how Shakah Herrera is Uncapping Abilities


Writer, actor and producer Shakah Herrera talks about the importance of never putting a cap on your abilities. 



Shakah Herrera

Occupations, affiliations, and projects.

I'm a Production Tech at Peloton. I act, write, and produce short content. I’m currently in the middle of finishing my short screenplay, which I’m aiming to shoot in the summer.


Firstly, I think it’s important to “do” because sitting around and talking about your passions without actually moving forward with the action of doing it—simply put, is a waste. Secondly, there are not many better feelings than following through on a passion. It’s an automatic high that is completely unrivaled.


#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.

I quote Hamlet—this was also my high school quote: “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” The same way that you learn what works from your successes, you can learn from your failures. Failures aren’t bad by any means—in fact, I believe that failures are necessary for growth—and I think they benefit you a lot more than the successes do. They just don’t feel as good.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?

It’s almost internal—I learned that the worst thing that anyone can do to themselves in crunch time is to doubt or put a cap on their own abilities. Whenever you install your own ceiling during your creative process, you limit your own progress. 95% of the time, we don't even know the limits of our own talents.

Stop caring about what other people think and just go for it.

To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?

I produced a short film that made the rounds in the festival circuit—which, I no joke, told everyone about in excitement. Everyone.

What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?

Everyone works on their own timeline. Comparing your successes to that of another, especially based on timing or age is sort of useless. There is no set deadline on when you should accomplish something. Just do you.

What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?

Three songs, I can’t decide on one: “I Wonder” by Kanye West, “Silver Soul” by Beach House, and “When Cold Air Goes to Sleep” by Radar Bros. All three songs legitimately calm me down.

Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.

Writing. Writing is pretty much an every day occurrence for me. Wanna get better at something? Do it as often as you can—the rinse and repeat method is real.


Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.

Barack Obama

Bill Murray

Josephine Baker

Langston Hughes

Sofia Coppola

What’s the best piece of advice that you can give someone right now?

Stop caring about what other people think and just go for it. I wish I adopted that mindset years ago… the second that you allow other people’s opinions—the ones that are geared to set you back—the cannots, will nots, and should nots—infiltrate your process, you’ll never get anything done.

I learned that the worst thing that anyone can do to themselves in crunch time is to doubt or put a cap on their own abilities.

3 words that you want to be remembered by.

Driven. Brave. Ambitious.

What’s the next goal?

Two goals for the end of the year—I want to shoot my own short film and to be in a commercial—two attainable goals but two goals that I’m excited to work at. I’m also finishing a full length screenplay (second of the year) so that’s in the chute as well.

By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?

Truthfully, I would just want to be remembered as someone who actually tried to pursue a dream. It’s difficult to get things started, I get that—but once you get over the hump of “thinking about things” and land in an area of “attempting things”—I believe that half the work is done once you get to that area. The rest is up to your drive and execution. That and networking. Networking never hurts.