The Life

Shonda Rhimes Definitely Shines

Below is my latest blog post for FacesofYou.Net, a website created by fellow Howard Alumna Shari Logan that is dedicated to the uplifting and empowerment of young female girls.

The story is published at the title link below.  You can also continue reading.

Shonda Rhimes Definitely Shines

Blog written by Courtney Zellars

Recently Shonda Rhimes, best known for creating the hit shows Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, was appointed by President Obama to the Kennedy Center’s board of trustees.

Located in Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center’s mission is to fulfill President Kennedy’s vision of embracing the humanities. A “living memorial” to President Kennedy, the center is purported to be “the nation’s busiest arts facility,” with over 400 free performances offered each year.

According to The Afro, a weekly newspaper published in Baltimore, Md., members of the board serve six year terms. The board governs the center, keeping it running and handles its finances.

The appointment was just one of many of Rhimes’ highlights this year. This spring, Rhimes was nominated for her third Emmy. In September, the 43-year-old adopted her third child. The third season of Scandal debuted this month attracting 10.5 million viewers. And on Oct. 10, Rhimes’ hit show Grey’s Anatomy, now in its tenth season, aired its 200th episode.

“Lately, I’ve encountered the first crop of girls who are graduating from medical school because they started watching Grey’s Anatomy,” Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s really moving that a television show can have enough impact to make women think that science is cool and want to be doctors.”

The youngest of six, Rhimes says she began her story-telling career at the age of four in Chicago, Ill., when she would record herself telling stories on her parents’ tape recorders. She grew up and earned her bachelor’s degree at Darmouth College before continuing on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television.

After graduation, she wrote scripts for films, including the 1999 HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, starring Halle Berry and Crossroads, Britney Spears’ debut film.

It wasn’t until after she adopted her first baby and found herself “a single mom, staying at home, watching a lot of TV,” as she told Fortune Magazine reporter Colleen Leahey. It was then that she realized the really good character development on television. When ABC Studios asked her to develop something new, in particular a medical show, Rhimes got to work creating Grey’s Anatomy.

But as creator and one of the executive producer as well as lead script writer, Rhimes first found herself responsible not just for the story idea but for every detail. That experience prepared her for Scandal.

“I learned how to write television and run a show on Grey’s Anatomy,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve made all my mistakes and learned a lot of valuable lessons here.”

In most of her interviews, Rhimes admits that even she doesn’t know how or when either series will end. She also hints that there is plenty more in store for the future, including a novel or two.

As for what keeps her motivated, energetic, and inspired, Rhimes remembers something her father used to say. “The only limit to your success is your own imagination.”

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