Sharrod is a performing artist, teacher, and choreographer based in New York City. He took his passion for music and dance and transformed it into a career. He’s performed with esteemed concert dance companies, on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in over 40 states on national tours.
SO, HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?
I was born into an artistic family. I studied voice and music at a performing arts school. It was in my blood and my parents took advantage of every opportunity where we could have an outlet to develop our talents. It wasn’t until college that I got the courage to explore my desire for movement and leave music behind for a bit. I was obsessed with the movie Center Stage as a child, and then So You Think You Can Dance came about, and I knew I had to give it a shot. I was a natural and went on to graduate with a degree in dance from Montclair State University. My last year of college, I was cast in the musical A Chorus Line with a lead role and fell madly in love with theatre. I’d finally felt like I found a craft where I could use my singing and dancing talents and learn acting along the way. After graduating, I went on to perform in dance companies, national tours, on Broadway, and in TV and film. I absolutely love being an artist and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to have patience and show up for yourself. In this industry, it’s easy to compare your life to your colleagues and friends. You can become jealous of the opportunities they may get before or instead of you. But I constantly remind myself that everyone's journey is different and I must be patient until I receive my blessing. When my chance comes, I have to fully show up and be ready to seize the moment.
"Doing the thing that scares you most is so good for you. That is how you grow. You may be surprised by all the things you learn you are capable of doing."
ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
I recently completed a run as a cast member of Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. As a offstage swing in this show, I cover and performed any of five roles as needed. I was challenged and stretched in all the best ways as a performer. Being a swing in any show was something I had no desire to do and was unsure if I would even be good at. It almost hindered me from accepting a place in Hamilton. But, I did it in the end, and today I am proud of my new found sense of self and artistry. Doing the thing that scares you most is so good for you. That is how you grow. You may be surprised by all the things you learn you are capable of doing.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
I define success as the outcome of doing your absolute best. If you can look at your life and be proud of all you’ve accomplished, then you are successful.
WHAT ROLE DOES FAILURE PLAY IN BEING SUCCESSFUL?
As an artist, we fail all the time. A big part of our lives is auditioning. Again, a lot of putting yourself out there. You’re constantly trying to be something different and stand out from the crowd. And it’s a lot of getting told “no.” I think it’s helped me to have tough skin. You can’t really run and cry in the corner at the first “no” you get. You have to have that tough skin to keep going and know that it’s not a direct reflection on your talent.
ROLE MODELS OR MENTORS?
My dad. It’s nice to have that rock. That person in your life that will keep you on the straight and narrow in moments when you want to stray away or make a crazy choice. I’ve also had great teachers. One is my modern dance teacher from college, Karen Gayle. She’s that old school dance mom who really believed in me early on and pushed me to work hard. She teaches in New York and I still take her class.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
These days, others inspire me. Seeing people close to me, and even people I don’t know, achieve their goals is very inspiring.
HOW DO YOU REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL EVERY DAY?
I accept that there are not enough hours in the day. I am used to being stretched thin and having too much to do. So aligning myself with a list and taking it day-by-day is what helps me reach my full potential.
"I define success as the outcome of doing your absolute best. If you can look at your life and be proud of all you’ve accomplished, then you are successful."
GO-TO PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
When I was little, my dad noticed that I would always talk about being overwhelmed by the things I had to do. So he taught me to make a “things to do” list every day and to do each task one at a time. It’s stuck with me to this day and never fails.
PIECE OF ADVICE?
Explore and expose yourself. There are layers to everyone’s passion, trade, or profession. Get to know as much as you can, so you can find where you truly belong in your field.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
The best way to get through life on Broadway is to make sure you have a solid work-life balance. The things I do outside of work have become just as important as performing because they keep me sane. I recently started a Vlog on IGTV called, Hiii You Guys! It’s mini-episodes about the crazy life adventures and inspirational things that I’ve experienced along the way after turning 30 this past January. It’s super fun to do and I’ve gotten such wonderful responses from friends and family. I plan on bringing it to YouTube as well!
IF YOUR FRIENDS COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY IN ONE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Fierce. I am literally the male Olivia Pope from Scandal. If you get the TV show reference, that will explain everything.
FAVORITE SELF-CARE PRACTICE?
A spa day, hands down. A massage, sauna, and steam room moment always makes me feel better.
FAVORITE WAY TO LET LOOSE?
My favorite thing to do is to have a #WineDown — yes, like wind down — with my besties. I’m a white wine boy through and through. Invite the friends over, music, order in, and laugh the night away. It’s always a good time!
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
New York City. I’m ready to get back to the city I love and make more dreams come true.