Five Questions for Shanta Thake

Shanta Thake

Shanta Thake

Name: Shanta Thake

Title/Occupation: Director of Joe’s Pub / Presenter

Organization/Company: Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater


1.Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Santa Claus, Indiana. Seriously. Moved to New York City after college to become an actress and abandoned that particular dream about a month in when I realized I had absolutely no interest in auditioning. Got a job at the Public Theater as an intern 10 days after moving to NYC and have been at the Public ever since.

2.Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you and why?

Paul Simon’s Graceland which I grew up listening to on repeat and still think is one of the greatest albums ever made- it’s most certainly a huge contributing factor to why I work in music. Also, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass which I saw in college and made me certain that live performance is not only important but can be transformative.

3. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?

I wish that I had a better memory so that when people asked me what shows I would recommend that are coming up I wouldn’t draw a total blank 9 out of 10 times.

4.What do you do to make a living? Describe a normal day.

Wake up. into work by 10. talk to amazing co-workers. email. email. meeting. listen to 400 new songs (approximately). email. meeting. email. email. meeting. see a show or three. drink cabernet. go to sleep. rinse and repeat.

5.Have you ever had to make a choice between work and art? What did you choose, why, and what was the outcome?

I chose both work and art although each has been compromised for the other on various occasions. The outcome is that I love my job and that I’m tired all the time.

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