Sharing a story from my first year in the ashram
Sharing about more experiences of chanting in the ashram
My main service during this decade of monastic life was to edit hundreds of videos about the teachings of our spiritual path. These videos were sent to meditation centers around the world.
I was. . . ahem. . . a bit thinner then.
Nevertheless, even great things have to transform in this world, and so it was. . .
On to Hollywood !
Some of my awards
There's nothing like ten years of selfless service to teach you to do your job well.
My work with
KCAL'S PRIME NINE NEWS
Editing and producing news and news features for Disney's KCAL-TV was my first full-time job in Hollywood. This job gave me a chance to work with some of the best of the best in the television business -- including Pat Harvey, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Josh Mankiewicz, Bill Ritter, Larry Carroll, David Jackson, and Frank Buckley, many of whom have moved on to successful national journalist roles. During these two and a half years, I had a chance to work with many truly talented folks, from whom I learned a great deal. This job also gave a very consistent and indepth view into what was happening in the world, and a chance to catch up on all the world events I'd missed during ten years of monastic life.
A short reel of News Features from Prime Nine News, Los Angeles
Produced and edited by Sharon Janis
This is a montage of video clips that were produced and edited in the early 1990's for Disney's KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. This was Sharon's first full-time job after spending 10 years living a monastic life, and these pieces show how, with spiritual focus, even so-called tragic events can have great depth of meaning and beauty -- God's creation in action right here on earth.
Click Here to play in streaming realplayer the video piece we were editing in this photo -- it is a powerful and moving musical montage showing troops arriving home from the 1991 Gulf war into the arms of their loved ones, set to Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings," and filmed by our fantastic camera crews.
That evening, after the video ran, our newscast director had to go directly to commercial, because the newsanchor was weeping from watching it. Disney CEO Michael Eisner phoned to request a video copy, as did many viewers. I walked into the newsroom later that evening, and received a standing ovation from all the writers, producers and reporters -- it was a successful video!
Several more full video pieces to view from my time at KCAL'S PRIME NINE NEWS:
Line in the Sand (Emmy nominated piece about 1st Gulf war)
Let's be Thankful (Emmy nominated piece for Thanksgiving)
Fire in the City (Emmy nominated piece about the L.A. riots)
Winning an Emmy Award
Winning a Los Angeles Emmy (with seven nominations over three years) was only one of many amazing experiences in Hollywood, but it is one of the few where photos are available.
Several magical events took place on the day of winning the Emmy, including running into and chatting with Magic Johnson as we waited for our cars at the Sports Club (where I'd just had makeup and hair done for the event), and then driving behind a license plate that actually said "Emmy." My friends and I also ended up snubbing Governor Clinton, who was having a fundraiser in his hopes for the democratic nomination. When we went to pick Jo up, we saw a couple police motorcycles and many fancy looking cars at the house across the street. One of the police escorts looked across the street, saw the four of us women dressed to the hilt, and invited us into the Clinton fundraiser. We discussed the idea, but agreed that this Governor probably had no chance of winning and decided to opt for getting to the Emmy awards on time. Sniff, sniff. . .
Offering the Emmy Award to my Guru
When I first left the monastery to go to Hollywood, I'd had a vision that one day I would win an Emmy award, wrap it up in red velvet and give it to my Guru, saying "This really belongs to you."
Within 3 years of leaving monastic life, the time came -- on my guru's birthday.
She said, "You should keep it," and gave it back.
THE X-MEN ANIMATED TELEVISION SHOW
I was the editor and associate producer for the animated television show, X-Men. Although X-Men had not been anywhere near my choices of comic book reading as a child and teen, I came to like the characters, premises, and stories very much. We had some truly dedicated writers and other talent on this show, and I enjoyed getting to piece together such interesting plotlines with music, effects and other special touches into a finished show.
In the scene below, I've been animated at a ski resort, with a "KUMUDA" nametag, and my line, "Oh come on. A demon? You must be kidding!" This was probably the most spiritual episode of X-Men. It took place in a monastery, and ends with Wolverine praying in church, so it was fitting that the storyboard artist decided to surprise me with a cameo.
Click on the TV to watch a clip of my animated cameo
from the X-Men Television Show
GO GO POWER RANGERS!
I was a video editor for "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" television show from the time it began and for about two years. There's nothing quite like going to work and having meetings about how we're going to blow up the monster this time!
Here's how this pairing of me and the Power Rangers came about: In 1993, I'd just finished editing and co-producing the feature film "Beretta's Island," and was visiting the monastic ashram where I'd previously lived. I never was one for asking the Divine for too many "things," but on this day, I went into the main temple to pray for guidance and blessings for finding my next video job, asking, "Please bring me the right job that you want me to do."
Within a couple hours, I phoned into my home answering machine to find a message from an assistant editor I'd previously worked with, letting me know that a new Children's show was in need of an editor. "The show is only scheduled to be on for one season, but if you're looking for some work for the summer, you may want to contact the company." With that timing, how could I not!?! That was in 1993, and the show is still on the air!
The music video below was the first success for a not-yet-famous Simon Cowell, who produced the song while living in his parents' house for lack of funds at a time when he was considering leaving the music business. Simon and I didn't ever meet, but he sent a fellow over from across the pond to watch me edit this video, which led the song to England's "Top of the Pops" and brought one of the first of many wonderful successes to Simon Cowell.
Go Go Power Rangers! The Music Video
Co-directed and edited by Sharon Janis
Click on the TV to View this Video Clip
Jo Champa and I were close friends for many years, although we've since lost contact, as happens fairly often in my eclectic life journey. This was somewhat of an unlikely friendship, since Jo is a well-known Italian actress and media personality, and when we met, I'd just left ten years of simple, monastic life. Somehow, we each had enough of the other's traits to find a great meeting point for many years, and we shared many fun and fine moments and learned a lot from one another.
Jo is actually much more beautiful and stylish than she looks in this photo. In fact, this is possibly one of the least glamorous photos taken of Jo, as you can see from some of her recent photos. But I think this photo of us together, my bad hair day notwithstanding, shows another side of Jo -- the very simple hearted girl that often sparkled behind her eyes.
Here's a short clip from Fox News where Jo and I were interviewed about the most popular fruit during the Super Bowl. Unfortunately they cut out most of our usual humorous bantering. Who knew that avocado was a fruit (or that they'd positioned Jo and I with the right answer just behind us)?
Celebrating my Emmy award win with Jo and Suze Orman, during the time when I was helping to begin Suze's public career. Suze would come to cause quite a bit of trouble to my life, and to the world.
Beretta's Island, Franco, and Arnold
This was my first opportunity to co-produce and edit a movie, and it included a cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was best friends with the producer/star of "Beretta's Island" -- bodybuilder Franco Columbu. You can read about a significant shift of my personal intentions that took place during Thanksgiving evening 1992, while drinking peppermint schnapps and chatting with Arnold in this chapter from Secrets of Spiritual Happiness.
To be honest, this was a mediocre movie in most ways, with a poor script and excessive violence -- although the locations filmed in Sardinia were beautiful, some of the acting was good, and the music was composed by music maestro Cliff Magnus. It was an interesting combination of A, B, and C level movies all in one, and my first time editing or co-producing a feature film. I had a lot to learn, but fortunately was new enough to not realize how messed up the script was. The director had left right after filming, thinking no movie could ever be edited from what they'd filmed, and the movie fell into my beginner's mind hands. I went in and added dialogue, moved things around, and just made it work at least in terms of having a movie, if not a great move. At the premiere and wrap party, I received enthusiastic kudos from both the director "You did an amazing job -- I never thought a movie could have been edited from what we filmed," and Arnold, who proclaimed to Franco, "She saved your whole moooovie!"
All in all, it was a fun project to work on, with a whole lot of Italian food and wine for this monastic. The antics that took place during the production and post-production of this movie were much more dramatic and entertaining than the movie itself.
NBC NETWORK PROMOS
I was also hired to train NBC Network's promo producers on the nonlinear AVID editing system, and to edit the national television promos for many "Must See TV" NBC Shows, including "Seinfeld," "Mad About You," and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
Jerry Dunphy was the inspiration for Ted Baxter's character on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as for the newscaster on The Simpsons. He was very sincere about his love for country, and we worked on many successful pieces together.
Here you can watch a music video I produced, directed, and edited to Jerry's song, "Desert to the Sea," sung by Country music singer T.G. Sheperd, and produced by Mike Curb.
Sharon's multimedia memoir
View our videos on:
Additional Works by Sharon Janis
Click on a book or CD cover to enjoy it online
Home Page | Contact | Site Map | Books | Secrets of Spiritual Happiness | Links | Chanting and Devotional Singing | Inspiring Videos | Sanskrit Spiritual Scriptures | Nityananda | Workshops | Photographs | Kirtan Chanting | Chai | Sacred Music Concerts | About the Artist | Facebook | Disclaimer | About Night Lotus | Purchasing Our Works | Gifts for You