You may have heard or watched this talented Sedona performing artist, Shondra Jepperson on instructional videos produced in support of Ilchi Lee’s Dahn Yoga and Body & Brain training. Get to know this actor/singer/songwriter/musician a bit better in this recent interview about her Call of Sedona.

Shondra Jepperson

LT: Shondra, locals see you emceeing and performing everywhere in Sedona, it seems! What drew you here?

SJ: At the end of 2001, my sister & and brother-in-law and their poodle, and my husband Tom and I and our poodle, all still lived in San Diego. They had not been married yet, and were talking about moving to Sedona, and we told them, “You can’t go!” They’re really close friends of ours, as well as being family. They were planning to move to Sedona in 2002, and they kept talking about kidnapping us. We’d just laugh it off.

Then a succession of things happened. We’d been living in San Diego and Los Angeles for years, and we didn’t think we could necessarily work here in Sedona. But in March of that year, I turned on my computer and there it was on AOL: Top 10 Resorts in America. San Diego was #7 and Sedona was #1. So being that we work in the tourism arena with corporations and doing parties and things like that, I thought maybe this is something to check out.

I called the Chamber of Commerce, got their book, and started making phone calls and sending media kits for like two months. And then there were some things that happened: like my truck was stolen (and we were living in a beautiful area of San Diego), and our storage unit was broken into, and our lease was up and we didn’t know where we were going to move, and then we decided to take a trip to Sedona with my sister and brother-in-law to see how it felt.

So I’d made all these appointments, and met with people, and it looked good. About three weeks later Tom and I returned and found the place we’ve been living in for the last 12-1/2 years. We just bought a home, and actually, it’s the place that we’ve been sharing a wall with for all those years!

LT: So you were ‘on target’ in your first attempt!

SJ: Oh yes, and I’ve been intending and praying for all the years. We’d take the poodle kids and Tom and I would go out for a walk, and I would just be saying these intentions about “let us have the money when we are ready to buy.” We always thought it was going to be the one we were living in. It ended up being the one right next door, and it was wild! It just unfolded naturally.

LT: Of course, that’s Sedona!

SJ: Yes. When we moved here it was like on a wing and a prayer. The thing is that both of us got jobs the first week we were here. And then we had other things happen too that really put us into the papers and into work immediately, gigging and doing shows. So it just really, quickly unfolded fast for us here.

LT: Has being here in Sedona changed how you present your craft?

SJ: Yes! In San Diego I spent a lot of time leading bands and being in other people’s bands, fronting bands; working as a single, working in duos, every possible kind of gig you can think of. All the theatre that I did kind of went to the wayside. I couldn’t afford to do it because no one was paying at the time. And all the voice-overs, I did them, but very sporadically. It was kind of a “love-hate” relationship working five nights a week in clubs, 9:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. It was hard, hard work.

Here, I get to do everything that I’m skilled for. I’m doing the voice-overs, I’m producing events, I’m working my own shows, Tom and I have our shows, Tom’s working four nights a week in a cowboy show and we’re both involved in our regional theatre and doing musicals. It’s been fabulous! Coaching, and DJ-ing, the writing, and two CDs now, the list goes on and on. It’s just a lot more expansive, and I really feel that Sedona works for Tom and me.

LT: What is the common thread that runs through everything you do?

SJ: The intention to serve. The intention to make a positive difference. We came here with that intention in mind. Our intention was to bring light with our talents to inspire, to motivate, to entertain in an uplifting way: to really move people in that direction.

And to serve . . . both of us feel very strongly about that. We do a lot of community work too. When people ask us if we “can,” we “do.” I don’t use the term “Free” because I don’t think there’s anything “free.” We both use the term “gifting.“ Your time and your talent are worth value, so “gifting.” And we both do a lot of that.

LT: Please tell us about some favorite projects?

SJ: Working with Tom and doing our own show is great fun. He’s a complete pro and it’s just a joy to be on stage with him. We know each other so well. The other person that I love to work with is Dev Ross. It’s the same situation. So whether it’s a murder mystery, or a musical show, or it’s producing an event, I love working with those two. And there are other people I work with too, a few other creative partnerships.

LT: So, it seems Sedona allowed you to blossom in every direction.

SJ: Absolutely! And that’s a beautiful thing; when you feel that you can do that and then you are also bringing people in that you know can do that too. I love working in groups and teams, and creative situations.

Right now I have two new partners. We’re doing “Experience Yourself” Women Retreats. That’s a huge project. We’re getting ready to do one in November. It’s a phenomenal thing; it’s a three and a half day retreat.

I’m coaching in ways that I’ve never coached before for finding your voice—more spiritually-based than singing-wise. I do coach voice and acting and all of that on a private basis, but this is really different than what I’ve been doing. The last three or four years I’ve been going more that direction with a lot of people coming to me who had been put down as children and haven’t sung for forty years! I remember one year I had five people come to me like that within a matter of three or four months, all the same story.

I’m also the Music Director for the Center for Positive Living Sedona. We have the Wednesday night in the Living Room Series of concerts that started a little over a year and a half ago, and that’s going really well. I’m writing a new CD, and I am writing a book, so that will be a lot of fun.

LT: If you had to describe Sedona to someone who has never been here before, what would you tell them?

SJ: I would say that Sedona is a magnificent place. It’s gorgeous, and it loves people who are about giving and serving. We have noticed that. Someone had already told us this, so we had come here with that in mind.

Besides the magnificence, the mountains, and the vortexes and all the beauty here, I would tell them that this is a straight and narrow: if you’re depressed, it will take you that direction very, very, fast and it will blow up into something huge. And vice versa, if you go into a positive direction, it does the same thing.

I don’t know what exactly is happening here, if it’s the history, or the science, all I know is that ever since we learned about “what you focus on is what you get,” I’d say Sedona’s about a hundred thousand times that way.

So, I would tell them, be very clear about why you’re here. Get involved. The way I always describe it is that it’s like a Marshall Stack on 10+, (a Marshall Stack being one of those huge guitar amps.) It is that, it’s on 10+, so wherever you decide to go with that, it’s going to just follow suit and magnify it!

LT: Thanks, Shondra. This has been fun. Are there any final thoughts you’d like to share?

SJ: I want to say that I really like working with the Dahn Yoga people, Sedona Mago Retreat, and Ilchi Lee. I’ve really enjoyed all of those voice-over projects, all of it!

LT: Thanks again!

By Lynn A. Trombetta