We had the good fortune of connecting with Chonique Sneed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chonique, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work–life balance, for me in the entertainment industry, has always been a constant hustle and flow. Being in ” the business” since I was a kid, I juggled a lot, including school work, all of my extra curricular activities, chores, and auditions. Yet I always found time to just be a kid, and my mom nurtured that balance, even if I was working. It probably has also been instilled in me, since I’m born and raised in Los Angeles. Along with working in the business, there was always a “real life” to return to. I made sure to have a balance while pursuing my dreams, and that was just as important to me. Once I got older, and success, deadlines and more responsibility accumulated, it was a lot harder to juggle. So I found that scheduling my social, and wellness life, in my calendar, and making it a priority, (just as important as work), keeps that balance flowing. In other words, showing up for yourself, and your loved ones. It’s not perfect, because my industry is simply an ebb and flow, but it’s a practice, that I always go back to.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Choreographer, Creative producer, and Artist. I started this wild entertainment journey as a child actress and studied Musical Theatre, Dance & Drama in school. I just loved performing, and that fired me up to want to do all parts of the entertainment industry.
I think what sets me apart in my journey, is that I was exposed to so much at a young age, growing up in L.A. There were a good amount of child/teen actors at my school. We were all going out on auditions, and working a bit, including Leonardo DiCaprio.. Our drama and dance teacher Miss Stringos, kept us all inspired, prepared, and goal oriented, She even took our Drama class to New York for a week to go see broadway plays for inspiration.
I did a few small gigs as a kid actor, yet I was working with big names like, Whoopie Goldberg, Toby McGuire, Richard Pryor. However MY acting career didn’t seem to take off like I had hoped. I struggled… until one day things began to turn around for me, but in the dance world. I crashed a dance agency audition, and the rest was history.
A career that I didn’t plan on, but was a natural and skilled in, began to take shape. I had found my lane, a Dance & Choreography career. I fell right in to it, trained consistently in L.A., and became obsessed with this whole new dance world. From there, a breakthrough happened. I began to BOOK dance gigs for big iconic names, travel on world tours, and film countless music videos. It was a natural transition in to Choreography and Creative direction, where I also got to create movement, work with, and collaborate for major artists and productions. Artist like Diddy, Nick Canon, Kevin Hart, Pink, Britney Spears,. Missy Elliott, & Jay Z to name a few. Once I got to a certain point in my behind the scenes life, I began to miss performing, so I dove in to the music industry and put out some cool dance singles on Itunes & Spotify, which renewed my early love as an Artist & Performer.
Today, as my career as a Choreographer and Creative continues to expand, the door is wide open to create. I contune to share my knowledge as an industry mentor, and I’m now in the process of developing a comedy TV show I’ve written. I”m so excited about this because, I have so many hilarious stories to share. After all I’ve experienced, I figure why not start sharing them now. My story has been challenging, but trust me.. there’s a joke in there somewhere:)
The biggest lessons I’ve learned, especially in this business, is to Keep Going… AND… to take small breaks, to recharge and renew. As an artist who’s created longevity, it’s about constantly allowing things to unfold. I continue to move towards my goals, with small effective steps. I celebrate the Yes’s and Trust the No’s, which isn’t easy. Building healthy relationships, along the way are invaluable to me. And being honest with myself on what I need to grow is key. None of this process has been short or easy, I took the long route. That’s where my foundation is. That’s where my heart is. That’s where my ART is.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love my city, so let’s take a full week in L.A. and have some fun with Cho in the City. I’m a breakfast person, so may as well start off with Roscoe’s Chickes Chicken & Waffles or The Undergrind Cafe. Museums are my thing so LACMA is always an option. and MOCA downtown is always a vibe. With my family being from New Orleans, I’m a seafood girl, so the Boiling Crab or Crabby Crab is always worth a stop. If I’m feeling sushi, then Sugar Fish is my go to. Some shopping downtown in “The Alley” for great bargains…Or “The Grove” for shopping food and drinks. I love the beach, and some great places to eat are, Back to the Beach Cafe, Paradise Cove & Broad Oyster Company, my favorite coastal stops. Malibu Cafe is a gem, and I also can’t miss Castaway in Burbank, for a great California sunset view with awesome food and drinks. The Culver City Steps is my go to area, and great to hang, eat, and drink. And when I”m in the mood for hot chicken, I go to my boys at Howlyn Rays. So much more, but I think this is a start..
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve gotta shout out my mom Sandy for her continuous support during my entire career journey. It’s been a long windy road, and she has been my biggest supporter throughout all of the twists and turns. Cheers to the next chapter.
Jerome Shaw- Photographer ( Feature Photo) Mike Quain Photo- ( Let it go – cover photo)