for a creative executive position, which meant she’d be finding writers, developing scripts, bringing them into the company, and advocating for their purchase. Over her husband’s objections, she took it.
“I literally went
from coffee girl to having an office, reading scripts, and making real decisions,” says Mashariki, who was involved in the development of Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, and whose upcoming projects include a supernatural thriller called My Soul to Keep, to be directed by Rick Famuyiwa of Brown Sugar, and October Squall, a feature film that will star and be produced by Halle Berry. “The first time my boss told me to go buy the film I’d [recommended] I had to sit in my office for 10 minutes and figure out what that meant. I had a nice title, but my salary wasn’t high and I didn’t know if I was coming or going, but I was having a great time.”
The experience and the euphoria it invoked brought Mashariki back to her first week at Dartmouth, when she’d gone on a freshman kayaking trip, having never kayaked in her life. “I had the best time. I walked away from that experience thinking my new motto would be ‘Try anything, fear nothing.’ And I spent the rest of those college years doing all sorts of things I had never done before-horseback riding, directing plays, studying abroad.
“Something happened to me at Dartmouth that made me say to myself, ‘Of course I should be studying in Spain, of course I should be teaching at Harvard, of course I should be a filmmaker, making films with Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman.’ I really felt that I could do anything, and that I owed it to myself to try,” Mashariki continues. “Finding my personal statement reminded me of that. I didn’t just write that I wanted to be a filmmaker. I wrote that I owed it to myself to try.”
Some attempts have been marred by disappointment. Mashariki’s marriage was short-lived and, although she loves her job, Hollywood is still heavy on hype, tough on hope. “My marriage didn’t meet my expectations,” says Mashariki, now 29. “Hollywood didn’t meet my expectations. But I met my expectations and I now know that you can fail and that you can come back and do great things after you fail. All of that makes you more fearless. I go out on the ledge a lot, and I don’t look down anymore.”
Lost and Found
Tony Shellman is one of those rare people who seem 100% comfortable with himself, no matter what setting he’s in. And why shouldn’t he be? Confident and as fun loving as he is hard working, Shellman has founded and run not one but two successful hip-hop clothing companies-Mecca and Enyce-both of which have made millions and left their lasting mark on the pages of hip-hop and fashion history.
At 37, it would be easy for Shellman to have lost himself to the hype of the hip-hop circles in which he travels, or to define himself