wasn’t my instrument. Singing wasn’t really it for either, but I enjoyed it more and still do although I don’t do karaoke.
It was in college that I realized the power of movies. I decided a couple of years after college to move to Minneapolis, MN to study filmmaking. Minneapolis was, at the time, a hot spot for indie filmmaking. I moved, but got distracted by life happening.
Acting happened to me. I did not go seeking it really. I sometimes refer to me getting into acting was similar to the reason why Laurel and Hardy went in the French Marines. They went because they got a girl in “trouble”. I went into acting because of a boy. My heart was broken, really broken. I felt so sad and upset. I knew I had to pull myself out of this funk, so I decided to take a class as the Guthrie Theater called Acting for Fun. One night after we had loosened up, our teacher told us all become dogs. I instantly became a Chihuahua and grabbed someone’s pant leg with my mouth and starting pulling and growling. Nothing else mattered I was a dog grabbing a pantleg. It was amazing and fun and I knew this was it for me.
After looking up different teachers I decided to work with Charters Anderson. He had a theater and his students were who he cast in them. I also studied with Cynthia Ulrich, Stevie Ray (improv), and Sandra K Horner.
I moved to LA when I felt like it was time. I had done theater and some short films in Minneapolis. I was hungry for a new city. I also wanted a new climate. The year I left Minneapolis was probably the coldest that I had experienced there. The day I left it was 35 degrees, but it had been 14 below zero. Also, a blizzard chased me and my moving partner almost to Texas. I was glad to be gone. No more needing to shovel my car out or the driveway, no more chipping off the ice. I was ready until I hit the mountains. I was scared out of my mind driving through the mountains. In fact, after I made it through I told me family I would not be back for a long time and I would be flying.
Here in LA I transitioned quite well. I made it my home. I missed some things from Minneapolis (I still do), but LA is now my home. If I start to think of the things that I don’t like out here, I’m also reminded of everything that I love. I’ve grown as an actress and writer. I’ve grown spiritually. I would not be able to that anywhere but here and I’m grateful.
Last summer I worked on producing a film that I had written. It could not be filmed at that time. However, I learned a lot about filmmaking and I would like to learn more. Specifically, I'd like to learn more about location scouting and casting. I'm open to being an assistant either a location scout or be a reader/casting session assistant for a casting director.
Name: Shirl Boe
Lives in: North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California
Occupation: Producer and Actor