If you follow @boomshankarclothing on social media, then there's no doubt you've come across the gorgeous and incredibly talented Shamita (@anfractuous). Shamita was lovely enough to collaborate with Boom for our Rainbow and Moonlight collection where she styles the pieces to match her own style.
We had the pleasure of asking Shamita a few questions about her creative style and her career as a performer. We hope you enjoy xx
Please Introduce yourselves briefly and let our followers know the many wonderful and creative things you do!
Hi there, I'm Shamita/ Sham. I wear many hats, but I'm mostly a performing artist, specialising in acting and dancing. When I'm not doing that, you can usually find me working on music videos and theatre productions as a movement director, or writer. I also model, host, and teach kids and adults dance, among a few other creative workshops!
Talk us through the journey that has led you to become a creative with so many talents!
I think to explain the journey is actually quite tricky, as I sort of 'fell into' a lot of the things I do today!
I started dancing at a very early age, and studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop. I branched into contemporary. and then picked up more unique styles like Bollywood, and Vogue. In high school i became a seasoned performer, having joined a semi professional dance crew at the age of 13, and performing at events ranging from car launches to weddings. This certainly didn't leave me with much time on my hands between 'working' and studying but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I knew i loved performing, and then in late high school caught the acting bug. Acting was the bridge between my expressive forms, and I became a better dancer because i took acting. In university I decided to undertake a BA Performing Arts. This opened me to so many areas of interest, including dance theatre (leading me to study 'Butoh', a Japanese physical theatre/dance form) as well as directing and writing for theatre. Moving to Melbourne for uni opened my eyes to so many different styles of performance.
I realised I didn't HAVE to just be 'a dancer' or 'an actor'. I wanted to create work for myself, especially because in most mainstream media, I know people with my look don't always get a million opportunities thrown their way. So whilst studying I dipped a toe into performance art, spoken word, drag, and experimental/ installation based performance. I did a little experimenting before i truly found my voice as a performer.
The next stepping stone was me falling into directing. I'd always been a keen writer, but directing was something I was unsure about for a while, mostly because I'm on the younger side in comparison to most directors. But whilst working on productions as a performer I'd occasionally observe directors and think to myself, "I could be doing your job far more efficiently, and with much less ego!" No joke, I'd had a few bad experiences, and as the saying goes, 'If you want something done, you've got to do it yourself'. Several directorial jobs later I figured hey, maybe I had a knack for directing after all.
You have worked on some incredible productions! What are some of your favourite roles or shows?
Oh this is a hard question! One of my favourite shows to work on to date has to be 'Baby Got Back'. This is a show that describes it self as a 'Rrriot girl strip club'. Its fiercely feminine, body/ sex positive, and its all about taking up space and being unapologetically you. I was invited to be a part of their third incarnation of the show (Baby got back: Size Queens) and it was both challenging and exciting for me. I was terrified to confront some of my own body issues, but before I could uplift other women to feel confident, I had to become more confident in myself first. I created an act called 'Warrior Invocation' and its probably one of my favourite acts to date. I still get puffed performing it no matter how fit I am!
I also really playing Yoni 1 in 'The Adventures of Yoni 1 and 2'- a very silly physical comedy play that was created as a response to the lack of marriage equality in Australia a few years back. If you're curious, give it a google. The costumes we created for the show were literally giant vulvas. There was almost no talking in the show, but it was an absolute hit, and despite being a comedy, it touched on a lot of the pain and frustration many of us were feeling during the marriage survey.
We love your style! What inspires the way you dress? Are there any style icons you look to?
Thank you! Honestly what inspires the way i dress is mostly practicality. On any given day I could be running from a rehearsal to a coffee/business meeting, to a dance class etc. This usually means I'm toting a very large, but somewhat cute bag so i can shove a change of clothes in there! I hate to say it but I wear activewear more often than I'd like. When I'm not being practical though, I love a pop of colour in my look. I came from the world of very grungy/ punk aesthetics and although I've grown past that somewhat, I do like breaking the rules of everything. So more is more for me. If i've got something plain on you can be sure i'll pair it with something colourful or printed or shiny for contrast, and I love DIY pieces. I also tend to shop salvos and alter things a lot. Some days I feel like being super femme and love a breezy midi skirt, other days I love baggy cargo pants and old cut off tees, it really depends how i feel when i wake up!
What is your favourite piece from the current Boom Shankar Collection?
It would probably have to be the Tully Jacket in Spearmint- it matches with so many outfits and its a great staple! It's also supremely comfy.
What do you love most about the work you do?
I love being able to tell stories and evoke emotions in my audiences. But also, there's never a dull moment! I'm constantly on my toes and juggling a few projects at once.
What is next for you and where do you hope to see your creative career head to in the future?
Things are really starting to ramp up now that we're coming out of isolation! I've got a few exciting things in the pipeline, including a dance film that I'm both writing and performing in with a good friend and collaborator of mine, as well as a brand new online talkshow about the business of the arts. 'UnScene' will be looking at whats behind the camera; and I'll be hosting interviews and chatting to heavy hitters of the Film, Tv and Theatre industries around Australia. Aside from that, I'm working on some projects for late 2020 and early 2021, including two seperate plays, and a potential feature film! I can't think too far ahead, as I like to focus on the now- but it'd be pretty great to eventually work on something in film/ tv overseas! I really disliked LA trips in the past, but I think I've grown a lot since and would definitely be open to a short LA stint!
Here, Shamita is wearing our Lux Shirt styled with pants of her choice.