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Host Bios

ShawnShawn

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Florida when I was about 11. Had lived in Florida majority of my life, met lots of people and experienced some awesome things up into my 20s. I wanted a slight bit of a change so packed up and move to the BIG City...NEW YORK CITY when i was 26 and have been here ever since! I’ve always been a really outgoing person and love to joke around and always had a strong passion to become and actor and/or dancer. Being that I have a very diverse background; I’m Puerto Rican, Brazilian and African American, dancing is a very big thing with my family and friends and with my culture and I love it! I think I’ve followed acting a little more, though! You meet awesome people like my co-host and production team and you just have the time of your life learning new things about the world and other people everyday! 

After living in Orlando for some time i had the chance to really get into my zone of adult life and really experience the different opportunities that are out there for me. Still a huge fan of acting and movies, etc., though my love of fashion has started to overshadow a lot. So took what i learn working in the fashion industry from Orlando with me to NYC. Working with top designer clothing stores while modeling at the same time has giving me a new found respect for fashion, different styles and trends. I must say I love throwing things together and seeing what I come out with! Living in NYC has open the doors for me in so many ways in the fashion world. I am now a Fulltime Visual Merchandiser and Stylist for some of the biggest names and designer companies in the world. Mother always said find something you love and make it your career, and I’m happy to say I have. At the same time, me being a people person has its advantages also. Started school majoring in Marketing and Advertising mainly because I’m big into networking. Love meeting different people from different backgrounds and with the help of school it’s helped me into getting where I’m at today and hopefully takes me a lot farther!

In my spare time, I love just relaxing with my friends and going to the beach. My friends and family mean a lot to me and they’ve always been there and supported me in everything I’ve done – love you all!

This experience being involved with such great people while working on Real Life 101 has been amazing! The people we interview and the things I learn have opened up my eyes to lots of great jobs out there that people do every day! To our fans and devoted viewers…Good luck in everything you do! I hope my co-host and I can help you decide where you want to be in life and inspire you to work your hardest to get there. The sky’s the limit and you can do whatever you want if you put your mind into it! Thanks a lot for the support and keep watching!

FAVORITES

  • COLOR: Turquoise 
  • FEMALE ACTRESS: Meryl Streep
  • MALE ACTOR: Denzel Washington
  • TYPE OF MOVIE: Horror/Action…pretty much anything
  • TYPE OF MUSIC: Reggaeton/Hip Hop and R&B
  • MUSIC GROUP/ARTIST: Maroon 5, Pharrell and Rihanna
  • TV SHOW: How To Get Away WIth Murder and Top Chef
  • FOOD: Hmm…Anything - mostly Spanish
  • HOBBIES: Dancing, shopping, traveling and sleeping (Haha!)
  • HOW I WOULD SPEND AN IDEAL DAY: It being about 96 degrees outside and just spending the perfect day out at the beach with my closest friends and family, jet skiing, tanning and grubbing down some great burgers, while scoping out all the beautiful people, of course! LOL
  • SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE TO KNOW: Hmmm…Well honestly, people would assume since I’m a host on this show, that I’m comfortable in front of the camera. Well, though I love my job and acting and such things like that, I’m actually very camera shy! Haha, I don’t know why, but I’d rather be thrown into a room of a hundred strangers and be forced to make friends than be in front of a camera, but with the help of my production team, they keep me pretty mellow and relaxed! Surprise, surprise!

HelenaHelena

I grew up in the beautiful little fishing village of Fort Walton Beach, Florida and was instantly introduced to the business. Born into a family of performers - my father is a technical director and lighting designer for the stage, and my mother is an actress and acting teacher - I have been blessed with their support in my pursuit of the arts. I grew up surrounded by actors and did my homework offstage at my mother’s rehearsals. Eventually and inevitably, I fell in love with both sides of the craft – I spent summers with my father backstage as his Assistant Stage Manager and the school year learning from my mother as her student. The bug even bit my little sister, who is pursuing a degree in stage management!

I recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BFA in Acting, and will spend my last year in Florida as a company intern at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. I am also a dedicated stage combat artist, with 6 weapon certifications from the Society of American Fight Directors. I plan to be a certified teacher by next summer and pursue stunt work for stage and film. Real Life 101 fell into my lap, and I have been so blessed with the opportunity to share this next season with you! There are so many jobs and adventures out there for you, and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on!

FAVORITES

  • COLOR: Yellow
  • FEMALE ACTRESS: Charlize Theron (she does her own stunts!)
  • MALE ACTOR: Kevin Spacey
  • TYPE OF MOVIE: Action
  • TYPE OF MUSIC: Pop and Jazz
  • MUSIC GROUP/ARTIST: Ariana Grande (no shame)
  • TV SHOW: The Office
  • FOOD: I’m a vegetarian! I make mean sweet potato fries!
  • HOBBIES: Yoga, weightlifting, singing, wine tasting, hanging out with my two perfect cats
  • HOW I WOULD SPEND AN IDEAL DAY: Early morning yoga on the beach, followed by a relaxing day spent with friends, good food, and somewhere along the way I adopt four new cats.
  • SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE TO KNOW: My favorite fighting style is sword and shield. I can also shoot an arrow from horseback! (Game of Thrones, feel free to call anytime!)
  • WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE INTERVIEW (AND WHY?): This is a tough one. I’m a big animal lover, so the interview at the dog grooming salon was awesome! Who doesn’t love getting to snuggle puppies?
  • WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS FOR YOUR FUTURE?  I plan to move to Chicago next summer to pursue my acting career. I want to become a certified teacher for the SAFD and eventually become a Fight Master – there’s only been one female fight master in their history – I think it’s time to change that!

JillianJillian

I grew up in Florida with my family and loved being near the beach. I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a double major in Philosophy and Communication. After graduating I was a creative director at a church for a few years, and then worked as an afternoon anchor for my local NBC news station. Several opportunities for local commercials and hosting have come from those experiences.

Apart from hosting Real Life 101 I work in communications for a network of clinics. I also do freelance graphic design. In my free time I love having coffee with my best friends, going to the beach, and working on creative art projects. It's so important to stay active with your hobbies as a stress reliever! 

I'm really not that old (I think), but I have had quite a few odd jobs and a handful of incredible jobs. Since I was fourteen I have done everything from being a coffee shop manager, a nanny, a traveling live video tech for conferences, a graphic designer, a social media manager, a news traffic anchor, and of course, a television host. I have basically pursued whatever interested me at the time. Now that I'm sort of settled with life I realize that what I'm doing now is what I want to do for the long-haul. Sometimes you have to dabble in a few things to find what your passion is. 

When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror ask yourself, "What do I feel like doing today?" Then do that. Find a way to make money doing whatever it is you're interested in. Go and interview (or buy lunch for) a person who is successful in that industry. People always are willing to talk about themselves and how they got to be so successful. Be willing to take an entry-level position and work your way up; and of course, always pursue more education!

Thank you so much for spending time with us on Real Life 101. Your support means a lot! I hope that you watch an episode that sparks your interest in a career. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll be interviewing you and your profession. :)

FAVORITES

  • COLOR: Jewel toned blue. I painted my first kitchen in that color!
  • FEMALE ACTRESS: Reese Witherspoon
  • MALE ACTOR: Jason Bateman
  • TYPE OF MOVIE: Pseudo-science health documentaries on Netflix and psychological thrillers. 
  • TYPE OF MUSIC: Indie Rock
  • MUSIC GROUP/ARTIST: Justin Timberlake 4 evaaaa!!! (And Kimbra)
  • TV SHOW: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ozark, Big Little Lies, The Office
  • FOOD: Anything spicy! Mexican/Indian/Japanese...just HOT!
  • HOBBIES: Making graphics and videos! I also love to decorate. 
  • HOW I WOULD SPEND AN IDEAL DAY: Any day relaxing with my family.
  • SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE TO KNOW: On another show I wrestled an alligator. I won.

AlecsaAlecsa

Although I was born in a small town in Ohio, after twenty years in Florida I’ve come to call both states home. When I was growing up I would spent time in places that were urban, rural and everything in between. It showed me how to appreciate both going outdoors and the rapid pace of the city life. I learned early on that the world is a big and beautiful place, and I have been innately curious ever since. I love trying new things and pushing my limits!

I have always been in love with the arts. I learned to read because I wanted to sing along in church. I read like a fiend all through elementary school and experienced my first singing solo when I was in the third grade. I still remember it, and even though I’m older I can still smile my same toothy grin just thinking about it. In middle school I learned flute and saxophone and began dancing as well.

It was in high school that I found my home in musical theatre. I performed in Pippin: His Life and Times my freshman year and the rest is history. I spent my first two years of college trying everything from biology to a stricter pursuit of music, but all things let me back to entertainment. I am currently pursuing degrees in both Theatre Studies and Radio-TV Production at The University of Central Florida. It is an incredible amount of work, considering that doesn’t include my job or internship, but it is absolutely worth it to get a great education!

Hard work is exactly what it sounds like: hard work. But there’s a sweet spot between ambition and fun, and the definition of that would be passion. Although I’m always doing something to become a better writer and performer, every class and long day always has that exhilaration of doing what I love to do. Every single person that I have the opportunity to speak with on Real Life 101 shares that zest, and it’s just a great big cycle of passion. I hope that when you watch Real Life 101 that we can share a bit of that excitement with you!

FAVORITES

  • COLOR: Mint green
  • FEMALE ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence
  • MALE ACTOR: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • TYPE OF MOVIE: Anything that makes you think
  • TYPE OF MUSIC: Rock and Roll, dude!
  • MUSIC GROUP/ARTIST: Manchester Orchestra
  • TV SHOW: Bob's Burgers
  • FOOD: Mediterranean food of all kinds
  • HOBBIES: Acting, singing, dancing, yoga, biking, reading, writing, photography, exploring, trying new foods and exploring the wide world of tea and coffee.
  • HOW I WOULD SPEND AN IDEAL DAY: An early morning ballet class, followed by breakfast and reading, then a day exploring museums and seeing some live music. Jazz and blues rock my socks!
  • SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE TO KNOW: Although I’m very outgoing, I am actually an introvert! I love meeting new people, but staying in and spending time with my cat, Gigi, is how I recharge after a long week.
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