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  • Writer's pictureShawna Brakefield-Haase

Welcome to my first blog!

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

After nearly 30 years in the entertainment industry, I'm excited to share my experiences with you.

First, where it all started and why I went all in.

How my height changed the direction of my life.

As early as I could remember, I wanted to be a jockey. Even before I ever rode my first horse. At seven years old I kept a scrap book of jockeys torn out of magazines - Laffit Pincay, Jr., Bill Shoemaker, Jorge Velasquez, Gary Stevens - these were my heroes. It never occurred to me they were short and minimal weight. At seven, so was I. But, it was more than admiration, it was pure envy.

I suppose I got my love of horses, specifically going fast on horses, from my father. A longshoreman by trade, my father spent every spare minute at the track with me in tow. I watched every race atop his shoulders. I can still feel the ground shake, the sound of hooves and the crowds' chorus. It was powerful. This sense of empowerment I could only compare to one thing - movies.

In my puberty summer of 1979 I grew three inches. My legs dragged the ground beneath my pony.

I found a way to scratch the 'fast on horses' itch by barrel racing and jumpers -at 12 my life was over.

While my father gave me the love of horses and speed, my mother gave me movies. A postal worker and single mother, no matter how broke we were, she found a way to afford us tickets to the movies. My mother took me to WAY too advanced movies for my age. God Father at 10 years old. Mom. Really? Horse head in the bed - enough said.

But, what made me want to make movies and not just watch them was not how they made me feel, but how they made my mother feel. I watched her transform from worried, exhausted and sad to belly laughs and therapeutic tears. Watching her watch movies was more entertaining than the movie itself. She was all in. For those two hours the bills were paid, my brother wasn't doing drugs and maybe someday she'd find love again. If that's what movies can do to people. I was all in.

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Laurann Bartlett
Laurann Bartlett

The only way to tell a story is to be all in. The result is a film that transforms the viewer. Nossa Chapa made me a soccer fan. Momentum Generation made me a surfing fan. I'm looking forward to A Las Callas and Side Show.

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