Shannon Burns possesses a quality that makes you feel like you’re best friends when you haven’t even met. I first saw Shannon on the big screen as a Cineplex Pre-Show Host and instantly took a liking to her. Her on-air presence and interviewing skills come so naturally; watching an interview with her and Alessia Cara is like watching two friends catch up.
If her hilarious skits about Justin Bieber deleting his Instagram or living vicariously through her Music Festival adventures isn’t enough to make you like her, she’s so incredibly charming, down-to-earth, and on top of that, a genuinely kind person.
Shannon grew up in Burlington Ontario and has always had an obsession with pop culture. Countless nights were spent sitting in front of her TV making lists of all the celebrity names she could remember. After graduating from Niagara College with a TV & Radio Broadcasting Degree under her belt she packed up her car and moved to Alberta for a radio station internship.
Not a stranger to hard work with no pay, Shannon worked her way up to The Evening Show Announcer for 104.9 Virgin Radio Edmonton. Now she gets to talk about all the celebrities she wants!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was about seven I decided I wanted to be a Ventriloquist. My mom bought me a dummy and my dad took me to the library so I could get books and study how to talk without moving my lips. I also forced my teacher to let me do shows in front of my class.
Who is the person that inspires you the most?
My mom inspires me every day. The older I get, the more I realize how much I relied on her for everything and how often she would help me with zero complaints. She had to deal with my dad passing away when my three siblings and I were all under the age of thirteen. Not only has she done a killer job at raising us but in the process she opened a successful restaurant that’s been booming for over a decade.
What’s your favorite movie?
It’s so hard to pick just one. Grey Gardens will always be up there on my list because it’s unlike anything I’ve watched before and it’s easily Drew Barrymore’s best performance. I’m also a big fan of the movie Dan in Real Life. The chemistry, the soundtrack, the story: it’s all perfect.
What’s your favorite television show?
I can watch reruns of the US version of The Office all day, every day. There is no better character out there than Michael Scott.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
“Don’t chase the dollar.” My mom told me this when I was in high school and trying to decide what I wanted to go to college for. She reminded me that if I pursue a career to solely make money I will never end up happy. She told me to go after whatever I’m passionate about and that’s exactly what I did.
What’s the worst advice you’ve received?
“You should settle down, marry a nice man and raise a family” A good friend told me that after I told her I was moving to Alberta from Ontario to pursue a career. She had a hard time understanding that marriage isn’t the only thing women strive for in life.
Who is someone from your past that has made an impact on you, but you’ve never told them?
I once had the chance to interview a woman who was kidnapped when she was walking to her car, raped and stabbed over a dozen times before she managed to escape. Being a victim of sexual assault myself, I think about her whenever I’m having a bad day. I think, if she gets herself out of bed every morning and leaves the house I have no excuse.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to be a lot more successful in media, hopefully getting to stand on a few red carpets and also sit down and interview some of the people that inspire me the most. I’d like to be married with one or two kids running around. I’d also love to be able to cook more than noodles and frozen pizzas, that’s the real dream.
Would you rather go back to the past and change one thing or have the chance to see your future?
I don’t believe in regretting anything from the past, especially since I like the person I am now, despite all the embarrassing things I’ve done when I was younger. I’d like to see the future so I can see if I end up being a hot mom.
What’s something people assume about your career that isn’t true?
People always assume I pick the music during my radio show. There’s a strategy that goes behind the that songs are in and the amount of times they are played in Top 40 radio. When I come in for my radio show everything is scheduled and ready to go in the computer, I just have to fill in the rest with content. People also assume my salary is a lot higher than it is.
What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Convincing not only myself but others around me that they should pay me for talking. Getting my first on-air job was difficult and nerve wracking but I studied and practiced a ton and it eventually paid off.
Oprah Winfrey. I would be her Stedman any day.
If you could go back and give your 20 year old self advice what would it be?
Keep doing what you’re doing, it will lead to great opportunities. But stop spending so much money on stupid things like going out to eat all the time. We could have had a good looking savings account by now.
How do you want people to remember you?
A supportive and trustworthy friend, a hard worker and a genuine person.