#MotivationalMonday

Pamela Archer-Shaw is a multi talented, non-starving artist who is also the Pastor of 4th Wall Ministry Connects. Pam is in love with the journey she is on to sharing more and more of herself as an artist and child of God. This child of God has a bright talent with a promising future.

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What has been your most rewarding experience as an artist?

Pamela Archer-Shaw

The most rewarding experience has been having the realization that I can be an artist and the ability to have the talent. I have realized how much of a blessing it is to know that the gift is in me. I also, truly enjoy meeting wonderful people.

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What has been your favorite experience as an artist?

Pam

There have been so many experiences from being an artist that I have enjoyed such as having the faith to step out and give it a try. The joys of going on auditions and getting a call back or a non-call back! In this process I have done some writing and non-writing.

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When did you know that you wanted to be an artist? When did the light bulb click for you?

Pam

I didn’t originally know that I wanted to be an artist or that I even the ability.  The light bulb clicked when my daughters were not blessed with height and they made the middle school basketball team.  That year, I tried out for my first professional theater At the end of 2013, I went on my first audition and booked a role as Ensemble for “Twas the Night Before Christmas” for Virginia Repertory Theater, as Diana Mouse, one of the Sugar Plums.

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What has been your least favorite experience as an artist?

Pam

I am not a major fan of the lapse of time between shows to perform in.

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How long have you been working as an artist? How has that journey been for you overall?

Pam

I started in 2013, so it has been almost 4 years. It has been a great learning experience, especially knowing I have been learning as I go. I have done musical theater and non-musical theater. It was an adjustment having scripts with more music to just scripts with no songs and all dialogue. I appreciate being able to learn the lines and give people something to leave and remember. I have been working with The Heritage Ensemble Theater Company for most of that time because they are putting out African American work. The Amen Corner was my first lead role. I was in the ensemble back at VA Rep for The Colored Purple. I also did Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls as Lady in Brown, where I got to do some singing. I have also worked with Linda Elliot and done some film work.

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Artists face a lot of rejection. What has been the one experience that hurt a lot, but you grew from it?

Pam

The second audition I ever had was not a great experience. I was trying to sing in either the higher range or the lower range and that made the experience different each time. I walked away from that experience with frustration but I gained a layer of tough skin.

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You started out in the church as a youth leader and progressed to directing the choir, then started acting, then worked tech for shows, now you are directing and ministering. What has that journey been like?

Pam

It has been a complete growing process. I also was active with the Drama Ministry in the church working with the youth. The experience of seeing your words come to life as both writer and director was phenomenal. I wrote my first play for the church and have written about 5 or 6 plays altogether for the church. I was always part of the choir and I ended up directing the choir and then led a capella group. Acting fell into the mix. I have been totally led by God. He put the desire in my heart and me being brave enough to go do it. I am working to be courageous and bold to go do it.

#MtgMyDestiny

With all of these accomplishments in your bag, what else is on your bucket list in life?

Pam

I want to go to Broadway with one good run. No specific role.

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Would it be something you would have written yourself?

Pam

It doesn’t have to be, but it would be nice. I really want the experience to perform on that grand stage!

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If you could be the creator of any work, what would it be?

Pam

“The Me on the Inside of My Head,” written by me because there are always stories going on inside my head. I start writing them, but then come to a stopping point. There are four little ladies that live in my head and they are always going. My imagination takes me further than paper or computer can. I would love to get in there and put it out for everyone else to see.

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That would be a great title for your Broadway Production. “The Me Inside of My Head.” You heard it hear first, the title of her self-written Broadway Production where she could do a one-woman show. Speaking of one-woman shows, you have done one, a very successful one-woman show. How was that experience?

Pam

That was the most terrifying, knee knocking, hair greying, and teeth chattering experience. It was an amazing to know that I was capable of that type of show.

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Imagine you have fulfilled all your dreams. You leave the world and are reincarnated. What would you come back as?

Pam

I would come back as myself. If I had the chance to do it all over again, would I make the same decisions over again? Would I be coming back already knowing what I’ve ben through or with a clean slate? I would like to see “The Second Time Around as Myself.” Wow, that could be another good play! Is it meant for us to get it all right the first time?

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What is one scripture or saying that stands out to you in life?

Pam

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Everything happens with reason and purpose. He has always been there in the transition. HE never left me uncovered in the transition. He led me to meeting Margarette Joyner, with Heritage Ensemble has been a blessing and he has been pouring into my life.

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What type of advice would you have for a younger version of you?

Pam

To not be afraid and know I am enough. For a long time I thought I wasn’t enough, but now I know that I am enough!

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Are there any artists that are well known with whom you would like to work?

Pam

Michael Ealy doesn’t count does he, because he is cute. I would really want to work with Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, the sisters! There is a presence about Ms. Rashad. She has always had that Presence about her. I wanted to be on The Cosby Show. The same season I wanted to be on the show, Cousin Pam came on. I want to work with Debbie because I have heard of her and how she works with people, being commanding and demanding but with a gentle pull!

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What is one thing that gets under your skin and a must have in reference to professionalism in the theater?

Pam

Complaining and whining about rehearsals because it is your job, if this is what you want to do. I enjoy the camaraderie. Every body must enjoy themselves. I don’t like drama to be in the theater. Disagreements must come up, but conflict is unnecessary if we can all work together peaceably. I want you to come have fun and then go home!

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How has your support system been like along the journey from your family and friends?

Pam

I have a great support system that is 2-fold. Someone’s presence does not dictate their support of me. They can’t make it to every show. For those people who can make it to the shows feeling the love and the hugs makes it rewarding. My husband is very supportive in pushing me to go for my goals and my dreams. He really wants to see me go out there and do it! I just recently got an offer a role in DC and he said go break a leg. That was intimidating to start dealing with the pros. But at the end of the day I am getting to share the stage with the same people that have been working for some time.

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What exactly is Fourth Wall Ministry Connect?

Pam

It is the ministry to which I have been assigned. It is the basis of getting us out of the mindset that church is a building. Church is not a building but it is in each and every one of us. We dare to break the walls of tradition and religion and the things that keeps us from connecting with God, to break the wall of connecting ourselves with ourselves, and to break the wall with others. I am trying to bring you to the knowledge that you are a church, not trying to bring you to a building. Tearing down walls of fear, doubt, insecurity, oppression, depression, lack, and poverty. The purpose is to make us more transparent with people and being able to connect with other people. Why can’t we all come to the Christian playground and play?   We meet at the house, but still have decency and order. We evangelized on Easter Sunday. God is bringing us back to the days of Paul. He sent us out to bring them in to the adoption process of salvation. The ministry connects everything about me and who I am to my first love, Jesus Christ. You keep the flame burning by using who he created you to be.

#MtgMyDestiny

Do you have any final words of advice for the readers?

Pam

Don’t be afraid. Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Life can be intimidating.   He can make the least of them and them great. Take a breath and step out on the water and have faith in him to guide you!

Pamela, we thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and talk with us about your journey thus far. We look forward to what else is in store for you!

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