Sheran Keyton does it all:
I began singing at the age of four in my church youth choir. This came after watching the older kids every Sunday and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to have that same experience. My father was a soul singer, so I would also sit in his rehearsals with his band when it was our weekend to be with him. He was also responsible for me getting bitten by the acting bug. When I was about six or seven years old, he directed and produced a short film about The Atlanta Child Murders.
I appeared in that film, and once again knew what my journey was really to be. After that, I spent most of my life singing in my church choir. By middle school, I had added school choir and theater to my daily curriculum, and was learning some much-needed techniques. I was fortunate enough to have solid mentors placed in my life, and they gave me opportunities that my single mother couldn’t otherwise afford.
I have to give credit to Ms. Jewel Kelly my choir teacher at OD Wyatt School, Ms. Evelyn Forte my theater teacher at OD Wyatt High School, C. Lee Turner my theater professor at Prairie View, Joe Brown my theater professor at Texas Wesleyan University, Rudy Eastman my 15 year+ mentor and founder of Jubilee Theater, diannetucker my adult mentor and life coach. I made it a point to seize every opportunity and learn at every turn.
I watched directors, producers, choreographers, and technical people do their jobs very closely. When in rehearsal for shows or on set for film and commercials, other actors chatted among themselves as they awaited their turn to work. I, however, was watching the process very closely because I wanted to learn all I could. I commenced to self-study and figuring out how I could work with others who would let me use these shiny new skills. That’s where the expanded part of my career began! Currently, my life is divided into five VERY complex parts.
THE DAY JOB: I work full time as the Manager of Education and Community Engagement for Fort Worth Opera.
DVA PRODUCTIONS: I am still the Artistic Director for DVA Productions, which includes creating regular programming, curriculum writing and sometimes performing. I also still mentor/coach a select number of young artists.
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: I work as part of another creative team for which I write, direct and/or produce independent on-camera works such as short films, feature films, music videos, television shows, and documentaries.
ENTERTAINER: I am still actively acting on stage, as well as in film and commercials. I also perform nearly every weekend with one of my two bands, The Coppertones (Rock, Soul, and Motown) and The Joe Rogers Trio (Jazz, Blues, Neo-Soul, Broadway, You name it!)
FAMILY: I have two AMAZING (and talented) children ages 25 and 17 with whom I fight to spend time with, mentor and manage. A man who has stolen my heart, and my mother who remains my rock.
Fort Worth Opera: Sheran has been the Manager of Education and Community Engagement with Fort Worth Opera since September, 2017. Aside from continuing the long tradition of taking opera performances into schools throughout north Texas, she has also formed solid relationships with area organizations. One of her personal goals was to create and to host a summer intensive for young students. In the summer of 2018, that dream was realized. It has since culminated into a pilot program with Fort Worth ISD to take opera education into local elementary schools.
DVA Productions: Sharon’s own company, DVA Productions is a nonprofit which has taken on many shapes since its conception in 2008. It began as an education outreach company dedicated to taking arts integrated programming into schools who were otherwise underserved by arts programs in general.
Then in 2011, they produced their first of five full seasons which included original musicals, music revues, dramas, comedies, and one-night arts events for adults. During that time, DVA also created and ran a youth mentor program, DVA Young Artists.
The program was designed to give a select group of performers affordable (or free) musical theater classes, opportunities to perform in DVA main stage shows, and travel to cities across America and experience the art culture there. They were afforded the opportunity to sightsee, attend music or theater events, take master classes, and perform for students in that city.
This was all mostly gifted to them by Sheran and a couple of other people who supported her vision. Since 2016, DVA has returned to its original mission of producing educational outreach programming. Now they partner with other organizations, local libraries, and many DFW city governments.
“I think the thing that sets my company apart from others is the difference in my story. Everyone has their own story. But mine causes me to live and work differently. Where I came from, what I have endured allows my story to be very different from someone else’s. It is what shapes the way I run my business.”