Heather Shore is the CEO and co-founder of Women of HERstory, and co-host of Women of HERstory: A Podcast. As a performing artist, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept through NYC, she knew she had to embark on a new adventure- entrepreneurial- as there was no guarantee of when live theatre would be making its’ way back to our stages. Heather has always had a passion for history, and the discrepancies in the representation of women in the archives. Women of HERstory is dedicated to celebrating women who have made, or are making, their mark on society. The juxtaposition of women of the past with interviews with women of today helps us to realize how far we’ve come, how far we still have to go, and brings recognition to women who have otherwise been edited down to a sentence in a textbook chapter. She hopes to be able to expand the business and podcast to reach as many people as possible! Throughout her life, Heather has pursued the arts in all forms, with a primary focus on the performing arts. She has performed all over the world, including Kagoshima, Japan and Florence, Italy. After completing ballet education at North Central School of Ballet under the direction of Les Jordan III in Keller, TX, Heather went to the University of North Texas to study dance. It was during this time that she fell in love with Musical Theatre and everything it has to offer. Heather sung throughout her life, and MT
offered a combination of her two greatest loves, dancing and singing! That doesn’t mean she isn’t interested in everything under the sun, from baseball and knitting, to cooking and a particular obsession with parkour, Heather strives to learn as much as she can about anything that comes across her path. After a dear friend’s life was tragically and suddenly cut short just before entry into University, Heather decided that life was too short to not take risks to make your dreams come true. After a few years at UNT, and scrimping as many pennies as possible, Heather packed up four suitcases and moved to New
York City. She hit the ground running and booked numerous concerts, tours, and shows across the United States and the globe.
What inspired you to enter the field of media and arts?
The arts have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom is a musician, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I grew up singing with her sitting at the piano playing whatever sheet music I plopped down in front of her… we had everything from NSYNC to Fats Waller to Vincenzo Bellini, and everyone in between. When I wasn’t singing, I was dancing, and I was always encouraged to follow the paths that made me happy. As a family we went to museums, operas, ballets, you name it. So, the arts were always a given. Media is a fairly new endeavor for me, as I find myself learning how to be “on the other side of the table” so to speak. I’ve always been on a stage or in front of a camera, so when I found myself at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in a position where those things weren’t exactly an option anymore, I knew I needed to find a new creative outlet, and podcast production seemed like an interesting new direction!
When you first decided to pursue your career, what impact did you intend to make?
I find that the answer to this question is ever-evolving. Because I set myself on a path in arts and media as a child, I can honestly say I wanted the spotlight- which is a perfectly acceptable answer. Pretty quickly I found that there were things I could bring to the discussion when it came to artistic direction- so the answer at that time would have been that I had found my artistic voice, and I wanted it to be heard. As I come into my 30s, it’s a much different story. My intention, be it through performing arts, Women of HERstory, visual art, or anything new that comes my way, is to not just open doors for myself, but to prop the door open and invite the neighborhood in for a seat at the table.
Who are some people who inspired you to be who you are today?
I’ve been so fortunate to have a number of people who have inspired me to be who I am today. My mom, Lara, is the most artistic, selfless, and passionate person I’ve ever met. My dad, Danny, is full of adventure, dedication, and love. My brother, Daniel, is logical, supportive, and ambitious. My partner, Joe, is kind, and is constantly working on ways to better himself. I don’t tell them enough, but their incredible displays of these qualities through good and bad times have inspired me to be the best version of myself. Professionally, Jill Lord and Les Jordan have provided me with not just training, but support and encouragement that is unparalleled.
What has the pandemic taught you personally and professionally?
Nothing is certain, and I can do way more than I ever thought myself capable of. I’ve learned that I must always be open to opportunities, connections, pivots, and even missteps- professionally and personally.
What feedback have you received from the Women of HERstory Podcast?
Overwhelmingly positive! When Joe and I started the podcast, we had no idea our audience and guests would be global. Our “HERstorians” has been amazing, sending in episode requests, referring amazing women they would like to hear an interview from, and more. I think it’s important to know our history as women. We’ve been reduced to “figure A” in so many textbooks, or outright omitted, so I think that’s what’s resonating with our audience. Hearing the very real contributions that women of the past have made, alongside interviews with women of right now making incredible moves, puts a new perspective on what we can do!
What is a super fun fact about yourself that many may not be aware of?
I don’t know how fun this fact is, but I love math. To the point where I own a few books about math that are genuinely fun for me to read. It’s a universal language, and the decisions we make throughout our lives are based on various mathematical principals, whether we consciously know it or not! The book, “The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity” by Steven Strogatz, is incredible, and I cannot recommend it enough.
What is a quote that you live by?
Oh no, can I list three?? They’re more sayings than they are famous quotes.
1. “You can never know the whole story.” This to me can apply to any and every single situation you will ever find yourself in. No matter what you think you know, there is always more to it. Which segues into my next one…
2. “Perception is reality.” No matter how well-intended you may be, if you are going about your life unaware of the way you are coming across to others, you aren’t doing it right. This is one that I’ve had to really take to heart, as I tend to be blunt in situations where it would be just as easy to find a nicer way to get my point across. This leads me to my last one…
3. “At the very least, don’t make someone’s day worse.” I think this one is especially crucial in the divisive social climate we are all currently living in. It takes zero effort to not make someone’s day worse. Someone expresses their love for something you’re not a fan of? Don’t make them feel bad for something that brings them joy. Hold your tongue.
What is the best advice you ever received?
To watch how I speak to myself. I was going through a rough time, professionally and personally, and when I say the self-roasting was real and constant, I would be putting it lightly. A co-worker of mine was on the receiving end of a particularly mean diatribe of self-hatred, and they stopped me and said, “would you ever let anyone talk to you the way you’re talking about yourself? I have a feeling you would shut them down immediately. Watch how you speak to yourself.” That was everything I needed to hear. We are all so quick to be our own harshest critics, but we have to be able to take a step back and think, “Do I really think this little of myself? Would I ever let someone else speak to me this way? Would I ever speak to someone I care about, or even a stranger, the way I’m speaking to myself?”.
What can we be on the lookout for from you?
I wish I had a better answer than the unsatisfactory one I’m about to give. We have some top-secret projects in the works over here at HERstory HQ, along with my own artistic endeavors, so I can’t give many details, other than make sure you’re following our social medias and check our website for updates!
For more information please visit www.ofherstory.com
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